I have told you about some great adventures lately. My reviews for Abbath, Girlschool, and Blind Guardian speak for themselves. Nearly a scorching new season is arriving, and I am still amazed from going non-stop of covering the best of the best of the best these past three months, so seeing the Dead Daisies kick off their ten-date U.S. tour at Racket was a great way to wrap up a kick-ass Spring 2024 in concerts.

Food is my other passion in life. I try to eat at a local restaurant with varied options for comfort food, with the additional incentive of it being close to the venue. Arriving in the city way before doors opened at 7:00 PM, I power walked to the Empire Diner to enjoy a well-portioned meal. The bill was a little above the costly side, but the Empire special blend burger was good. The wedge salad paired nicely as a beastly duo with the burger, and the green pressed juice consisting of kale, apple, ginger, cucumber, and parsley was also tasty. With a stomach full of pricy but tasty goodness, I coasted back to West 16th Street and soaked in the tropical waves of the mild June air quality with more time to spare outside of Racket as the sun was still beaming. I did the usual, like checking my email and social media, planned out some upcoming family time with Mia Madre, and laughed to myself like a payaso if Mick Jagger or Keef Richards stopped inside the Western Beef Market next to the venue for a drink and maybe a snack before the Rolling Stones performed a surprise gig last October at Racket. Your mind begins to wander when you are waiting around with little else to do.

After about an hour and then some of hanging out, the doors finally opened up, and inside me, the other early attendees went. Racket is one of the swankier venues I have ever been to in New York. My observation would prove me right as the night went on with more people showing up. At around 8:00 PM, the NYC-based rock four-piece Tempt started the show with an energetic but short set of L.A Guns-inspired hard rock. Although not the most dreadful I have seen, where the compositions lacked some variety, the musicianship in Tempt was full-on in perfect sync, especially with Harrison on guitar and Nicholas on the drums, making their style of rock flow without confusion or delay.


Photo Credit: Mathieu Bredeau

Next up was the additional reason for many to attend this show as I was well aware of how well-known Killcode is in New York – I saw how revered they are live, being that the Dead Daisies are picking local support throughout this tour. Killcode played well and sounded good, with stage presence and all to warm up the crowd for the headliner


Photo Credit: Mathieu Bredeau

Last but not least, at around 9:45 came the main event for a loaded audience at Racket. Formed in the early 2010’s, the Dead Daisies is the bankrolled brainchild of David Lowy, a very wealthy and successful Australian businessman. He’s got buckets of ducats, as Shakespeare once wrote. When I first saw the Dead Daisies in 2021, I was blown away by how insane the energy and sound were from the soulful presence of Glenn Hughes at Sony Hall. The lineup this time around was slightly changed up from the concert prior, with the return of the gnarly, gritty voice of John Corabi as their front-man and surrounded by shredder Doug Aldrich, the new bass-man of Michael Devin, the live drummer for Black Sabbath named Tommy Clufetos, and of course, David Lowy. Depending on their availability, some folks like David have the allowance to hire a varied all-star roster of musicians to write music and go on tour.

Overall, the set-list offered a selection of cuts from their growing discography. Live debuts of songs like Light ’em Up, and older tracks like Lock ‘n’ Load, and Bustle and Flow sounded great, as did their tributes to the Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Fortunate Son and I’m Ready, by Muddy Waters to appear on a future Dead Daisies blues tribute project. David and his guns for hire played about an hour-plus set and rocked it. We were glad to watch them having a blast on stage as John Corabi sounded spicy as he provided some entertaining stage raps between songs. I was third row and made the most of my spot as I sometimes watched and sometimes skanked around, not caring who I knocked myself into. Worth it. Tommy’s drum solo was a high-energy, one-of-a-kind hell of a time. There aren’t many super-groups around having as much fun, control, and passion as the Dead Daisies. The Stones-like energy they brought to Racket was remarkable.

Another major highlight of the night was the creative band introductions. Throughout them, all five band members provided an example of an influence on their playing style while John established who was playing on stage. David did a tribute to the genuine classic of AC/DC’s Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap! Doug showcased his love of Jimmy Page by shredding a tight sample of Led Zeppelin’s pre-metal classic of Whole Lotta Love on his golden Les Paul! Doug pulled off some fine guitar solos throughout the performance. John’s paying homage to the Who’s Join Together also ruled, with the only outlier being Tommy’s tribute to Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes. Although both hail from Detroit, and with Seven Nation Army not being a bad song, a seventies-oriented anthem by a vintage Motor City artist or group like the Alice Cooper band would have slotted in a lot better to ride along with the theme. School’s Out or Under My Wheels, anyone?

Stepping aside from that, the entire band kept the party going and everyone rocking out for the show’s remaining time. The band played until closing out a literal hot time with Long Way to Go and a mighty cover of the Beatles’ Helter Skelter. If you haven’t seen this band live yet for some reason or another, go for it! You’ll have a great time. The acoustics and lines of sight is perfect for a venue like Racket to see a show at in the city. The sound carried well wherever you stood, with plenty of general admission space to see an act without anyone obstructing your view. Altogether, it was a great show.

Dead Daisies

Photo Credit: Mathieu Bredeau

All Photos taken by Mathieu Bredeau