donnie iris.jpg

Donnie Iris And
The Cruisers 
Returned Triumphantly To
Robins Theatre

May 8, 2022

One of Pittsburgh's favorite sons, Donnie Iris returned to the beautiful Robins Theater in Warren, OH on Saturday night and played a great, old school, rock and roll show.

Iris and his fellow Cruisers, first played the Robins Theatre when it re-opened back in January of 2020.  Two years later, the now seventy-nine year old still brought the same energy and passion to his show just like he did back in the '80s.

Sporting a gold lame jacket with a red Ramones t-shirt and ripped jeans, Iris and his superb backing band tore into "Agnes" from his Back On The Streets album.  

Before launching into "Do You Compute?" Iris got tangled up in some cords and fell on the stage.  However, he quickly got up and finished the song like the professional that he is.  At the end of the tune, after hitting the high notes, he quipped, "I guess that's what you do when you fall on your ass!"

Long time fans were super happy to hear some deep cuts off of King Cool.  In the middle of the set, Iris stated that they decided to bring back "Pretender" after not playing if for a few years.  They followed that up with "Broken Promises" another tune from King Cool. 

 

"This Time It Must Be Love" included a bass solo by Paul Goll.  He adlibbed a few bars and then went into Sly Stone's "Thank You," The Commodores "Brick House" and Queen's "Another One Bites The Dust."

 

Then it was Mark Avsec's turn to take center stage.  After playing "Ridin' Thunder" a deep cut from No Muss...No Fuss, that featured the accordion,  Avsec stayed out there with his accordion and played a few polka's that had people dancing and singing along.

Since both Iris and Avsec were in Wild Cherry, it was appropriate that they played "Play That Funky Music" much to the delight of the fans.

"Love Is Like A Rock" became a big sing-a-long and Iris' biggest hit, "Ah Leah" started off as a slow burn then built up to the straight out rocker that it is.

The encore consisted of "The Rapper" a hit from Iris' first band called The Jaggerz.  Then it was two covers to close the show, "Hush" by Deep Purple and the Joe Cocker version of "With A Little Help From My Friends."

It was another great night of rock and roll at The Robins Theatre. 

Review by Greg Drugan