It was sure to be a powerful night. When the supergroup known as the Dead Daisies arrived in Cleveland, everyone knew that they were in for a dynamic night of rock from some of the best in the business. What did come as a surprise was how good local openers, The Velvematics, were.

Opening the show with "Black Leather," this gritty rock band showed early on that they were serious openers and that their drummer, Jay Power, was a beast. His playing was very tight, accurate throughout, and this drove the whole band onward. Lead singer Jonnie Vincenzo said that all of the songs are things that he has really lived, right down to the trailer park lamentations of "Moonshine And Rain."

"I lived it all," he told me.

"We write all of our own material and I sing what I have lived. That's why I don't do a lot of love songs."

Well, that was kind of sad. Still, songs like "Moonshiner's Life" certainly shows a drinking side, but the chops of the band show that they have spent a lot of time learning their craft, too. Bassist Russell Bombik not only rocked the low end nicely but added a lot to band's overall stage presence, making the fun visual as well as sonic.

Hookers And Blow take over

Not everyone knew the name, Dizzy Reed, but after covers of "Don't Cry," "I Used To Love Her," and "Sweet Child O' Mine," much of the crowd with a brain in their heads soon discovered that this was the keyboardist from Guns N' Roses, frontman of the band Hookers And Blow.

Oddly enough, the musicianship was so tight and the music that the band writes themselves, is so good, that they could afford to lose a cover or two just to highlight what they do more. The first half of the set was a display of amazing talent, keyboard solos were extant, and the crowd was moved.

Reed's playing style is very hard rock-based, and roots of Don Airy, Deep Purple, and even Ray Manzerik could be heard.

However, the band has crafted their own style and it is this mixing of ideas that have the band sounding as fresh as new bread. Reed is one of the best keyboardists alive in rock and roll today and his band keeps up note for note.

Hopefully, Hookers And Blow takes off to the point where they are headlining their own shows because they were a treat to hear.

The second half of their set was a bit more "mainstream" than the first, but they proved that they are a real force in rock today.

The Dead Daisies arrive on stage

Over the years, original Motley Crue singer, Vince Neil, had issues with his voice. The man who took over when Neil briefly departed, John Corabi, showed on August 15th that he does not. While only doing one Crue song (kind of) with the heavy closer "Helter Skelter" from the Beatles (made famous as a Motley Crue cover on "Shout At The Devil"), a cover of C.C.R.'s "Fortunate Son," "We're An American Band," and other covers showed that the pipes are intact.

However, it was the originals that really led this band to rock the crowd. Every song that they have, from "Revolution" to the blistering "Midnight Moses" was delivered with an accuracy that one would expect from a band full of legends.

As a matter of fact, lead guitarist Doug Aldrich would be on the cover of every magazine from here to Budapest if real music, craftsmanship, and style were still important in the world. With a style similar to Zakk Wylde and Ritchie Faulkner of Judas Priest, many people in the crowd found themselves waiting to see what solo he was going to come up with before the first verse was done each time that song began. It was a pleasant anticipation that never failed to deliver.

When asked if he felt that he too should be a household name, he said that "it doesn't matter to me. I just love doing what I do. It's all good."

He added that "I've never had a perfect show," when he was complimented on his seemingly flawless fretwork.

Considering that Whitesnake, of which he was a part of, once had virtuosos like Adrian Vandenberg and Steve Vai as a guitarist, it is clear to see that he is one of the best. He was also in Dio, a band known to have paved the road for all different styles of hard rock and heavy metal.

The Dead Daisies' bassist Marco Mendoza, also from Whitesnake and legends Thin Lizzy said, "Oh, it's a long story," when he was asked how all of these people from such a wide scope came to form as a unit.

"How did you find time to even come together," the bassist was asked, "It was hard," he replied. Mendoza then patted David Lowry on the shoulder and said affectionately, "He founded. I came second, I mean, we all know each other."

Lowry joked back quoting Abbot and Costello and asked, "Who's on first?"

"Go to Dead Daisies dot com," Mendoza also encouraged.

"It is all there."

Next, Lowry and Corabi were asked, "Since so many of you in the band have been around for so long, when it comes time to make new material, are there certain songs that you have written already that you know that you want to do something with or is it all new?"

They both shake their heads as Corabi takes a drag from his e-cig. "No, all new," he said behind sunglasses, fresh from the stage. He was humble when told that his voice was very solid and on point during the whole night of blistering rock.

The drumming of Deen Castronovo, former Journey and Bad English drummer, was not only as accurate as a sharpshooter all night, but his drum solo really was memorable. In rock n' roll, that is not always an easy feat to accomplish.

The band had just returned from Europe and when asked how the fans reacted to their music, Castronovo said that it was a positive vibe, very good. He was called "the newest member" from the stage Corabi, and when asked when he joined, he replied, "November of 2017." That was quite a bit of music to learn before a tour of the E.U., but he pulled it off.

Suddenly, the time was up and that meant that the Dead Daisies had to roll on to the next city. This was first the show of the US tour, after all. If this was any hint of what the rest of America has in store for it, this is going to be a great late-summer/fall for fans of real rock and roll.