When we interviewed heavy metal veteran and former Warlock singer Doro Pesch last week, we were slightly thrilled. Back in the 1980s and early ’90s, Doro, along with Lita Ford and the band Vixen, were the poster girls in hard rock and heavy metal. Super-talented but also blessed with good looks, there was nothing not to like. Of all of them, Doro had the strongest set of pipes. The woman could, and still can, wail. That she played the Bluebird Theater in Denver on Wednesday night was nothing short of a treat.W
Before that, there was some cool openers to enjoy. Sadly, we missed Arvada band Gomorrah due to a confusion over door and show times. They sound great online, so we hope to catch them in the future. We did see the end of Dead Temple‘s set, the Denver doom-rockers killing it with some finely crafted slices of female-fronted sludge. In fact, these guys have three, THREE, lady singers. It’s an interesting approach; the harmonic combo-vocal attack makes for a uniquely atmospheric experience. The songs are both anthemic and haunting and, with a couple more years of gigs under their collective belts, Dead Temple will be a force to be reckoned with.
After that, main support Archer, from Santa Cruz, California, played a strong set of thrash/power metal tunes with an old school feel. The cover of Megadeth’s “Tornado of Souls” was welcome, but Archer’s own songs, kicked off with a spooky classical music intro tape, are great. All three of this trio are excellent musicians, but Dylan Rose stands out – the man has a great metal voice, and he’s also a wonderful lead guitarist. Throwaway riffs are complimented with widdly solos. At one point, we thought they had a song titled “Culling the Wheat,” which would make no sense at all. Actually, it’s “Culling the Weak,” which is both better and terrifying. Great song though. This is a cool band, well worth keeping an eye on.
After that, it was time for Doro. After another spooky intro tape, the band strode out, followed by the woman herself. The Bluebird was far from sold out, but Doro performed as if she was at a packed Red Rocks.
The joy she puts into her set is infectious; she’s obviously having a blast as she high-fives everybody that she can reach, thrashing her blonde locks around just like she did when she first burst onto the scene. Those old Warlock tunes, like “Burning the Witches” and, of course, “All We Are,” get an airing. Other Doro beauties, like the gloriously cheesy “Raise Your Fist,” are impossible to not adore. Even the most hardened cynic would find it a challenge not to throw that fist up when ordered to by Doro.
By the end, Doro, her band, and most of the crowd is sweaty and extremely happy. Come back soon, madam.