Red Dragon Cartel at The Forge in Joliet Il 3/13/19


Tonight in Joliet Illinois at The Forge, Jake E, Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel returned promoting their new sophomore album Patina. Jake E Lee Is known as one of Ozzy Osbourne’s amazing guitarist who had to fill the shoes of legendary Randy Rhoads.  Lee is one of my all-time favourite  guitarist and I’ve always wished his stint with Ozzy was longer but things happen.

This new record has an old-school rock album feel. It was createdmuch in the  same way as when Jake was in Badlands  or Ozzy. The band would get together and Jake E Lee would present ideas and riffs and they would work on them together. The process makes it sound more like a band as Jake E Lee stated…

Red Dragon Cartel hit the stage in great spirits and were excited to be on stage playing for the Chicagoan fans. The set included mainly RDC songs but there was also an Ozzy cover and of course you couldn’t leave without hearing some Badlands.

Darren James Smith was sounding great vocally and was definitely having a little fun with the crowd. Anthony Esposito was just grooving along on bass all night not really moving around to much but was in a zone sweating his ass off.

Phil Varone (Saigon Kick, Ex-Skid Row) compliments the band amazingly. Great chops and the time keeping is outstanding and works well with Jake E Lee’s playing. Phil has stated this is going to be his last tour as a drummer which is too bad because he is a great drummer/musician. Best wishes to Phil on his next endeavors.

At the end of the show Jake E Lee jumped out in front the barricades down low with a handful of guitar picks meeting the fans shaking their hands, handing off guitar picks,  taking a few selfie’s for the fans that came out to the show on a what we call a school night.  Jake E Lee’s performance was by far the best of the  last 3 times I’ve seen him. I can’t answer why that is but he was just so much cleaner sounding and fucking killed tonight. Jake E Lee is and always will be one of my favorite guitarists. I’m glad he’s still plugging away.

Great time great show I’m happy they played a variety from both albums. Go check them out when they come through your city or a town near you.

Band Members:   Jake E. Lee-Guitars     Darren James Smith-Vocals     Anthony Esposito-Bass     Phil Varone-Drums

Review and photos :  Jake Warkill

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