(Okay, I actually started writing this up back in February, but since I’m so lazy, I never finished it. Well, better later than never!)
w/ Bad Marriage & Foundry
February 14, 2020
My fourth time going to the awesome Saenger Theatre in beautiful Downtown Pensacola did not disappoint! I immediately bought a ticket to this show as soon as they went on sale last year. Even more cool is that this was the first night of the tour.
I figured it would probably be a two or two-and-a-half hour show featuring Tesla only, but the day of the show I saw the Saenger’s website list Bad Marriage as the opening act. Didn’t have a clue who they were, but cool, more bang for my buck. Then once showtime came around, yet another band was on the bill… Foundry!
I wasn’t familiar with Foundry either. Featuring Mark Boals (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen vocalist plus tons of other bands), they were decent but somewhat generic sounding with their modern rock/metal radio sound. Mark sounded good, though.
Looks like the Las Vegas-based band originally was a three-piece featuring Baton Rouge vocalist Kelly Keeling. In addition to Boals, the current lineup features guitarist Chris Iorio (ex-Adelita’s Way) and drummer Marc Brattin (couldn’t find any info on who else he’s played with!). Bassist Scott Griffin (ex-L.A. Guns/ex-Ratt… the Bobby Blotzer version) performed with them, but all of the band’s social media pages say Bjorn Englen (Dio Disciples) is their bassist.
Looking at the resume of these guys, I’m guessing Chris Iorio is calling the shots on the musical direction of the band as Adelita’s Way was a pretty generic modern hard rock/heavy metal band itself, despite achieving some minor success in the late 2000s/early 2010s.
The band had a few technical and timing issues. Given that it was opening night and it seems like almost all of these guys are journeymen that are constantly busy with other band projects, there’s probably not a lot of time for Foundry to gel together. I don’t mind. It’s a rock ‘n’ roll show, it’s not supposed to be perfectly polished and shiny!
Next up was Bad Marriage, a group based out of the Boston area. I skimmed over their bio online earlier in the day and the description touted them as students of ’70s and ’80s classic hard rock (inspired by AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses & Aerosmith) that often threw in a number of cover songs from that era into energetic their set. That sounds about right. Some people in the row behind me knew of them already, had seen them previously and were excited to see them again.
I thought the visual of the band was a bit strange. Vocalist Jon Paquin looked like he stepped out of the 1970s with his tan slacks, dress shoes (or boots?), button up big collared shirt, scarves and a white fringe jacket (he would later don a sailor’s cap as well, completing the yacht rock look). Granted, he looked cool, but the drummer was smartly dressed in a sensible black dress shirt (in music videos I’ve seen him wearing a tie and a blazer!) while the other three members of the band were dressed like sleaze rockers. Maybe that’s why they call themselves Bad Marriage… because they don’t look like they belong together!
The performance itself was good and energetic. By the time Bad Marriage took the stage, the theater was just about full and everyone seemed to love them. The crowd especially went nuts when they performed their version of Aerosmith’s “Toys in the Attic”. They also did a cover of Tom Petty’s “Honey Bee”. Paquin comes across like a star and is very charismatic with his mannerisms and dancing onstage. Their original music is decent and is much more in line with what I like to listen to.
Next up were the headliners… Tesla!