Sebastian Bach

Sebastian Bach Brings Hair Metal Back to San Francisco

in SF Concert Reviews by

Believe it or not, there was a time in history when San Francisco was considered a major player on the Rock n Roll club circuit. Way before tech, folk, and Fixies took over, way back in the 80s and 90s when clubs like the Stone and the Omni were home to some of the biggest acts in Hard Rock.

Sebastian Bach in high spirits at the Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco
Sebastian Bach was all smiles at the Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco

Those days are long gone now, so it’s always a breath of fresh air for local fans of the genre when a band from that era decides to make a surprise appearance. Last night at the Bottom of the Hill it was ex-Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach most famous for iconic hair metal songs like, “Youth Gone Wild,” “18 and a Life” and “I remember You.” But what you may not know is that he’s also starred on Broadway’s Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde, had a recurring role on the hit TV show The Gillmore Girls and has a best-selling book that he penned himself about his life with Skid Row. Is there anything this guy can’t do?

Well, you can add packing a club to the list, because although it was a Sunday night, the small yet trendy club in Potrero was completely full. But then again, as I’ve been saying for some time now, it really feels like classic rock is having a bit of a revival as of late so that could account for some of it. You can blame it on nostalgia or the fact that this brand of music has pretty much gone extinct, whatever the case, all had come out to show their support and to relive those precious memories from a time when spandex, hairspray, and Wayfarers were staples of everyday life.

Bach opened the show with a cover of the Jimi Hendrix classic “Little Wing,” which felt like a warm-up for the singer with the much more aggressive metal pipes. “Breaking Down” from Subhuman Race followed suit; another slower rock ballad that the singer told us in a recent interview feels pertinent because of today’s political climate.

They both set the stage for a series of much more aggressive songs to come, many of which displayed Bach’s still incredible power and range. Songs like “Big Guns,” “Sweet Little Sister” and “Monkey Business” blasted hard from the vintage cabs of the BoH, and still sound as good today as when they were first performed back in 1992.

Highlights of the show included a flawless rendition of the Journey classic “Lights,” and swell as an earth-shaking version of the classic teenage rebellion anthem that put Skid Row on the map, “Youth Gone Wild.”

The show was memorable and impressive. At 50 years of age, Bach still exudes the same dramatic stage presence and fiery energy that he did when he first broke through with Skid Row. He is without a doubt one of the last remaining great frontmen alive and so it’s understandable why so many of their fans are feverishly waiting for a reunion of the original lineup. Bach has expressed interest. Why the rest of the band still refuses to do so is anyone’s guess. The timing feels right and it’s been enough time now to simply bury that hatchet and give back to the fans that have stood by their side for all this time.

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Having released albums under Digital Nations, a label founded by Steve Vai, music critic Louis Raphael has remained deeply connected to the pulse of the San Francisco music scene. Following his tenure as the San Francisco Music Examiner for and, he embarked on creating Music in SF® to authentically highlight the vibrant offerings of the city's music scene.

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