Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, My Stories

Dokken – Return 2 The East Live 2016

I listened to this album when it came out in 2018 on Spotify. I felt like I needed to. And I have most of the Dokken albums except, “Broken Bones”, this one and “The Lost Tapes”.

Sebastian Bach on Twitter was asked a question recently, “which band does he believe squandered all their talents?” and he answered that with “Skid Row”, but goddamn, “Dokken” is probably the poster artist for “squandering talents”.

It’s Another Day (New Studio Track)

It sounds like a Lynch Mob track with Don Dokken singing.

Nostalgia and my memory of Dokken in the 80’s wants me to like this.

Kiss Of Death

It’s great to hear Pilson, Brown and Lynch rocking out again musically. The crowd at the ball park fakery is unsettling. Don’s voice is more bass than his earlier self. It’s not how I want to hear him, but I also understand that age is never kind to a voice.

When Lynch breaks loose in the lead break, you hear exactly why he’s a guitar hero. He plays it almost note for note as per the studio recording, however he adds in extra notes and phrases and they enhance the lead break.

And the song fades out.

WTF.

The Hunter

It’s up next but it doesn’t feel like it was the next song in the set list.

The riffs in this song are excellent and I’ve always liked the lead break in this.

And like “Kiss Of Death”, Lynch enhances it, evolves it, throwing in his years of experience of playing it live.

I’m not a fan of the overall vocal delivery or the backing vocals.

Unchain The Night

The songs don’t flow like a concert as there is dead silence between the songs, as one song fades out and the other begins.

Even though the live album was put together from different shows they could have made it flow like a concert experience from start to finish.

The riffage in this song is excellent. And the lead breaks again from Lynch shows an artist who is on top of his game and has been for a long time.

When Heaven Comes Down

This song doesn’t get the credit it deserves as a heavy metal cut, as the riffs are very NWOBHM.

Breakin’ The Chains

It’s sped up just a little bit and I like it. Vocally, everyone is delivering.

Listening to Lynch wail away with just Pilson and Brown providing the foundation is rawk and roll in the power trio sense.

Into The Fire

Another cut, that doesn’t get its dues as a metal cut. And Lynch decorates in between the riffs with little fills here and there.

The lead break also has some fast picked lines added to it.

Dream Warriors

How can you not like this song?

The way the drums introduce it, the spooky clean tone riff and then the head banging distorted riff.

Lynch’s tone in the clean tone verses is excellent.

Tooth And Nail

I always enjoy listening to the lead breaks on this song. Especially the finger tapped section.

And “Tooth And Nail” goes straight into “The Hunter” but its faded out.

Why they decided to sequence it like this and not follow the actual concert set list is mystifying.

Alone Again

Although it’s a ballad, it’s a favourite.

Lynch doesn’t miss a note in the lead break.

The best part of the song is the C to D to Em chord progression, while Don is singing “Alone Again” without you over and over again. It would have been great to hear em jam on that a little bit more.

It’s Not Love

It’s like an anabolic ZZ Top cut, a perfect song for the live show.

After the lead break, the band is jamming and Pilson steps on the fuzz to become the centre point.

There’s some more jamming, some crowd participation and they move back into the song.

In My Dreams

Lynch is tuned down to cater for Don’s voice and the riffs suddenly sound menacing.

I think it’s safe to say that the lead break in this song is iconic. You can only play it one way, and that’s the way it was recorded.

Heaven Sent (Acoustic Studio Bonus Track)

This song would always work as an acoustic cut, because its blues based and the blues started off on acoustic guitars.

Will The Sun Rise (Acoustic Studio Bonus Track)

A nice re-imagining of a stellar rock song.

Actually the two acoustic tracks are the real highlights here.

And for their return to the East, it would have been great if they did a different set list instead of paying homage to the original set list. But they didn’t.

If you want to hear Dokken at their best, then 1988’s “Beast from the East” is their piece d’resistance and one of my top 5 live albums, along with “Live After Death” from Iron Maiden, “Tribute” from Ozzy, “Alive III” from Kiss and “Live At Budokan” from Dream Theater.

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