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New releases of old, never before seen material, always seem to attract the stigma of being a mere cash grab. However, in some cases this is entirely undeserved, as is the case with this latest live release under the Dokken label. It reaches back better days when George Lynch was still cutting heads for this up and coming 80s sensation, and also showcases the talents of bassist Juan Crouchier (who later ended up in Ratt), who is often overlooked because of the presence of better known and more multifaceted musician Jeff Pilson.
Like many of the early acts of the day, Dokken began earning their reputation where it counts in the metal world, on the road. One listen to the first song “Paris” and you’ll understand why this band was signed by Elektra Records and why they became one of the most influential bands in the early to mid 80s. The mere fact that this show was recorded while the band was still something of a local sensation and before having a widely distributed LP to speak of, although I believe that “Breakin’ the Chains” was enjoying regular radio play at this point.
As was the case with the better known live album “Beast from the East”, George Lynch just steals the show completely from his catchy riffs, his brief lead fills, all the way to the crazy as hell guitar solos. Just one listen to the 7th track on here and you’ll start saying things that other will think you crazy for saying such as, “Eddie Van Halen sit down!!” or “Randy Rhodes is in some trouble”. Between this, inspired performances of classic songs like “Breakin’ the Chains”, “Nightrider”, “Paris”, and even the previously unreleased speed metal anthem “Liar”, and the utter chemistry that you can feel the band has with the audience, it’s no wonder that George Lynch claiming to be part of an outfit more musically credible than most at that time is not only true, but something of an understatement.
Fans of Dokken may not recognize a good portion of the songs on here, not only because of the previously unreleased songs but also because the “Breakin’ the Chains” LP doesn’t enjoy as wide popularity as the ones that came after it, but fans of 80s cock rock and shred should definitely track this down. After more than a decade of disliking to downright hating what this band has put out, I can finally say that something was released that I love, it’s just too bad that it was something old rather than a new studio LP with the original line-up back together and playing the music that they are good at.