Live: Dokken in Fort Wayne

Fresh off the release of their latest record, Heaven Comes Down, Dokken hit Piere’s in Fort Wayne to wrap up their U.S. dates before heading overseas to finish the year out, bringing BulletBoys with them for a night that was like going back in time. 

Live Wire opened the show with a set that was loaded with attitude before BulletBoys came on and rocked the house to keep the party going. 

With a new lineup joining singer Marq Torien, the band sounded better than ever and the crowd ate it up. Torien danced around the stage, jumping, strutting and using every inch of it to make sure each side of the crowd got a taste. 

Dokken was last up and the crowd was eager to see the band live as they don’t hit Indiana often. There’s been criticism of Don Dokken’s voice over the years but, aside from a few rough moments, he sounded great in Fort Wayne. He recognizes the notes he can’t hit and he stays in his comfort zone, letting bassist Chris McCarvill hit the high notes and go to those places, which really pays off. 

The band Dokken has now is firing on a massive level. McCarville’s bass solos and guitarist Jon Levin’s solos were so impressive, the crowd was deafening and Levin completely stole the show on numerous occasions. 

Throughout the set, Don told stories about certain songs and videos from the band’s heyday and cracked jokes off and on. At one point the dance club that shares the building with Piere’s was blasting disco music and Don took some playful digs at disco and started dancing, much to the crowd’s entertainment. 

Even though Heaven Comes Down is one of their strongest in decades, loaded with live anthems, the band opted to stick with the hits and band favorites, not playing any of their new material as well as throwing a snippet of Free’s “All Right Now.”

Don was in a great mood and didn’t hold back showing his gratitude to the fans throughout the night. At one point, he saw a sign that said a fan’s name was Dokken, which visibly hit Don, who thanked the fan’s father for keeping the legacy alive. 

If you haven’t seen Dokken before, this was a show that lived up to the expectations and the wait. If you’ve seen the band, this was not a show that you wanted to miss. Even though it was an all ages show- which Piere’s doesn’t do many of- it was like going back in time and had the true essence of an 80’s rock show. 

-Reggie Edwards