Friday, May 3, 2013

Concert Review: Cheap Thrill Thrills Cinderella Fellas' Home State

After a long and exciting evening at Pittsburgh's Deadhorse Cantina and Music Hall the night before for the Love/Hate show, I was back at the club on May 2 to catch Cheap Thrill.  Cheap Thrill is a three-piece, acoustic project featuring Jeff LaBar (guitar) and Eric Brittingham (bass) of Pennsylvania-based hair metal legends, Cinderella.  Rounding out the lineup is Brandon Gibbs on vocals.

Still in a fog from the night before, I wasn't sure how much energy I'd have for this show.  Fortunately, the local opening band, Lucky Me, kicked aside their stools and put their acoustic guitars in cases after their first few songs and rocked out a set of electric covers, ranging from P!nk to Pat Benatar to Lady Gaga to other more traditional rock songs.  Though I usually think it is a bad move to have an electric act open for an acoustic act, I was glad of it this time, as it kept my energy level from plummeting too much.

Cheap Thrill then took the stage with their acoustic instruments.  There were two unknowns for this show.  First, would be the number of Cinderella songs the band would play.  And, second, would be how this Gibbs guy would sound.

In addressing the first point, the band kicked off their set with a couple of classic rock covers, including an REO Speedwagon song, plus one of Gibbs' songs.  The original song was quite good.  But, then came the time that the crowd was anxiously awaiting - the first Cinderella song of the night, "Coming Home."

It was a great rendition.  Although Gibbs' voice bore no resemblance to that of Cinderella frontman Tom Keifer, he sounded great.  He has a very clean voice with the range necessary to hit the high notes that characterize Keifer's range.  Actually, I am extremely interested in hearing more from him.  I think he has a great voice for acoustic, singer/songwriter stuff in the Jason Mraz and Sycamore Meadows-era Butch Walker vein.

Though I would have loved to stay for the rest of the evening, my lack of sleep from the previous night at the Deadhorse and the fact that I work for a living - this site is 100% for charity - had caught up to me and, alas, I chose to depart.  While I didn't stay for the whole show, I saw enough that left me impressed with Cheap Thrill and feeling that I got my fair share of thrills for the night.