Winery Dogs @ Count’s Vampd 5/31/14

The Winery Dogs, 5/31/14 Vampd Vegas

By: Michael Taylor

The Winery Dogs. Richie Kotzen. Billy Sheehan. Mike Portnoy. Need I say more? All three men are legends in their own rights. Brought together, they have become something more special.

Vamp’d is a wonderful venue for a show like this, very intimate with the band and it was easy to tell that everyone was enjoying themselves, especially the men on stage. Richie has an amazing voice, almost an angelic quality to it. I was lucky enough to be standing right in front of him and this man feels every note he plays and sings. Legs shaking and torso being pulled in all directions Richie lets the music guide him. It’s truly inspirational to see, even more so knowing this was the last date on the tour. Richie even serenaded us with one of his own songs with an acoustic guitar, and oh, how the women in the room swooned and probably fell in love with him a bit. I was awestruck watching Richie play without a pick, whenever he was still in front of me, I’d stare and try not to let my chin hit the floor. The only problem I had at this show was that once I was focused on one performer it was nearly impossible to tear my eyes away from him to watch another, but when I could I was met with another legend.

Billy Sheehan on bass is something everyone needs to see and hear. His bass solo was incredible, he had the crowd cheering him on as he played faster and faster hitting each note so clearly. His energy was palpable as well, commanding his side of the stage like the master he is, even going back and forth with Mike and Richie at different times. Speaking of Mike, he was a beast on the drums, at one point it looked like he was using a wood chipper as he created a shower of wood chips around his drum kit. Mike always seems to have as much fun as possible back there, standing up on his drums, pointing and shouting to the crowd. Normally he throws his sticks up in the air but the ceiling was a bit low so he decided to play upon a pipe he could reach instead after he realized it wouldn’t work. Finally at the end of the night, during the end “Shy Boy” Mike put a stick in his mouth and used one of his cymbals, stand and all, as a stick, it was truly outrageous and a rock star moment!

Expectations are always high when a label like “Super Group” is put on a band, but The Winery Dogs delivered and then some. They no doubt could sell out large venues but if you get the chance, catch them in a smaller intimate venue, trust me, it’ll be worth it. The Winery Dogs hit the road again at the end of June, be sure to check them out if you get the chance.

Set list:



We Are One

One More Time

Time Machine


Six Feet Deeper

The Other Side

You Saved Me

Not Hopeless

Richie’s Acoustic

I’m No Angel

The Dying


  • Client: Winery Dogs
  • Year: 2014
  • Agency: Photography of Leah Burlington