Check out this bad review!
Shuttered talent--Krieger can't
close in on The Doors' legacy
By Dennis Polkow
SPECIAL TO THE TRIBUNE
Web-posted: Monday, August 11, 1997 12:18am CST
Thirty years ago, Robby Krieger dared to buck
rock convention and cliches as the guitarist of
While the rest of rock music was focused
around the all-holy electric guitar and the
many aggressive, in-your-face ways the
instrument's sound could be manipulated and
distorted through amplification, Krieger's
approach emphasized subtlety, melodic
inventiveness and clean lead lines.
Pioneering the use of the bottleneck as a guitar
accessory and using flamenco technique to
express his extraordinary improvisational
prowess, often Krieger's genius within one of
rock's most innovative and artistic quartets
was as much about his sense of when not to
play as much as when he should.
It would be great to report that there has been
a significant post-Doors musical life for
Krieger, but alas, judging from Saturday
night's performance of The Robby Krieger
Band at Navy Pier's Skyline Stage, such is not
the case. Krieger and company opened with a
keyboardless rendition of Kurt Weill's
``Alabama Song.'' Krieger was singing with
such a nasal twang and so out of tune that it
was barely recognizable as a vintage Doors
That problem was somewhat solved by having
bassist Berry Oakley Jr.--son of Allman
Brothers member Berry Oakley Sr.--share
verses with Krieger for Doors classics such as
``Five to One,'' ``Break on Through,'' ``Love
Me Two Times,'' ``Spanish Caravan,''
``Riders on the Storm,'' ``L.A. Woman,''
``Light My Fire'' and ``The End.'' But the
overall effect was that of a garage band
dragging the Doors song canon through the
The Doors were an improvisational quartet
who rose to unusual heights in live
performance because of the unique synergy
among its members, but here, Krieger
wallowed aimlessly in Van Halen-like guitar
riffs supported by the lifeless rhythm guitar of
son Waylon Krieger, the dragging drums of
Ray Mehlbahm and the pathetic keyboard
lines of Dale Alexander.
The fact that Krieger is the composer of so
much Doors material gives him license to
trample upon it if he so chooses, but it was
painful to sit through. Even the very elements
that highlighted Krieger's original
contributions to the band were sadly nowhere
The mere fact that the show was in effect a
tribute to The Doors was in and of itself quite
surprising, since the assumption would be that
someone of Krieger's obvious songwriting and
performing talent would have evolved beyond
Yet even in performing cover tunes by Herbie
Hancock and the Allman Brothers, the Robby
Krieger Band was a great disappointment.
The good review
Here's my little concert report from last night at Navy Pier in Chicago, the Doors' guitarist Robby Krieger played one KICK ASS show!! Lots of hippies lots of late teenagers/early 20 year olds having fun. He played such great, classic songs, including Alabama Song, Back Door Man, Five to One, Street Fighting Man (Rolling Stones), Break on Through (W/Dead Cats), Riders on the Storm, L.A. Woman, Peace Frog, Light My Fire (With an AWESOME version of the Celebration of the Lizard in the middle), and finally, of course, THE END (Both versions mixed in). It was a show that was sooo cool, and I recorded most of it (I apolgize, I didn't know the show was going to be 2 hours, and it was only a 90 min. tape, so I missed Peace Frog, Riders, L.A. Woman, and an Allman Brothers cover). But I did get all the great stuff, and I was in the 8th row, so it's almost an excellent recording.
Webster Theatre, Hartford, CT
by Chris Reese
A wildly enthusiastic crowd of 750 or more came out to the Webster Theatre in Hartford last Thursday night to check out the Robby Krieger Band. Anticipation was in the air throughout the performances of the local warm-up bands, as the diverse audience awaited the arrival onstage of the legendary guitarist from the Doors. First, second, and third generation Doors diehards would all get their wish soon enough, and then some...
The latest incarnation of the Robby Krieger Band continues to flex its rock chops as evidenced by a revamped set list since their last trip through Connecticut in November last year. Larger vocal contributions came from hard-charging bassist Angelo Barbera and offspring/protg Waylon Krieger further realize his rock singer potential each time his Dad's band hits the road.
The two hour+ set included some nice twists and surprises, such as keyboard player Steve Bach's accordion on 'Alabama Song', and Robby pulling out an electric solid body ax for an extended flamenco intro to one of his signature tunes, 'Spanish Caravan'. The special treat of the evening, was the guest performance of British guitarist / ex-Animal (and current Wallingford, CT resident) Hilton Valentine, who humbly and graciously added his Strat licks to 'House of the Rising Sun', 'Roadhouse Blues' and 'Little Red Rooster'.
The mood of the evening was established early, when Krieger blazed through his solo in the opening 'Peace Frog', then traded loose guitar turns with Waylon on 'Love Me Two Times'. Shortly thereafter, the band exhibited their ability to stretch things out, turning toward Robby's jazz influenced solo work on 'Snake Oil' and 'Revelation'. The crowd was also treated to some tunes not heard on recent tours, such as 'Maggie M'Gill', 'Gloria', and an apparently spontaneous 'When The Music's Over'. Robby and Waylon shared the wailing feedback guitar genius of this Doors epic - a recreation, by the way, of a solo once described by Robby as his favorite he had ever recorded.
