HARDLINE (& Savage Sin)
Bilzen [B]-South Of Heaven-15 September 2019
It is not often that HARDLINE visits the Benelux so when American singer Johnny Gioeli and his European bandmates visited Belgium HeadBangers LifeStyle’s Raymond Helebrand of RH-Design went to Bilzen to watch the show and shoot some pictures. He came back with the following report.
On one of the last summer days I drove to the always-nice Belgium for an evening with Hardline. They are currently on tour to promote their latest studio effort `Life’.
Although I have always enjoyed the music of Hardline and especially the 1992 debut album ‘Double Eclipse’, I somehow, never had the chance to see them live in action. So when I heard they would play in Bilzen (B), near Maastricht, I had to go.
I never heard of this band but I found out that they are already active since 2011. They released a full CD ‘Dirt’ under the name Nightmare and not so long ago they changed the name into Sin Savage and released the EP ‘Lost In The Dark’.
Like already mentioned they played well, the singing of Zan Geerarts was powerful and proved also to be an excellent guitar player. The other band members, Vasilli Golfidis (drums), Jasper Vanderheyden (guitar) and Andreas Timmerman (bass), made a good impression as well, so all ingredients are there to grow even further. The only thing I personally would do is to choose a more obvious musical direction because now the songs are all over the place. Some of them sounded like melodic rock with a sauce of 80s glam rock and moments later I had the impression I was listening to an 80s thrash metal band. To me it was all a bit too confusing. Other than that, Sin Savage is a good solid band and proved to be a nice opening act.
After a change over it became time for main band Hardline with only Johnny Gioeli (lead vocals) as an original 1992 member of the band and closest to an original member, the multi talented Alessandro Del Vecchio (keyboard, vocals), who is in the band since 2012. The line-up is completed by Mario Percudani (guitar, backing vocals), Anna Portalupi (bass guitar) and latest addition Marco Di Salvia (drums). I wasn’t really sure what to expect. BUT HEY!!! You know what, this line-up absolutely rocks!!! These 5 people are on fire and love what they do with Hardline.
If someone in the completely filled room, did miss that opening song he or she would definitely be woken up by 92s ,,Taking Me Down’’ and ,,Doctor Love’’; songs played with the enthusiasm of a new hungry band. Gioeli sounded great and what I loved the most is to see how much he was into playing these songs. They are very close to him as everyone could see, hear and witness.
And once that was out of the way, Hardline went back to full power with 92s ,,Life’s A Bitch’’ and ,,In The Hands Of Time’’. Damn, did I already mention this band rocks?! Mr. Del Vecchio, Percudani and Di Salvia make sure to play and hit the right notes, but Mrs. Portalupi makes sure the bass is pumping full power. What an amazing talented performer she is!! Absolutely a WOW factor to the band. The energy and pleasure that comes from this woman’s performance is outstanding!
The piano ballad ,,Love Is Gonna Take You Home’’ (from ‘Human Nature’) is the song that highlighted the admiration Johnny and Alessandro have for each other, both as human beings and as artists. Speaking of admiration, the next song was dedicated to Eddie Money who most recently passed away. ‘92s ,,Everything’’ would not have been written without him.
The encore is completed with another ’92 song ,,Rhythm From A Red Car’’. Once more Mr. Gioeli made sure to let us know how proud he is of this amazing band line-up, introduced every member once again and concluded tonight’s show with a bang.