Little Queen, a Heart and Pat Benatar tribute band. Opening act for the Emerald City 25th Anniversary Show at Sharkey’s in Liverpool. Little Queen was a special unexpected treat. Sheela and her crew are an authentic tribute band to Heart and Pat Benatar.
Little Miss Dynamite, as she is called exploded on the stage. She sings each song with passion and clarity. The band is a tight group. Perfect harmonies and authentic quality to the original Heart and Benatar music. I closed my eyes and swear I was hearing the original songs. I’ll be sure to catch this group again.
Then came Emerald City. Original lead Singer Jon Celi, original bass guitarist Mark Reagan, original lead guitarist Dave King, original Keyboardist Billy Blanchard joined by 2 drummers Earl Hamilton recent Emerald City drummer and Rick Caparco current Under The Gun drummer. You could tell when these guys took the stage they were ready to have fun. With a set list including great songs from Journey, Van Halen, Bon Jovi and Guns & Roses you can be sure you won’t be sitting still all night. I sure didn’t. Emerald City blew me away. Dave King is always right on and a fantastic guitarist and performer. I have seen him with Under The Gun and 3 Inch Fury, each time was never a disappointment. Solid on the Keys, Billy Blanchard fills out every song, whether piano or synthesizer, he is a perfect fit. Billy also plays with the 80’s tribute band Pop Rox. You also know Mark Reagan is on stage when you see the hair fly. I don’t think Mark can stand still, He really ads a lot of energy to the stage and that is on fat bass. Yes 5 strings on a bass makes for a big neck. Mark also plays in Under The Gun and Pop Rox. This brings us to the drummers, Rick Caparco, a 20 plus years veteran of Under The Gun sat in for the evening. This is a drummer you have to watch to really get how good he is. performance is always right on. I have seen him play with Under The Gun and Emerald City. No matter the band he puts it all on the stage. Rick can look like Animal from the Muppets sometimes, you must watch this drummer, a lot! By the way he plays drums left handed, so when Earl “THE PEARL” Hamilton took the set it was opposite his normal more familiar right-handed set. You wouldn’t know it. Any time I see Earl take the stage I know to hold on tight. Earl was a great addition to the evening. If you have seen him before you know what I am talking about. The whole evening was held together by the lead signer Jon Celi, who also plays keybord and rhythm guitar. Jon has the stage presence of the Steven Tyler and Jon Bon Jovi. Holding on tight to the microphone stand covered in bandanas he didn’t hold back anything. Jon also plays with Under The Gun. This night was a performance worth seeing. Even though all these guys play with other great local bands I hope we don’t have to wait for a 50th year anniversary to see them again.
*All Photos by Deanna Reed