Glenn Hughes in Clearwater: Classic Deep Purple at its best

Live Review

Glenn Hughes. Photo by Chyrisse.

By Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Tampa

Live Review:  Glenn Hughes w/Enuf Z’Nuff and Bad Marriage – OCC Roadhouse, Clearwater, FL – February 24, 2024

Whenever Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Glenn Hughes comes to town—I am so there. I had the opportunity to interview him in 2016 after the release of his album Resonate and was very impressed with the “Voice of Rock’s” humble nature and genuine love of his fans. Rock At Night has been reviewing his live concerts (US and UK) and albums for side projects Black County Communion and the Dead Daisies for a decade.
Glenn Hughes. Photo by Chyrisse.

In the Fall of 2023, I had the pleasure of seeing the Glenn Hughes Performs Classic Deep Purple Live – Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Album Burn tour at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater, Florida. At the concert’s end, he announced that he would return to the area in February. Most classic rock bands are in Florida during February and March before embarking on the Monsters of Rock Cruise in Miami.

On Saturday, February 24th, Hughes & Co. arrived at the OCC Roadhouse, Clearwater, Florida. If you are unaware of the venue, it is a restaurant, museum, and concert hall founded by the Orange County Choppers’ founder and reality TV legend Paul Teutul Sr. The food and service are great—and the concert venue vibe is comfortable and chill.

Jonny Paquin of Bad Marriage. Photo by Chyrisse.

Opening the evening was Boston sleaze rock band Bad Marriage, the consummate party band with plenty of swagger. The group is comprised of Jonny Paquin on vocals, Mike Fitz on lead guitar, Tommy Skeoch (formerly of Tesla) on lead/rhythm guitar, Ian Haggerty on rhythm guitar, Todd Boisvert on bass, and Michael Delaney on drums. The band performed as if in an arena, and it was a welcome surprise. The songs “Old School Stereo,” “Rockin’ Rollin’ Mofo’,” and “Who Is Ready to Rock” are bold, down-home rock ‘n’ roll.

Next up was Chicagoland power pop stalwarts Enuff Z’nuff, a band I have been wanting to see for a long time—especially after we did our glam rock print issue. Sam Spade of the Midnight Devils had nothing but kind words about founder Chip Z’Nuff. Founded in Chicago in the mid-1980s, they received a lot of airplay on MTV with the songs “Fly High Michelle” and “New Thing” and have produced dozens of albums. They appeared in Beavis & Butthead in the 1990s, and bands like the Nelsons, Paul Gilbert, and the Wildhearts have covered their songs. The band is currently comprised of founder Chip Z’Nuff on vocals/bass, Tory Stoffregen on lead guitar/vocals, Joe Corson on drums, and Jason Camino on rhythm guitar.

Chip Z’Nuf of Enuff Z’Nuff. Photo by Chyrisse.

Channeling ‘Dream Police’-era Cheap Trick, Z’Nuff wore a white military hat, dark shades, and denim in a vibrant nod to his band’s power pop progenitors. The band launched into hits from the early ’90s with “Rock ‘N’ World,” “Kiss the Clown,” and “Love Train.” The melodies are catchy, reminiscent of psychedelia and classic 70s power pop, and the harmonies were spot-on. I truly was smitten! They launched into a Beatles/McCartney medley with songs like “Jet” and “With a Little Help From My Friends,” which had the whole audience singing along. Jonny Paquin from Bad Marriage came on stage to join. I couldn’t help but think the band was gearing up to go across the pond to Yarmouth for Hard Rock Hell on March 8th. I am going to dig into their back catalog and keep an eye out for their tour stops.

At 9:30 p.m., Glenn Hughes with his band confidently emerged on stage to show the audience why he is “The Voice of Rock.” He appeared ever fit and youthful with his dark shades and long, wavy locks flying in the fan breeze. He pranced while holding the bass’ neck and headstock high, giving the audience all the rock star poses, and mouthed “hello” to people during the musical love fest. He often reached down to shake hands with people standing close to the stage and frequently tapped his heart with his fist, expressing gratitude. Hughes is one of the true gentlemen in rock and roll, leaving ever-endearing vibes with adoring audiences.

Glenn Hughes. Photo by Chyrisse.

Hughes’ ace band consists of Danish guitarist and longtime cohort Søren Andersen, Dutch keyboardist Bob Fridzema, and British drummer Ash Sheehan. Let’s not forget Hughes is a celebrated bassist and a master of the instrument in his own right.

Possibly the highlight of the evening was the band’s reading of Deep Purple standard “Mistreated.” Andersen’s guitar playing was fluid and tone-perfect, as he regaled the audience with smiles. Fridzema added appropriately Jon Lord-like B3 organ, and the energetic Sheehan kept the steady blues beat. Hughes wailed “Woman, oh woman” with an urgency befitting a Sunday sermon in Memphis.

Amidst some friendly banter with the punters, Hughes hinted that “something big” would be happening in the summer. I’ve heard rumblings Black Country Communion will have a new album out—maybe a tour is in order?

Lovin’ the concert!

An especially poignant moment was Hughes’ homage to his musical “brother Tommy (Bolin),” with whom he co-wrote the funky blues number “Gettin’ Tighter.” He shared, “I noticed a lot of you are wearing Tommy Bolin shirts today. Thank you.” Former James Gang guitarist Tommy Bolin replaced Ritchie Blackmore in Deep Purple in 1975. He tragically saw his demise from an overdose in Miami in 1976.

Hughes and the band left briefly before being summoned back by rhythmic clapping.

Returning with an encore of fan favorite “Burn,” Hughes and the lads gave the OCC faithful a reason to dance and end the night on a high note. The man proves time after time he can hit the high notes with such ease you would think it was 1974 again.

Hughes never ceases to amaze and bring joy to an audience, proving he is still one of the most dynamic frontmen and voices today—and is a force of nature, even in his 70s. He will head for an extended European tour after the On the Blues Cruise in April.

PHOTO GALLERY

Glenn Hughes

Enuff Z’Nuff

Bad Marriage

VIDEO SNIPPET

 

 

Chyrisse Tabone, Ph.D.
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