LIVE: Johnny Morse All-Stars / Mike and the Monsters / Harmony Rocks @ Cohoes Music Hall, 04/06/2022

It’s Saturday night in Cohoes NY. I’m at Cohoes Music Hall, accompanying the Mayor of Nippertown for Johnny Morse’s Rock And Roll Low Dough Show. There is calm in the air as the Marquis’ lights come on and the doors open. This is where the stillness ends and the energy begins to build. We enter the room and the crowd is in turmoil. All look forward to the night of Rock and Roll awaiting them with Harmony Rocks, Mike and the Monsters, and to top off that triple bill is none other than Johnny Morse and the Johnny Morse All-Stars. This show is the last show of Johnny Morse’s band The Star. “Tonight is for the JM All-Stars” said Johnny Morse himself. “I will always play here and there as a guest, but the days of gigs for 15 people are over,” Morse added, taking a sip of his Busch beer. Johnny gave me a big smile and said, “That’s been a hell of a ride, mate.” Johnny showed us his special outfit he had chosen just for this concert. We will come back to this a little later. Let’s get to the show.

Photo by Stephanie Bartik

Harmony Rocks was the first to take the stage in front of over 200 people in attendance. They informed us before the concert that it was the drummer’s first concert and that they were all playing together. When they entered their set, it didn’t seem like their first at all. They were very energetic and sounded great. They treated the crowd to a nearly hour-long set, ending it with a flamboyant rendition of Golden Earring’s “Twilight Zone.” Impressive set and I hope to see this lineup again.

Photo by Stephanie Bartik

After a brief exchange of material. It was time for Mike and the monsters. Always a great addition to any bill, Mike and the Monsters always deliver a BLISTERING set of 80s and 90s metal that gets the crowd moving! Singer Michaele Ann Flynn, who commands control of a crowd like no one else can, leads the band of Vince Rau (guitar), Andy Peseka (guitar), Tucker (bass) and Michael Smith (drums), in their set of one hour. They rocked it and kept coming with hit after hit, including Guns and Roses’ “Sweet Child of Mine”, a killer Bon Jovi medley, and ending the set with their signature “Nothin but a Good Time” by Poison. The freaks were absolutely on FIRE, and Mike, as always, is as hot as he is talented, and had the crowd dancing, screaming, and cheering for the main event. After the set, I was lucky enough to receive the camo and neon green striped scarf from Michaele Ann’s Mic booth. (**Note from Fuzz** This is written objectively and my crush on Michaele Ann has no bearing on this article) 😂

Photo by Stephanie Bartik

And now… the moment everyone has been waiting for. Johnny Morse and the Johnny Morse All-Stars. After the Star Wars theme played, and the mayor and I pissed off the crowd for what was about to happen, there was the haunting sound of a single piper, who cut through the crowd packed with bodies, followed of a man, Dressed in an all-white suit with gold trim, a trademark plateau hat, adorned with a thick gold chain band, and patent leather shoes with gold spikes and accents, This n’ was other than the man of the night himself, Johnny FUCKING Morse! He pushed his way through the crowd of his adoring fans, and onto the stage where he raised his arms and the crowd went NUTS!! JM was truly in his element, on stage with the All-Stars and his friends, a host of his biggest fans, and at Cohoes Music Hall…He was HOME!! What put an end to a musical career of nearly 45 years. Playing nearly every venue, past and present, in the greater Nippertown area, and playing with some of the biggest names in local AND national fame. It was a set full of classics and solos that if you missed it, you REALLY missed it. Joining Morse on stage was a mix of some of the area’s greatest musicians. Ron Toth and JJ Savage of 518 (now in LA but still an Albany man) on guitar, Paul Fraim on bass, Paul Zarvis on keyboards, “Stormin” Norman Gray on drums, and Rob Carson on sax. They were also joined by special guests Guitar GODDESS Kristen Capolino, Johnny Clifford, Tracy Morse and Tommy Love. From start to finish, the energy was electric on this searing set, and even though the set was cut short by the venue due to a noise ordinance, it was an amazing night and a great end to an act. legendary, which I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of. Rock on Johnny Morse. so with my 6 fingers and toes, I raise this glass of Waterford Water, and propose a toast… to Johnny Fucking Morse… coming back to Cohoes!!! Thank you for years of memories and for entertaining us all for all these years. Well done comrade.

Photo by Stephanie Bartik

It was one hell of a night. All 3 groups were killers and dispatched Johnny Morse’s All-Stars with a bang. I was honored to be part of this evening and I am happy to see Johnny satisfied with the participation. Kudos to all the bands, the staff at Cohoes Music Hall and everyone I miss. Once again… I’ve said too much. I’m outside. I’ll join you next!

Photo gallery of Stephanie Bartik

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