Dokken . . . one of the premier bands to emerge from the 80’s Sunset Strip Rock n Roll explosion. The singer with the power vocals, the guitarist with the unmistakable chops, the wild drummer and the bass player with all the moves. Well some 40 years after their debut album Breaking the Chains, Dokken is still going strong. Yes the lineup is a bit different but Don Dokken is a Rock n Roll warrior and continues to deliver the Dokken classics to the legions of faithful fans.

Saturday night December 18, Dokken played the second of two nights at the legendary Whisky A Go Go where the band started out all those years ago. This was a special show as have been dozens of Dokken shows in 2021 as original Dokken axe slinger George Lynch joined the band for a three-song jam at the end of the set.

Nick Bowcott playing with D-Day

The night kicked off with memorable sets from Intentional Rage, D-Day (featuring Nick Bowcott from Grim Reaper) and Prima Donna Rising. At this point the night really got exciting as Of Gods & Monsters featuring Ira Black on guitars, Bjorn Englend on bass, Kevin Goocher on vocals and Mike Dupke (filling in for Simon Wright) on drums was playing their first live hometown show. Somewhat of a super-group Of Gods & Monsters played a killer set of mid-tempo Heavy Metal somewhat resembling Dio era Sabbath and they included a blistering rendition of “Mob Rules” as well as several original tunes. Keep an eye on this band – great sound, amazing members and they just rock your face off!!!

With high anticipation Dokken took the stage and opened their set with “Don’t Close Your Eyes” off 1984’s Tooth and Nail. Don Dokken along with drummer BJ Zampa, bass player Chris McCarvill and long-time guitar master John Levin gave the fans 60 minutes of classic Dokken music. Yes Don has had some vocal struggles recently but he actually sounded pretty good on this night. Regardless, you can tell Don Dokken bleeds Rock n Roll, you can see it in his eyes and kudos to him for keeping it going.

Although the current lineup is far from the original members time wise, these guys are fabulous musicians and keep the spirit of Dokken through their playing, especially John Levin. Levin slays every song with his playing and just nails all the solos with ease. Don was in a great mood and pretty much had a story to tell before every song . . . what was interesting was the black leather coat he was wearing was the SAME one he wore in the “In My Dreams” video way back in 1985 just with the fringe cut off the sleeves – the regular set ended with that very song “In My Dreams”.

As good as Dokken was, everyone was eager for George Lynch to join them onstage . . . John Levin stepped aside, and the madness began with “Kiss of Death”. Lynch is definitely an innovator of his era and is also one of the most creative guitarists to come out of the 80’s. Lynch’s performance can only be described as primal – he was on fire, first with a Les Paul then a Mr. Scary custom guitar. His playing is mesmerizing, and he certainly gave the fans a performance. “When Heaven Comes Down” was next and the night ended with “Tooth and Nail”.

Aside from Lynch’s playing the best thing of the night was to see Don and George talking and laughing in-between songs onstage – this didn’t seem forced and came across as very genuine.

It was an epic night at The Whisky A Go Go – Rokken with Dokken was a success!!!

Dokken Set List:

Don’t Close Your Eyes | The Hunter | Into the Fire | Breaking the Chains | Dream Warriors | Just Got Lucky | Alone Again | Too High to Fly | It’s Not Love | In My Dreams | Kiss of Death (with George Lynch) | When Heaven Comes Down (with George Lynch) | Tooth and Nail (with George Lynch)

Of Gods & Monsters Photo Gallery

Dokken Photo Gallery

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