Tom Keifer at The Machine Shop in Flint, MI

Tom Keifer and his band electrify a sold-out crowd of fans with a great set of Cinderella hits and solo material.

Nothing like some good old classic 80s and 90s rock to warm up a crowd on a cold winter night in Michigan. Fans have packed the world-famous The Machine Shop in Flint, MI for a chance to see the legendary Tom Keifer of Cinderella and his band rock the house. While Cinderella has not toured as a band in many years, Tom continues to crank out great music and tour with his new band. This tour is in support of his 2019 release Rise.

Taking to the stage to a huge round of applause and whistles, the band kicks it off with “Touching the Divine,” the opening track of his latest album. It has the crowd rocking along to this bluesy song with slide guitar licks and Tom’s classic raspy wail. His voice is in great form tonight and the crowd is loving it. Next up is the title song from the 1986 album Night Songs. The opening notes of “Coming Home” have the fans fired up with many singing along and moving to this radio hit from the 1988 album Long Cold Winter. Tony Higbee tears it up on his sparkled guitar while letting his hair fly about, and jams with Tom on this song and many others throughout the show.

Tom has brought along a solid group of musicians that, in addition to Tony, includes Billy Mercer (bass, vocals), Jarred Pope (drums, vocals), Kory Myers (keyboards, vocals), Kendra Chantelle (vocals, percussion), and his wife Savannah Keifer (percussion, piano, vocals). They are rock solid and give the songs an even fuller sound than many of the originals. “It’s Not Enough” from The Way Life Goes is a straight-ahead rocker with a catchy groove that makes it hard for anyone to stand still. However, it’s “Somebody Save Me” that really gets the crowd moving, waving, and putting their horns in the air. This is one of those songs that many in the crowd have been waiting to hear as they erupt in loud cheers from its opening notes.

Slowing things down, Tom takes a seat at the piano and plays the title track from Rise that showcases that classic voice of Tom’s before the backing vocals of Savannah and Kendra kick in and the rest of the band joins in. “Nobody’s Fool” plays out just like it has over the years during live performances with Tom dropping to his knees at one point, bringing on cheers from the crowd. “Solid Ground” from The Way Life Goes is another catchy, blues-driven song that has a sound reminiscent of some early Rod Stewart and Rolling Stones songs. Keeping the blues wave of songs going is “Fallin’ Apart at the Seams” with Tom leading the crowd in some clapping. Tom keeps the crowd fully engaged throughout the evening, encouraging them to cheer louder.

Taking a seat at the piano again, Tom asks the audience to pull out their lighters, flashlights, and cell phones and join in as he plays the hit “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone).” This power ballad was all over the radio and MTV for a long time back in 1988. He sings the first verse in a softer tone before switching over to his raspy delivery. With the energy high already, Tom introduces “Shake Me” that has the place shaking with many moving to this hit from the 80s. Before the next song, Tom takes some video of the audience. They close out the main portion of the set with “Shelter Me” that includes a lengthy jam.

With the lights still out, some more guitar jamming goes on for a few minutes. Returning to the stage, they play the slow but emotion-packed song “Long Cold Winter” that showcases some great guitar riffs and jams. They play “The Death of Me” from Rise, before closing it out with another 80s hit, “Gypsy Road,” that has the fans dancing and singing along again.

Tom pours out the energy and emotion on every song with sweat dripping down his face. He truly shows his appreciation to everyone that came out with many thank yous and pounding his heart at the end of the set. This was the second time he has played this venue in the past few months and probably won’t be the last. One thing for sure is that the fans cannot wait for him to come back.

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About Gary Pahlow 25 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.