Skid Row is that iconic late '80s and early '90s metal band you either adored, worshiped and hold in high esteem as a ridiculously fun musical act that helped shape the rock landscape in a pre-grunge world, or that band that you're not quite sure if they're putting you on – or if they're really just that rock n' roll.
Rest assured, after selling over 20 million albums worldwide, Skid Row is as rock n' roll as it gets. And they're not hanging it up quite yet, either. "We love doing what we do," says Rachel Bolan, bassist and backing vocalist for the band since 1986. "We're fortunate to have had the success to do what we do and make new music."
"I didn't see us accomplishing that," Bolan says of the staggering amount of records that the band has sold to date. "It's all about setting and accomplishing goals. But I couldn't say for sure that our best days are behind us."
Still touring, still pumping out new music and still rocking – no matter where and when – these guys are like a metal steamrolling juggernaut, and they've been doing it for a quarter-century. And in regards to where and when they're doing it, let's just say that they'll play anywhere their fans are willing to see them. In fact, they've played a few gigs on cruise boats – a music cruise for true fans and folks looking to rock out on the seven seas. "You're there with the fans of your band," says Bolan, "interacting with them. We've done two in Sweden and three or four in the States. It's like taking a vacation and playing a gig at the same time."
Rock star vacations aside, there have been a few interesting developments with Skid Row over the past 26 years. Rock icon Sebastian Bach, vocalist for the band for nearly a decade between the mid-'80s to mid-'90s, has been rumored in an on-again, off-again manner to be reuniting with the band. Well, to this point, a reunion hasn't happened, and it doesn't appear likely to. And the band marches on without him.
"Next up, we're releasing five three-song EPs," he says. "We're trying to stay current. You have to keep up with things pretty quickly these days, with the speed that things move because of the internet."
Being aware of the current state of the industry and the speed with which technology is moving music along these days, it's probably a pretty damned good idea to keep up with the way things are moving. But then again, that's no surprise. These guys are veterans – they know the drill, and they're pretty adept at doing what they do.
"We're lifers," Bolan concedes. "This is what we do and this is what we want to do. You have to pay attention or you're left in the dust. I mean, I can flip the hell out of a burger, but I'd rather be playing music in front of hundreds of people."
Playing in front of hundreds – nay, thousands – of people is exactly what they will be doing this weekend, as they co-headline Sunday night's Budweiser National Stage at the Stars & Stripes Festival in downtown Mt. Clemens. (The weekend's other musical entertainment features local artists plus Tesla, Eddie Money, Buckcherry and more.) So, how fitting that Skid Row will be providing entertainment on a patriotic day of celebration, in light of the magnitude with which they've supplied countless hours of musical appreciation of all levels to the American public – and beyond. | RDW
Skid Row at Stars & Stripes Festival • 7/1, 8:45 p.m. • Downtown Mount Clemens • 586.493.4344 • starsandstripesfest.com
Other Can't-Miss Events
at Stars & Stripes
Classic K9 Show Trainers and their pooches come from all over North America to show their memorable and enjoyable canine arena show, great for all ages, that has been running for over two decades.
Banana Derby You wouldn't know it by its title, but this is a ridiculously entertaining and remarkable spectacle. We're not kidding when we say that this is literally a monkey riding a dog in a race around a track. Yes, a mini monkey jockey speeding around a track on the back of a canine. Remarkable.
BMX Show The adrenaline-fueled and super gnarly exhibitions of BMX riding are back! Check out the unique and thrilling experience of aerial bike acrobatics at its best – two stories off the ground!
Carnival What would a festival be without a proper carnival? There will be 12 rides for kids and 16 rides in the main carnival – plus tons of traditional games and great food!
Micro Reality Stock Car Racing How would you like to steer your very own stock car around the track? The only catch is that, while you're be behind the wheel, these are radio controlled mini cars! Fun for all ages.
Salute to Military Giving props, respect and recognition to the military is what the underlying celebration of American independence is all about. With a Vietnam Memorial Wall displayed for three days at the festival and other fantastic military recognitions throughout the weekend, take the opportunity to support our troops!