One of the first acts that the casino hosted after remodeling the Bear’s Den Showroom was The Romantics who’s big hit was Talkin’ In Your Sleep back in the 80’s! In all honesty, it was never a favorite of mine nor did I really like the 80’s New Wave sound. I always considered myself amongst the minority when it came to bands during that era; I was more into Heavy Metal and started listening to the Neo Classical and Technical guitar move that was in full swing back then including Yngie Malmsteen, Vinnie Moore, David Chastain, Alex Masi, Eric Johnson, Steve Vai and of course, Joe Satriani.
But I digress!
Even though I didnt care much for The Romantics, I would never have thought that their turn out would have been one for the records! Even their tour manager looked at me and said, “This might be the worst turn out theyve ever had” He began as he looked the audience over. “No, on second thought, I guarantee this is the worse turn out theyve ever had!” Its not so much that they relied on ticket sales from those 16 people in attendance, playing for the casino, you get your guaranteed check! But Im sure most bands dont exactly play for the money. They play for their true fans and maybe they play for the sheer sake of just playing! Those thoughts were going through my mind when Brandon Gibbs, alongside his pal Joel Hoekstra, performed at 89 North.
To a concert photographer, when there is no “pit” or place set aside to shoot from, we dont like crowds! We have to be cognizant of our equipment so it dont get banged around or worse, get beer spilled on it! But I couldnt help but feel bad for Brandon and Joel when the crowd of about 50 were the only ones in attendance. Brandon is the lead singer, guitarist and writer for Devil City Angels and Joel has an astonishing career as a guitarist for Whitesnake, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Night Ranger. He’s also toured with Cher and is a solo artist in his own rite. That alone should have packed the house! But keeping to true professionalism, they played their hearts out! It was billed as a “Campfire Tour” and they shared stories one might hear sitting around the campfire. It was intimate and personal and I think the feed back Joel and Brandon received made them feel as if they were sitting at a family reunion campfire. At least I hope they did.
Here are a few choice pics from their performance. Check out the complete gallery here: https://www.robarmstrongphotos.com/Concert-Photography/89-North/Campfire-Tour-Joel-HoekstraBrandon-Gibbs/