Donnie Vie played Count’s Vamp’d on Thursday, September 28, 2023, with support act Hell Mary.
Vamp’d continues to host the best rock shows in Vegas, even well after the end of the summer concert season. One of the latest arrivals at the venue who this rock fan knew he had to see was Donnie Vie, the original vocalist of classic 80s power pop rockers Enuff Z’Nuff (that band, of course minus Vie, regularly performs at Vamp’d). I’d seen that band many a time over the past decade or so, but didn’t want to pass up a chance to see the original lead vocalist who I’d never gotten to experience live.
Starting off the set was Hell Mary. I’ve seen this band as the support act at Vamp’d more times than I can count, and they’re always entertaining. Vocalist Mary Kryah was celebrating her birthday at this gig, and the set had as much in common with a birthday party as it did a concert, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Hearing her powerful voice on these cover tunes is always quite impressive, even if this set/party did have a few flubs here and here (luckily the band and audience alike didn’t seem to mind). The festivities even included the audience singing “Happy Birthday,” complete with our vocalist being presented with a birthday cake. The group also includes drummer Michael Maysonet, long one of the most reliable timekeepers in Las Vegas, and Armored Saint guitarist Jeff Duncan, who of course calls Vegas home these days. It was a fun opening set, and a great way to kick off the evening.
We then come to the headliner of the evening, Donnie Vie! I just want to clear up, before moving on with this review, that there are rampant rumors going around about how Vie has been hospitalized/dealing with medical issues/etc., however these are completely unfounded, and Mr. Vie was in great spirits and gave a powerful performance when it was his turn to take the stage. He has addressed these rumors and cleared this up on social media (I’ll include a screencap of what he said at the bottom of this review). The intro for Vie’s set was given by local favorite Izzy Presley, who was clearly enthusiastic about the evening.
Being a Thursday night show, the venue was not as crowded as I would’ve liked to see, but the true fans all showed up for the gig, myself included. While Vie is best known for his work as the classic lead vocalist of Enuff Z’Nuff, this set featured a combination of songs from his days in that band as well as his solo material, with the occasional cover song thrown in for good measure, including “Revolution” and “In My Life,” both originally recorded by The Beatles (ironically, the Donnie-less Enuff Znuff actually put out an album of Beatles/Paul McCartney cover tunes a few years ago). Cuts like “New Thing” which kicked off the gig and “Fly High Michelle” played near the end are certainly a given, but it was good to see some slight digging into the vault as well. It was nice to see a combination of electric and acoustic stuff throughout the evening, showing off Mr. Vie’s musical diversity.
One of the pleasant surprises of the evening was how animated and energetic Mr. Vie’s bandmates were, which included former Enuff Z’Nuff guitarist Alex Kane. While I admittedly wasn’t familiar with any of these guys prior to the evening (outside of Kane because of his resume playing with many other acts from the same scene), they had enough energy to rival their frontman as well as do justice to his music. Too often, a “solo artist” performing just has guys behind them that phone it in and do the bare minimum. But even though it was Donnie Vie’s name on the marquee, this was a BAND. And they kicked ass from start to finish.
We even got an added surprise in the form of not one but two guest stars! Joining Donnie in the set were not one but two guest stars! Firstly, we got Johnny Monaco, a fellow former Enuff Z’Nuff member. Additionally, we got drummer Troy Patrick Farrell, one of the most reliable drummers in the rock world today. These appearances sweetened an already solid show.
Donnie Vie is a fantastic vocalist, and it was great to finally see him on stage doing what he does best. Hell Mary’s opening set was fantastic as well, setting the stage for what was to come. You owe it to yourself to catch Donnie live if you’re a fan.