at The O2 City Hall, Newcastle, U.K., May 15, 2023

WINGER (Live at The O2 City Hall, Newcastle, U.K., May 15, 2023)
Photo: Mick Burgess

The last time Kip Winger and Paul Taylor appeared on the stage at the fabled Newcastle City Hall, they stood alongside Alice Cooper on the blood-soaked, slasherfest Raise Your Fist and Yell tour back in 1988.

Not long after that Winger and Taylor decamped from the goodship Cooper and formed Winger, the band, alongside hotshot shredder Reb Beach and drum legend, Rod Morgenstein, who dazzled in Progressive Jazz Rockers, Dixie Dregs alongside Steve Morse in the 70s.

The hits flowed and the albums sold by the bucketload until Grunge arrived and the ghastly Beavis and Butthead put the boot in and all went quiet with the band members going their separate ways into solo careers and other bands such as Whitesnake, in case of Beach.

Winger reconvened in the early 2000s, dusted down their chops and delivered some of the best material of their career in Karma and Better Days Coming showing that their technical flair married to skyscraping melodies had lost none of its potency with this rich vein of form continuing with Seven, literally hot of the press a matter of days ago.

As special guests to Steel Panther, Winger were playing to the already converted and the pretty full hall by showtime at 8:00pm was testament to the esteem that they are held in as they kicked off with vintage duo “Can’t Get Enough” and “Seventeen” before coming bang up to date with “Proud Desperado” from the new album.

Winger himself was in impressive form, relishing being back at the City Hall reminiscing about his last show there with Alice Cooper. Reb Beech and John Roth provided the musical muscle and Beach is particular let rip with some tasty solos aided and abetted by Taylor, who switched between keyboards and guitar.

There was plenty of appropriate arm waving during mega Power Ballad, “Miles Away” before the tight groove of “Down Incognito” kicked in. “Pull Me Under”, with its biting riff, rocked as hard as absolutely anyone while Morgenstein let fly with some astonishing fills during “Headed For A Heartbreak”, where Winger was joined by Michael Starr from Steel Panther, who took lead vocals on one verse.

Some tasty harmonies during “Easy Come Easy Go” and a cracking triple guitar assault towards the end of set closer “Madalaine” showed a band at the top of their game and the crowd responded accordingly.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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1 Comment

  1. I saw them two weekends ago at the M3 Rockfest ( They had an hour-long set and people will say what they will and tease but they still rocked! The new album “Seven” is a good one but regretfully they didn’t play anything off that album for the hour-long set.

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