The Winery Dogs at Sony Hall
On May 3rd I got to see a band I’d never seen before in a venue I’d never visited before. Perfect combo? I’d say so. It really couldn’t have been more perfect to be honest, and I coudnt’t have been more blown away.
What happens when Richie Kotzen of Poison, Mike Portnoy of Dream Theatre, an Billy Sheehan who toured with the likes of David Lee Roth and Steve Vai all get together? They form the Winery Dogs and they blow the minds of countless people in any given room, that’s what. But really, to say these guys are incredible is an understatement. Each is at the top, top, top of their game. Billy does things to a bass that I’ve never seen in my life time of 5 other life times, and same goes for Richie and Mike on guitar and drums. It’s almost as if each song was an ongoing solo played by all three, mixing in never-before heard sounds, complex rhythms, and multiple time signatures. And the crowd went flipping wild for it. Not to mention, haunting vocals on top of this complicated musical backing, and your almost forget where you are, you’re just mesmerized.
The concert was held in NYC’s Sony Hall. Formerly the The Diamond Horseshoe, established in 1938, it was known for giving Gene Kelly his start. The vintage vibes definitely still run through this gorgeous place. From uniquely tiled floor to intricately carved ceiling, Sony Hall is an IG dream, and just a really beautiful place to spend an evening.
One thing I will say, though, is I’m not sure they expected the kind of crowd turn out they got. This place was P-A-C-K-E-D. To the point that I’ve never seen a venue packed before. You know how when you go to a show, the GA floor section is packed like sardines? But then if you want some air you can head off to the back by the bar? There was none of that there. The hall, bar, stairs, and doorway were full of smothered people looking to hear the best music in all of New York that Friday night. They certainly got it. (Though it definitely was uncomfortable from time to time.)
Either way, smooshed stance aside; if you get the opportunity to see these guys, go. And if not in person, definitely give them a listen. Trust me it’s gong to change you.