HARDLINE – Live At The Gods 2002

HARDLINE - Live At The Gods 2002


Frontiers Records
Release date: November 10, 2003

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

“Sounds like super shit,” yells Hardline singer Johnny Gioeli on their Live at the Gods Festival 2002 CD/DVD. “How we doing? Can you hear this shit, cuz it sounds like fuckin’ shit up here!” This may not be the best way to promote your product or stir up a live crowd, but Hardline fixes whatever was broken and put on a helluva show, regardless of their public self-hatred.

Hardline took about 10 years between albums, but are back together (sans Neal Schon) for now, and sound just the same as they always did. If you haven’t heard them, it’s no frills hard rock, and they do it as well as anyone. Guitarist Josh Ramos replaces Schon — no complaints here. Ramos is adept, and a good fit for the band.

You are going to remember Hardline for their ’80s-sounding song “Hot Cherie,” up there with Winger’s “Madelaine” for best chick named tune. Actually, “Hot Cherie” is one of the best hard rock songs you’ll ever hear, in the studio or live. Singer Gioeli has a strong delivery, both bluesy and passionate. He’s a talent behind the mic. He also swears quite a bit here, and you can tell the crowd isn’t sure what to make of a guy wearing a plain black t-shirt, with short-cropped hair and insanely intense eyeballs screaming at them. His energy makes you think Slayer’s Reign in Blood is up next, but instead, it’s their own “Life’s a Bitch.”

When you watch the DVD, the sad part is that the crowd really isn’t as in to the show as they could be. Hardline deserves better, but if you stay away for so long, especially with a body of work encompassing two releases, you don’t give the crowd a lot to work with.

“In the Hands of Time,” is their ballad, and when Gioeli mellows out and concentrates on the song, he mesmerizes the crowd. Next to “Hot Cherie,” this is their best show. But one of their other ballads, a new one called “Face the Night,” highlights their back-up singers, and really shouldn’t. They almost ruin the song. The female vocals are so shrill and off-key, it hurts to listen to. Even Gioeli can’t cover them up, and he’s loud as hell.

“Rhythm from a Red Car” is Hardline doing their best again, an upbeat rocker, fast and hard, and brings them out of their funk. Another song you need to see/hear live, because they can’t capture the energy in the studio. This is one of the songs that makes the whole thing worthwhile.

They also do the mandatory drum and keyboard solo, but that’s why they make fast forward buttons.

By the time they end the show with “Dr. Love,” the crowd is cheering, and Hardline has won them over, sometimes in spite of themselves. Once they get the rust off, they’ll be ripping it up just like they did back in ’92. There are a ton of bands in this genre reuniting, but Hardline has earned a hearty “welcome back.” They write good music, play it well, and they should be heard. What else is there?

The CD also has three bonus tracks—“Hypnotized,” “Only a Night” (acoustic) and “Mercy.”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.