Tom Keifer at District 142 in Wyandotte, MI

Tom Keifer and his band crank out the classic hits for the sold-out crowd on the LIVE LOUD 2023 Tour.

The sold-out crowd is growing anxious for Tom Keifer and his band to hit the stage. Rumor has it that due to a recent bout with laryngitis that forced the cancellation of two shows, Tom needed some additional time to warm up his voice. When the lights finally dim, the crowd erupts with loud cheers as Tom and his band walk out and waste no time launching into the upbeat “Life Was Here” from the 2019 album Rise. It features Tom’s signature raspy vocals and has the crowd rocking along early. Next up is “Hot & Bothered,” a classic Cinderella song from 1992. Tom takes a moment to introduce the next song, “Heartbreak Station,” as one they have not played for quite some time. Tom’s voice is sounding great tonight and this song has the crowd singing along. It also features Tom on both acoustic guitar and slide guitar.

While Tom is clearly the focal point, he could not put on these lively shows without the backing of a solid band. For this tour, he has brought along the phenomenal Tony Higbee on guitar, Billy Mercer on bass, Jared Pope on drums, Kory Myers on keyboards, his wife Savannah on backing vocals, piano, and tambourine, and newer member Tanya Davis also on backing vocals and tambourine. Tony and Tom play off each other on many songs with Tony tearing it up on leads on several songs. Billy and Jared provide a tight groove that you can feel even at the back of the venue. Kudos to the venue and crew for the awesome sound.

Following the slower and bluesy songs, “The Death of Me” and “Bad Seamstress Blues/Fallin’ Apart at the Seams,” they get back to the Cinderella classics to the fans’ delight, starting with “Coming Home.” Tom gets the fans further engaged as he tells them to “light this place up” and they oblige with cell phones and lighters waving in the air. Tom also shows off that he can still hit the high notes, leading the crowd in some fun back and forth at the beginning. The familiar opening notes of “Nobody’s Fool” garner huge cheers, and this song has the crowd waving their arms as Tom belts out the vocals. “Solid Ground” from the 2013 album The Way Life Goes features a solid beat with Jared crushing the drums and also has an extended guitar jam into the end.

The rest of the set is packed with Cinderella classic hits including “Night Songs” which has Tom playing a 12-string guitar and firing up the crowd with the line “I need a shot of gasoline.” The crowd goes wild when they start playing “Somebody Save Me.”  The fans are singing, arms waving, and horns up as they rock along to this classic hit. Tom is giving it his all and has sweat dripping off him. Following “Last Mile,” Tom exclaims, “Gonna get this place shaking tonight,” as they launch into “Shake Me.” On several occasions, Tom holds the mic out to the crowd as they sing and clap. Tom even salutes the crowd at the end. “Shelter Me” is another catchy song that has the fans clapping along again and features Kory on the keyboards, as well as having the guitarists and bassist jamming in front of the drummer. Toward the end, Tom leads the crowd in three big cheers and pounds his heart in appreciation, and then leads the band off the stage.

The first encore is one that many in the crowd have been waiting for all night. “Don’t Know What You Got Till It’s Gone” was probably Cinderella’s biggest single and was on heavy rotation on rock radio in the late 80s. Taking a seat at a piano along with his wife Savannah, Tom starts in a cleaner and deeper vocal than usual but it sounds awesome, and the crowd is enthralled as they wave their illuminated cell phones and sing along. Eventually, Tom transitions into the higher, raspy vocals and takes on the guitar leads including the solo. After that song, Tom takes a few minutes to thank the crowd and talk about how music brings us all together and can help us get through bad times. He mentions having been in a funk recently, which is possibly in reference to his recent bout with laryngitis. He exclaims, that tonight is like “one big rock and roll therapy session,” and he thanks the crowd by saying “You got me out of my funk.” They then play a killer cover of The Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends” which finds Tom letting out a big scream and dropping to his knees at one point. The fans love it.

For being in his 60s now, it is quite a feat that he still rocks like he is in his 20s, giving it his all to every song. For 90 minutes tonight, he and his band have the crowd rocking and singing along and having a ton of fun. He and the band have one more song though, “Gypsy Road.” Tom leads the crowd in clapping overhead, while they dance and wave. Before leaving for the evening, Tom once again thanks the crowd and exclaims, “Detroit, you kick ass!”

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About Gary Pahlow 62 Articles
Gary is located in Rochester Hills, MI and has been officially photographing and writing concert reviews since early 2016. His main music interests are metal and hard rock, but he is also a fan of most genres including alternative, indie, jazz, and even some pop and country. When not covering or attending concerts, you can find him traveling with his wife or watching the Detroit Red Wings.