Autograph, Morongo’s Sleigh Ride Toy Run, Cabazon, CA, December 10, 2017
The Sleigh Ride Toy Run was presented over the weekend by Morongo Hotel and Casino in Cabazon, California, featuring four iconic rock and roll collectives and a whole lot of giving and Christmas spirit. Taking place under a gigantic tent, The Sleigh Ride Toy Run was an event where locals and out-of-towners would donation toys, win prizes, and thoroughly rock out to the sounds of their favorite bands. Presented over a two-day period, the first night would include very well received sets by Slaughter and Great White. The event would reconvene on the following Saturday morning, highlighted by a breakfast set from Autograph at 12 Noon followed by a rousing performance from the all-girl Vixen. It may have been early on a weekend, but Autograph certainly arrived ready to rage, and what a dynamic set this legendary Los Angeles based collective delivered to the Sleigh Ride Toy Run attendees.
Get Off Your Ass is the name of Autograph’s critically acclaimed comeback album on EMP Label Group, and that is absolutely what the crowd did when this legendary band took to the Morongo’s Sleigh Ride Stage under the big top tent. While the wind made for interesting, if somewhat frightening percussive noises against the sturdy tent, Autograph would rock all of worries away with a solid set of classic and new tunes. Opening the show with Deep End from their landmark 1984 release Sign In Please, Autograph clearly captivated the Morongo crowd, filling the cavernous tent with their wildly infectious rock and roll entreaties. The set proceeded on with the glorious Autograph standards Dance All Night and Loud And Clear, timeless songs that are absolutely wonderful to hear years after their initial release.
Autograph does indeed have a brand new full length endeavor out – Get Off Your Ass is their first official release since Buzz from 2003 – and the set was jammed packed with these latest crucial selections. You Are Us, We Are You is a warm and inspiring tribute to the fans while Every Generation is a remarkable song demonstrating how music is able to bring together people from all ages who could learn a whole lot from one another. I Lost My Mind In America is an all-out anthem that Autograph devotees will be singing along with for the rock and roll ages ahead. And then of course there’s the wickedly infectious title cut Get Off Your Ass, clearly demonstrating a band who is quite capable of unleashing potential hit singles that stand the test of time. Those seeking out the Autograph tunes of the past were not disappointed in the least – Send Her To Me, Blondes In Black Cars, Bad Boy, My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend Isn’t Me, and many others were issued to the fans at The Sleigh Ride Toy Drive.
In 2017, Autograph remains a world class rock and roll brigade with a tremendously resourceful lineup! Founding member Steve Lynch is one of the most compelling lead guitarists on the planet, and really knows how to deliver the goods with a dazzling amount of skill and precision. Original bassist Randy Rand is a lot of fun to watch, delivering the low end with a mighty flair and mischievous grin. Front man and guitarist Simon Daniels is a vibrantly energetic performer, singing with passion and making a solid connection with the audience. And tucked away in the back but making his presence very well-known is Marc Wieland on drums, unleashing a tight and mighty presentation.
Autograph closed out their exhilarating set with the number one hit single Turn On The Radio, enrapturing the Morongo crowd and inspiring an impassioned sing along. Autograph has truly returned with a thrilling new album and the memorable live show to back it all up. Be sure to check into Autograph the next time they arrive in your town as their electrifying concerts and entire catalog of songs are not to be missed!
(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Joe Schaeffer)
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