As a female music journalist and an unapologetic groupie, I couldn’t help but feel a surge of excitement and anticipation as I made my way to The Brooklyn Bowl in Nashville, TN on Thursday, April 7th, 2023. The Winery Dogs, the power trio that has stolen my heart with their genre-defying sound and incredible musicianship, were set to take the stage.For those unfamiliar with this virtuosic trio, they are a powerful fusion of rock and blues, composed of the inimitable Richie Kotzen on vocals and guitar, the legendary Billy Sheehan on bass, and the ever-dynamic Mike Portnoy on drums. The Winery Dogs have been a personal favorite of mine since their inception in 2012, and their live performances never cease to amaze me.
From the moment they opened with “Gaslight,” a song from their latest album “III,” I knew I was in for an unforgettable night. Richie Kotzen‘s soulful voice and electrifying guitar riffs sent chills down my spine as Billy Sheehan‘s bass lines and Mike Portnoy‘s thunderous drumming created a powerful rhythmic foundation.
As the night progressed, I found myself getting lost in their music, with new songs like “Mad World” and “Xanadu” touching my soul and stirring my emotions. When they played fan favorites “I’m No Angel” and “Captain Love,” I couldn’t help but sing along at the top of my lungs, feeling a deep connection with the band and the audience around me. One moment that will forever be etched in my memory is Billy Sheehan‘s jaw-dropping bass solo. As a long-time admirer of his incredible talent, witnessing his virtuosity up close left me awestruck. I could see the passion in his eyes as he effortlessly executed complex tapping and slapping techniques, leaving me and the rest of the audience utterly mesmerized.
The evening seemed to pass by all too quickly, and as the band wrapped up their main set with the anthemic “Oblivion,” I found myself yearning for more. Luckily, The Winery Dogs returned to the stage for an encore, performing a heart-wrenching rendition of “Regret” that brought tears to my eyes. The night ended on a high note with “Elevate,” a song that has always inspired me to rise above life’s challenges.
As I left The Brooklyn Bowl, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for the experience. In a world where live music has become more precious than ever, The Winery Dogs reminded me of the power of connection that can only be found at a truly exceptional concert. It’s nights like these that make me proud to be a music journalist and an undying superfan, and I can’t wait for the next opportunity to witness their unrivaled musicianship and genuine passion for their craft in person.