Niagara Gazette

May 2, 2013

Have a laugh this weekend -- or take in Volbeat at the Rapids

By Thom Jennings
Night & Day

Night & Day — There are plenty of great entertainment options over the next few days, including a two-night stand from comedian Don Rickles over the border at the Fallsview Casino, country singer Steve Earle and former Journey frontman Steve Augeri perform at The Seneca Niagara Casino’s Bear’s Den, and Volbeat comes to The Rapids Theatre.

Rickles gained his reputation as an “insult comic.” Rickles made over 100 appearances on “The Tonight Show” when Johnny Carson was host and was a favorite of singer Frank Sinatra. He once joked about Sinatra that “when you enter the room you have to kiss his ring; I don’t mind but he keeps it in his back pocket.”

Rickles has appeared in many movies, one of his recent roles was as the voice of Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Story movies. He has appeared on every major late night talk show, and in numerous commercials including a recent appearance with Joe Pesci in a Snickers commercial.

The 86-year-old comedian performs two nights at the Fallsview casino, Thursday at 8:30 p.m. and Friday at 9 p.m., Tickets start at $40 and are available through Ticketmaster.

In 1998 Journey replaced longtime singer Steve Perry with Steve Augeri, who fronted the popular band from 1998 to 2006 when he was replaced by Jeff Scott Soto before the band found current lead singer Arnel Pineda.

Unlike Pineda, who is a near replica of Steve Perry, Augeri’s vocals have a gritty quality that gave Journey a unique sound during his tenure as the bands lead singer. His departure came after rumors that he was dealing with throat issues and lip-syncing at some Journey shows.

If there were throat issues, they appear to be resolved and fans of Journey will have a rare opportunity to see a former Journey lead singer in an intimate setting. Augeri appears at The Bear’s Den on Friday at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $55 and are available through Ticketmaster.

Three times Grammy Award winning country singer Steve Earle comes to the Bear’s Den on Saturday. The singer-songwriter started his career in Nashville in the early 1980’s and notable artists like Travis Tritt, and Vince Gill have recorded his songs. Tickets start at $50 and are available through Ticketmaster.

On Tuesday night at The Rapids Theatre Danish rockers Volbeat come to town with special guests All That Remains and Eye Empire.

While some people don’t like going to shows mid-week if they have to work the next day, this one may be worth going to work the next day a little tired ( I can’t encourage anyone to call in sick!)

Volbeat has a very unique sound which has been described as a combination of rock and roll, heavy metal, schlager and rockabilly. Now if you don’t know what “schlager” is, don’t feel bad because I had to look it up. It’s a fancy term for pop music used in places like Germany and The Netherlands. I thought it had something to do with a liquor with gold specks, but I was wrong.

Tickets for Volbeat are $35 in advance and $40 day of show.

Thom Jennings covers the music scene for Night & Day.