Do you remember the days of arena rock, or wish that you did? The music of rock legends like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Queen is best experienced live. However, many of the artists of the era are either too old or too deceased to perform like they used to. Or else they just can’t get along … think Roger Waters (Pink Floyd), David Lee Roth (Van Halen). So, what’s a fan to do? Go see Yellow Brick Road!
A Little Background:
Yellow Brick Road started out 16 years ago as a tribute to Elton John. And much like the city around it, the band has gone through a lot of changes since then. Occasional experimentation with songs by arena rock bands slowly transformed the band from “tribute” to “cover”. The band garnered quite a following, playing hits from legends like Led Zeppelin, Queen, Pink Floyd, Aerosmith and The Who. Then, in 2011 the unthinkable happened … Brody Dolyniuk, the band’s founder and front-man left the band “to work on other projects.” While this might spell the end for most bands, Yellow Brick Road was too good to die.
Yellow Brick Road Today:
Brody passed the mic to current lead vocalist Kelly Christian two years ago. Watching Kelly perform with the band today, it is impossible to tell that he hasn’t always been in this role. The whole band is tight and brimming with talent. They blast out solid reproductions of the epic rock anthems of the 70’s and 80’s with fine attention to each note and detail. And better still, they appear to be having the time of their lives doing it.
That’s what takes a rock performance to the next level… They make you believe that they are having as much fun (maybe more) performing these great songs as the crowd is watching and listening. You can see the emotion from head to toe as Kelly Christian belts out crowd favorites like “Pride (In the Name of Love)” by U2 and “Good Times, Bad Times” by Led Zeppelin. There’s no doubt he is exactly where he wants to be.
Guitarist Mark Cole gets in on the fun as well, showing off with note-perfect renditions of rock’s timeless classics, all the while looking cool as a cucumber. David St. John and James Sloan keep the rhythm going on bass and drums respectively, never missing a beat. David also contributes vocals on a few songs, taking the lead for “Come Together”. And wait until you hear James Sloan belt out some vocals from behind the drums… I won’t spoil the surprise. Most of the time Jonathan Gilcrest rounds out the band on the keys, rocking the keyboard back and forth as he plays, having a grand old time, but then there are the truly special moments… Like when he reaches for his violin during The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” and dances up to the front of the stage with a twinkle in his eye for the most amazing violin solo. (Jonathan also plays guitar, sax, and flute.)
Yellow Brick Road not only manages to play the music of many legendary bands, they manage to sound more like the bands they play tribute to than most dedicated tribute bands. Their repertoire of classic rock anthems seems endless… They perform hits from Boston, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Who, U2, Queen, Jethro Tull, Whitesnake, Foreigner, Journey, and Aerosmith just to name a few. It’s like having every band from your favorite classic rock radio station brought to life on the stage in front of you. If you want a chance to live, or relive, the days of arena rock then get to a Yellow Brick Road performance. It’s the real deal!
Oh, and about those “other projects” that Brody left to work on… Brody put together a 30 piece symphonic orchestra, stage effects and the full membership of Yellow Brick Road to recreate the full arena rock experience. They played a few sold out performances in Las Vegas last year. I was lucky enough to see a recording of one of their shows at the Smith Center before it got pulled from YouTube, and it was nothing short of amazing. If you are lucky enough to have a chance at seeing this show live and in person I would highly recommend it. There’s really nothing else like it.
- You can catch Yellow Brick Road on Thursday nights 7-10pm (free) at the Fremont Street Experience, Friday Nights 10:30pm-12:30am at South Point Casino ($5 general, $10 VIP) and Saturday Nights 10pm-midnight at Texas Station (free).
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