JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

July 10, 2014
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Michael Insuaste
Photos by Donna Lynch

John Corabi

John Corabi Commands An Exquisite Solo Acoustic Performance

Do you know who John Corabi is? Well, you should! Here's a little history on Mr. Corabi:

John has sung with a few great bands in his day, beginning with a relatively unknown group called Angora before forming Saints Or Sinners with Racer X guitarist Bruce Bouillet, Juan Alderete on bass and drummer Scott Travis, who now plays with Judas Priest. SOS evolved into the band that brought John fame, The Scream, who formed in 1991. However, most people remember John Corabi best for briefly replacing Vince Neil in Motley Cure when they released their self-titled LP in 1994. With the music scene and his career changing, John then found himself hooking up with KISS’s Bruce Kulick and forming Union in 1998.

John has played in many on-and-off bands since Union, and today finds himself as a solo act on tour performing acoustically. John stopped at TREES in Dallas, Texas on July 10th, 2014, and though the attendance was light, the intensity of his music was large.

Sporting a cool, ragged-hippie look with a full beard and long hair, John looked like a cross between Zakk Wylde and Rob Zombie. Very cool, indeed. His one-man acoustic performance took us on a journey through the good, the bad and the ugly of his entire career, reliving his high successes and the many changes that have led him to where he is today. 

John's performance and storytelling kept the small crowd’s attention with songs like "Never Say Goodbye" and "Father Mother Son", a song he wrote after watching a TV commercial that left a profound impact on him and left him a bit teary-eyed explaining. To lighten the mood, he threw in an uncompleted number about his dog, followed by "If I Had a Dime." By now, John was very comfortable in his solo set.

He told a great story about meeting Aerosmith during the Motley Crue recording session that found him hanging with his childhood heroes Steven Tyler and Joe Perry and, on occasion, playing Aerosmith songs with them. John had everyone laughing at his Steven Tyler impression before playing "Seasons of Wither", a highlight of this evening played with a lot of heart and soul.

As expected, he performed his era’s Crue hit, "Hooligans Holiday", although with quite a different, bluesier take than what we are familiar with. He then played a montage of songs from his past mixed with a few more familiar songs like "Let My Love Shine In" and "Misunderstood" before breaking out a few well-known classics like "Home Sweet Home" and "Signs," the classic 70's tune made famous by Tesla in 1990.

Asking for requests, he was promptly answered by a die-hard fan who yelled for "Drifter", a vocally-complicated song that he had not performed in a long time. He obliged as best he could, playing most of the song without finishing it. From there he laid into The Beatles "We Can Work It Out" and had most of the crowd singing along. 

I didn't plan to go see John Corabi at Trees this evening; it was a last minute invite. I am sure glad I did, though, as I witnessed a great singer/songwriter in his rawest form: just himself, his voice and an acoustic guitar. Well done, my brother!