Firehouse – Warrendale, PA 6/6/2024

Kicking off the weekend early last night, Firehouse returned to Jergels in Warrendale, PA for the first time following the untimely passing of frontman CJ Snare.  Fans joined together to catch the show with American Idol Golden Ticket recipient Nate Peck taking center stage as bandmates Bill Levery (guitar), Michael Foster (bass), and Allen McKenzie (drums) continue on with the blessing of their departed brother.

Recently, the band’s lead vocalist, and a founding member of Firehouse had passed unexpectedly at home on April 5, 2024 at the young age of 64.  Given that everyone had expected him to be back on stage with the band this summer after recovering from surgery, the news came as quite a shock.  Yet, the transition somehow seems fitting as Nate is not new to the band.  In fact, he had been filling for CJ since the fall of 2023 with his blessing, support, and coaching prior to being officially announced as the band’s frontman last month.

FireHouse honored CJ, his music and legacy at their performance in Greeneville, TN at Niswonger Performing Arts Center on Saturday, April 13th with Nate handling vocals, and former Firehouse bass player Perry Richardson and his Stryper bandmates also paid tribute during their performance at the M3 Festival last month. And now it would seem that many fans are wondering what to expect…

Given that we’ve been following the band for more than three decades, we really weren’t sure what to expect from the show ourselves. The lighter than normal crowd echoed that same sentiment, but those who came out, quickly learned that there was no reason to hesitate. And, if the response around the social sharing on the event is any indication, everyone is who loves this band is quickly stepping up to say how happy they are that Firehouse will play on.

While CJs vocals can’t be replicated, we knew from previous shows that Nate had the pipes to do him proud, and that he did!  Naturally, we expected to shed a few tears during the show as Firehouse ballads are just about as sentimental as they come and the video scrapbook during the band’s “Home is Where the Heart Is” dedication to CJs legacy was one of those moments, but there were many happy moments in between as well.

It was so fun to hear the band jamming together in introduction to “Lovers Lane” and watching Nate and Bill dancing together to the groove, the solos were amazing, and there were even some surprises during the set like the inclusion of “Hold The Dream,” which Bill noted as his favorite ballad from the band.

FireHouse music will no doubt stand the test of time. As they hit the road this summer, don’t hesitate to catch them performing the hits we all love from ballads like “Love of a Lifetime” and “When I Look Into Your Eyes” to high-energy singles like “Don’t Treat Me Bad” and “Reach for the Sky.” And if you get the opportunity to see them in a club atmosphere like we did last night, even better.

We loved watching the expressiveness of Nate’s eyes as he sang the band’s songs with youthful enthusiasm, got a birds-eye view of Billy Leverty’s shredding throughout his solos, sang some lyrics back to Michael as he was killing it on background vocals behind the kit, and to gave a nod to Allen as he was included in the tribute to our armed forces.  So grateful for the opportunity to shake hands and thank the band for keeping the music alive in farewell, and we are very much looking forward to catching them again soon!

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Watch for continued coverage of local shows and regional shows with Lita Ford, The Dead Daisies, Kuarantine, and more this summer.

Coverage by Editor and founder Kara Marie Uhrlen posted on 6/7/2024.  Live photos © by photographer Kara Uhrlen and The Pure Rock Shop.