Having performed more than 200 shows around the world in four years, The Winery Dogs — Richie Kotzen (lead vocals/guitar), Mike Portnoy (drums), Billy Sheehan (bass) — know how to throw a party! On August 4th, the trio will release Dog Years, Live in Santiago & Beyond 2013-2016, a 100 minute hard rocking, balls to the wall, no regrets concert film that will take you into “Oblivion” (pun intended).
Each of these three musicians are absolutely the best at their trade. They all define true musicianship which is why they make one hell of a band. Portnoy is a monster on drums, Sheehan is an astonishing bassist, and Kotzen’s guitar licks and powerful vocals are a force to be reckon with. The trio knows how to rock without the gimmicks of effects and pre-recorded tracks. You won’t find that here, kids!
Instead, the group ops for barebone staging with only a giant “The Winery Dogs” banner hanging behind Portnoy. The trio knows how to entertain so they don’t need all the frills and effects most acts use these days. As expected, they know how to work a crowd and feed off of each other. Portnoy often acts as host between songs which is neat to see the drummer get some extra well deserved attention!
The seventeen song collection features tracks from the group’s 2013 self-titled debut, 2015’s Hot Streak, and the Dog Years EP that’s included with the set. The group gets right down to business with “Oblivion” kicking off the concert. The hard hitting track is a great opener that sets the pace for the night full of syncopated rhythms, double bass drumming, sexy bass lines, killer guitar grooves and wailing vocals. The trio soars through “Captain Love,” “Hot Streak,” “Elevate” “Desire” and more, including a unique drum solo that sees Portnoy play on everything from the staging to camera tripods, and a bass solo that is above anything I’ve ever seen before.
The Winery Dogs are one one of the most prolific bands I’ve ever seen. I’m a fan of each member’s work with their other acts, including Kotzen’s solo efforts, so when you put them all together, it’s absolutely exuberant. I haven’t seen them live yet, but can’t wait until I’m able to catch a show. This concert deserves to be in every rock fan’s collection, whether digital or physical, but as always, I suggest you pick up a physical configuration and enjoy it in all its glory!
The physical configurations are available as a Blu-ray/EP and as a five disc Deluxe Edition that includes the concert on Blu-ray, DVD and two CDs and a five song EP of unreleased studio recordings on CD. The group’s eight music videos are also included on the Blu-ray.