Dave Sabo’s ‘Euphoric’ Moment on Skid Row Tour Kickoff: Interview
The latest North American dates come on the heels of an overseas summer run, which included shows opening for Kiss, adding a unique career milestone. “We’re the band that holds the distinction, at least at this point, to play both their first and last farewell tour,” guitarist Dave "Snake" Sabo tells UCR with a hearty chuckle.
Snake Sabo's Highlights
Skid Row's 13-song set opened with a pair of cuts from their chart-topping 1991 album Slave to the Grind, with the thrashy title track followed by the anthemic riff-fest "The Threat." From there, it never let up, but Sabo still has a clear highlight from the night. “It’s the culmination of everything at the end,” he says. “We end every show with ‘Youth Gone Wild.’ That’s just the way it’s always gonna be.”
Watch Skid Row Perform 'Youth Gone Wild' in Dallas
In that moment, the band witnesses the payoff of each night’s set. “People are embracing what they just experienced, with their hands in the air and smiles on their faces and yelling,” Sabo adds. “That walk off of the stage when you’ve got your arms around your brothers, and you’re like, ‘Man, check that out. We just did that.’ That goes for any scale, the experience. Whether we’re playing a 500-seat club or a 70,000-seat stadium, it’s that moment when you realize you’re all in this together, band and audience. It’s pretty euphoric.”
Touring With Buckcherry
Skid Row is co-headlining this jaunt with Buckcherry, whose raucous hard rock and throwback Sunset Strip sleaze makes for a perfect pairing, Sabo says. “We've known those guys forever,” he says. “As a matter of fact, our old manager, Scott [McGhee], used to manage them for a while going back to the ‘90s. We always thought very, very highly of them. Great energy [and they] always were great guys. Whenever we’d hang out, they were good people — and they’ve got such cool songs.”
A New Era of Skid Row
It’s now been more than a year since Skid Row introduced new vocalist Erik Gronwall before a run of Las Vegas dates opening for Scorpions. Fan reception has been positive, and Sabo says it’s been a “pretty amazing” experience as Gronwall infuses important energy into the group’s performances. Sabo says Gronwall brings a key component with his approach to their classic catalog as well as material from their newest album, The Gang’s All Here.
“It's about playing the songs and connecting with an audience,” Sabo adds. “In order for that to happen, not only do the songs have to be cool enough where the people can relate to them and react to them, but the people performing them have to be doing it in such a way that it's believable.
“I think from day one, since Erik joined the band, when he came in [and] we had our first rehearsal, which was three days before the first Scorpions show, it's very evident that he was not just singing those lyrics,” Sabo says. "He was embodying those lyrics – and that hasn't changed.”
The Gang’s All Here tour will continue on Friday as Skid Row performs at the annual Rocklahoma festival.
Watch Skid Row Perform 'I Remember You' in Dallas
Watch Skid Row Perform '18 and Life' in Dallas
Watch Skid Row Perform 'Slave to the Grind' in Dallas
Watch Skid Row Perform 'Piece of Me' in Dallas
Watch Skid Row Perform 'The Gang's All Here' in Dallas
Skid Row, House of Blues, 8/31/23, Dallas
1. "Slave to the Grind"
2. "The Threat"
3. "Big Guns"
4. "18 and Life"
5. "Piece of Me"
6. "Livin' on a Chain Gang"
7. "Quicksand Jesus"
8. "Rattlesnake Shake"
9. "Time Bomb"
10. "I Remember You"
11. "Monkey Business"
12. "The Gang's All Here"
13. "Youth Gone Wild"