The Winery Dogs played to a capacity crowd at the Tralf Music Hall in Buffalo, New York, on Tuesday night. The band sounded fabulous and the show had a true concert club atmosphere. Reserved seating was available at tables where food and beverages were also purchasable. The supergroup includes Richie Kotzen on lead vocals, guitar and keyboards, Mike Portnoy pounding the drums and, of course, Buffalo’s own Billy Sheehan on bass. The band received a warm welcome and it made for a terrific homecoming for Sheehan.
The Winery Dogs are touring in support of “Hot Streak,” the band’s second and latest album. The set was a perfect mix of both albums and started strong with the first two songs “Oblivion” and “Captain Love” from their latest offering. Another new one, “Fire,” featured Kotzen on acoustic guitar and an acoustic solo before he moved on to the bluesy keys of “Think it Over.” Kotzen is a phenomenal guitarist and like Sheehan, he plays without a guitar pick. He also showed the audience that he is no slouch behind the keys. An extremely short drum solo then briefly showcased Portnoy before Kotzen vocally harmonized beautifully with his guitar on “The Other Side.” Sheehan’s bass harmonies were also spectacular throughout the show but really stood out on this one as it turned into a jam session with a WOW factor.
Then came what I, personally, was looking forward to the most. Billy Sheehan’s bass solo. It was nothing short of amazing, complete with finger tapping and harmonics generally unheard of from a bass guitar. It was followed up by Portnoy shining in “Ghost Town.” The set came to a close with “Elevate” before a two song encore that wrapped up with a riff from Led Zeppelin’s classic “Heartbreaker” and Portnoy raising his stool over his head and hitting the drums with it. These three musicians are polished with raw rock power and a blued finish. Simply put, this was a great show and one not to be missed. The sound quality and musicianship were incredible and left me wanting more.
We Are One
Think it Over
The Other Side
I’m No Angel
We would like to thank Amanda Cagan from ABC – PR for the credentials to review the show.