The band was in good spirit and humor throughout and brought the 35 minute encore portion to a rousing, crowd-pleasing climax with an extended 20 minute version of 'Light My Fire', giving each band member an opportunity in the limelight.
The furthest thing from a nostalgia act, Robby Krieger says his guitar playing continues to improve - and I believe him. I would also like to believe Waylon Krieger's praise as the show closed for 'the best audience on this whole tour'. That might just get the Robby Krieger Band to book another Hartford date very soon: Do It, Robby, Do It!
SET LIST: Peace Frog, Love Me Two Times, Snake Oil, Alabama Song/Back Door Man/Five To One, Changeling, Break On Through, Revelation, House of the Rising Sun, Road House Blues, Maggie M'Gill, Spanish Caravan, When The Music's Over, (encore) Gloria, Not To Touch the Earth, Little Red Rooster, Light My Fire.
I've been a fan of the Doors since 1974 when my high school marching band, of which I was a member, played "Light My Fire". Up until that time I listened to classical music exclusively so "LA Woman" became the first non-classical LP I had ever purchased. Well, years later (1993) I had the opportunity to hear Robbie Krieger and his band play at JJ Blues Downtown in San Jose, California and was VERY happy to have gone. I'd like to recommend that any of you who are fans of the Doors catch Robbie's act. A long time has come and gone since Jim Morrison passed away and Kriegr has not been idle during that time nor has he become an RnR fossil cashing in on his past glories. Yes, his current band is configured much the same as the Doors with the main difference being Krieger handles the vocals these days so his band is a power trio rather than a trio plus vocals. His keyboardist still plays bass pedals just like the good old days and (I know this is sacriledge) is quite possibly a better musican than Ray Manzarek. The drummer looks like he's pretty young but is quite competent and obviously LOVES his job. The overall sound is tight without being over-rehearsed. Krieger himself was totally mind blowingly good. The band played a good mix of material from Krieger's solo releases as well as selections from the Doors repertoire -- mostly stuff Krieger had a hand in writing. His instrumental version of "You're Lost Little Girl", I think any of you would agree, is so hot that it redefines the song and is basis for my nomination of Krieger as guitar god of the 90s. If you go hear Robbie Krieger you'll be happy when you leave because it's like visiting an old friend whom you've lost track of until recently and finding out they haven't just been sitting around. They've actually grown and now give you even more reason to like them than they did when you first met them. Singing "Mr. Mojo Rising" with the rest of the audience at the appropriate place in "LA Woman" was as close to a religious experience as I've had in a very long time. Still a fan, always a fan
Westbury Music Fair, NY
by Jennifer Mosscrop OoOsHBaG@aol.com
On Saturday, August 18 I was lucky enough to hear The Robby Krieger Band play in Long Island at The Westbury Music Fair. This is a perfect venue to see them in because it is a small place with a rotating stage so anywhere you sat, the view was great. It was my first time experiencing Robby Krieger in concert and in the flesh! They played a short set but it was an amazing one. To my surprise, the band was belting out Doors songs: 'Light My Fire', 'When the Music's Over', 'Riders on the Storm', and 'Not to Touch the Earth', to name a few.
'Light My Fire' was something else when they dropped a bass solo in the middle of it. Krieger's son Waylon was on rhythm guitar and helped with the vocals. I didn't know it was Robby's son until after the show; Boy do they look alike!
After the show, I decided to stalk the band around the back of the venue along with about ten others. There was a twenty-minute intermission before Foghat came on anyway. Forty-five minutes later, the man himself came out with his snakeskin blazer over a red T-shirt and old blue jeans (I've always loved the way he dressed). Robby seemed like he was in a rush but he signed everybody's things. But I always told myself that I just want to shake his hand because I have so much respect for the man. So while my boyfriend got his autograph for me, I wanted that handshake. When Robby came up to me he was looking for what I wanted him to sign, but I asked him if I could shake his hand and I guess I caught him off guard because he bashfully grinned at me and he shook my hand. What a great moment that was! After that, I pretty much forgot that Foghat was on already nor did I care. I was happy that I completed one of my goal. The Robby Krieger Band drove off in a cherry red van most likely heading to New Jersey since they had a concert at Asbury Park the following day. It truly was a night to remember. Robby, you made me a happy girl!
This is Jason coming to you live from the University at Buffalo where we have just witnessed the concert experience of a lifetime 8-)!!!!! Robby Krieger (The Doors) has a new band (The Robby Krieger Band) 8-)!!!!! The band consists of Robby, his son, Bob Oakley,jr., "waa-waa"watson, and dale alexander!!! They were incredible. They played such songs as Break on Through, Peacefrog, L.A. Woman, Roadhouse, Backdoor Man, and a special version of Light My Fire where the band just played the background and had the crowd sing as a tribute to Jim Morrison 8-)!!!! The whole band was just phenominal on the guitars. Robby played great solos, and "waa-waa" just did his thing. If you have never heard a waa-waa you are missing something. The Whole crowd went crazy during the show. It was awesome!! If the Robby Krieger Band come to an area near you, check them out, they are excellent guitarists 8-)!!!!!!!!!
Jason Levine(aka The Grim Reaper)