Photo Gallery: Tommy V Live, Coming Full Circle
Coming full circle; A feeling that we have come to a familiar place, but we are somehow different. This is how I felt Saturday night, February 13, 2021, at Frog Alley in Schenectady
I almost felt as if it was 2019-Pre Covid- The band was doing soundcheck, the lighting and sound engineers moving quickly around, doing last-minute adjustments. Seeing the ‘crowd’ starting to grow. As a photographer, I was feeling that familiar twinge of excitement course through my veins. Doing my own settings check; anticipating how I will be able to capture the excitement of the night, for those not able to attend, as well as marking memories for those who did come out,
Familiar, but different. The crowd was there, but it was a ‘Covid-sized” crowd. Fans were not milling about, greeting each other at different tables, nor trying to say hello to the band. They were restricted to their seats. But, that restriction did not stop the excitement as soon as the first song began.
The crowd cheered as they heard Tommy V Live! start things off with Ozzy Osbourne’s: “Bark at the Moon.”
The sounds filled the room, the lights made it feel as you were at a much larger venue.
Tommy V Live! is a familiar local favorite, with Tommy Verrigni’s strong vocal range, belting classic metal tunes of the ’80s, mixed with Ed Knight’s wailing Lead Guitar and vocals, John Dodge aka “DIDGE” –Deep, heavy Bass Guitar and Vocals, and Eric Elmore keeping the heartbeat on Drums. It is a perfect blend. The band is very tight, and always on spot!
Familiar, but different. In a ‘normal’ world, the dance floor would be packed. I would be trying to navigate around the dancers flying arms, and teetering drinks, but again, it is not a normal time. I think there is a new dance craze going on, as I saw so many tapping feet and sitting-in-the-chair- wiggles from so many fans. They felt it. The music was making them feel alive, making them feel normal-ish.
Next up, a helping of Blackout, by The Scorpions. Again, familiar as the fans hung onto every word, every beat, every strum. I do get a sense, that the band needed this as much as the fans. You can feel the excitement in the room. Each, feeding off the other. What an amazing exchange.
The night progressed with two full sets of magic, one song pounding after the prior, trying to fill in every moment before the Covid curfew.
This article would not be complete, without mentioning the behind-the-scenes efforts of the ‘unsung heroes’ of most bands. The people who make the fan experience even better! That would be the lighting and sound. Without their expertise, this show might have looked like most others.
Ryan Nilsen (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Randy Decker of Decks Pro Lighting are fantastic team. They work together to raise the level of the fans’ experience.
As we approach spring and summer, we all look forward to getting some of the music back. Probably outdoor shows. While some bands have cocooned for the past year, this band has kept its toes in the water. They were allowing us to feel familiar, although different
I asked Tommy about this past year:
“It’s been an amazing ride. We’ve had to deal with the pandemic. We’ve also pressed on as a band and kept rehearsing through this whole time to keep the shows tight and strong with new material. We’d love to give a shout-out to all those fans that are diehards that through this pandemic have been tried and true and showed up for our shows. We have a full calendar lined up at Wicked in Clifton Park, NY and we will be returning to Frog Alley. Stay tuned as we will announce our shows as they come up.
Tommy added, Love to give a shout out to our reinforcements; sound engineer, Ryan Nilsen, and our light engineer Randy Decker. ***Remember due to continued Covid regulations, seating will be limited.
Their last show before the pandemic was Sharpshooters on March 14, 2020. It was the St. Patty’s bash. They had a tremendous turnout and it was rocking! And then, the bottom dropped out.
In full circle, their next show will be a day before the year anniversary of their last pre-pandemic show, when things were normal. Our next show will be on March 13, 2021, at Wicked in Clifton Park, NY. We hope to see you there!
SETLIST: First Set
Bark at the Moon
Only One Way to Rock
Saturday Night (high and Dry)
Hellion (Electric Eye)
Teeze Me, Please me
Welcome to the Jungle
Unchain the Night
Lack of Communication
Someone Get Me a Doctor
Whole Lot of Rosie
Don’t Tell me you Love Me
Love Ain’t No Stranger
Last in Line
SETLIST: Second Set
Flight of Icarus
In and Out of Love
Flying High Again
Uncle Tom’s cabin
Dreams in The Dark
No More Tears
Rock You Like a Hurricane
Still of The Night
Whole Lotta Love/ Dazed and Confused
Two Minutes to Midnight