Last night, the legendary singer of Skid Row, Sebastian Bach, hit the stage in Sydney for the first time in seven years as part of his “18 and Live” tour.
The flaxen-haired front man performed at Sydney’s Metro Theatre, playing, in his words, a “sold out motherfucker.” Backed by guitarist Brent Woods, Bach was welcomed on stage by an audience that reeked of hair dye, baby powder and just a hint of mid-life crisis, and donned an AC/DC shirt that read “Dirty deeds done dirt cheap.”
First having performed in Australia 25 years ago, Bach set to prove that he hasn’t slowed down in the slightest. Treating the performance like foreplay, he opened the show with some of his recent tracks, teasing the audience with what was to come by repeatedly pointing out the fact that he had yet to play any of his 80’s hits.
Despite Skid Row’s tracks being Bach’s bread and butter, the energy during his solo work was never lacking. At one point, Bach comically rocked a black fedora thrown at him by a fan, eventually relinquishing it, as such headwear isn’t conducive to head-banging. Twirling his mic hazardously above his head, Bach had the audience on its toes in anticipation for the songs for which he knew we’d come.
Finally, he got to the main event, breaking out the aggressive, “Big Guns” and the audience ate it up. From there, Bach satisfied the crowd with his relentless hits, “Piece of Me,” “18 and Life,” “Monkey Business,” and, of course, “Youth Gone Wild,” the title of which he has tattooed across his right forearm.
Throughout the show, Bach entertained the crowd with his off-beat commentary. He didn’t shy away from unsubtly alluding to his hard feelings over being kicked out of Skid Row, and offered colourful opinions on Australian politics. Bach spoke of his love for Australia, voicing his appreciation for our apparent lifestyles: “Australians love to Rock and Roll,” he said. “You always want to party. You wake up and start drinking. I want to move to Australia.”
The highlight of Bach’s vocal performance was in his ballad, “I Remember You” during which Bach hit the highest notes with ease and reminded us that despite 25 years having passed, he is still the absolute best at what he does. Bach finished up his set to thunderous shouts for an encore and, upon re-emerging, closed the show with AC/DC’s “TNT,” a well-received performance that I would argue gives the Australian band a run for their money.
With his persistent energy, cheeky charisma, and seemingly effortless, ear-shattering vocals, Bach remains one of the best Rock front man of not just his generation, but each thereafter. If he wants to join us here in Australia, he’s more than welcome.