LIVE: Winger at The L in Horseheads

On Sunday, July 2, the legendary rock band Winger made a stop at The L in Horseheads as part of their 2023 tour promoting their latest album Seven. Seven, aptly titled, is the seventh studio album released by the band and includes the tracks “Stick the Knife in and Twist,” “Proud Desperado,” and “Do or Die.”

With hits like “Seventeen,” “Madalaine,” “Headed for a Heartbreak”,” and “Miles Away,” Winger has been on the charts since their debut self-titled album, Winger, was released in August 1988. Winger’s current lineup includes original members Kip Winger – lead vocals, bass guitar, and acoustic guitar; Reb Beach – lead and rhythm guitar, keys, and backing vocals; Rod Morgenstein – drums, percussion, backing vocals; Paul Taylor – keyboards, rhythm and lead guitars, backing vocals; and John Roth (touring member) – lead and rhythm guitars, backing vocals, bass guitar.

John Roth did not perform this show as he is currently on tour with  Starship featuring Mickey Thomas throughout the summer. Buffalo native Howie Simon was on stage with Winger as he is filling in for Roth. Most of the crowd recognized Simon as he honed his chops playing with Ice Water Mansion beginning in 1989 for a nearly two-year run then with his own band Storm Warning playing most clubs locally and regionally. Simon was greeted with familiar cheers as fans shouted “Howie, Howie, Howie.”

Winger started off the night with a blazing song from their latest album Seven, titled “Stick the Knife in and Twist,” followed by classics “Seventeen” and “Can’t Get Enough.” Winger performed “Down Incognito” before Simon’s blistering guitar solo that brought back shredding memories of local yore. Winger continued throughout the night playing 14 of their greatest numbers including “Headed for a Heartbreak,” “Easy Come, Easy Go,” “Madalaine,” and the power ballad “Miles Away.” Immediately preceding “Miles Away” Kip Winger talked about the history of the band, paying the dues and writing songs in hotel rooms as keyboardist/guitarist Paul Taylor broke into the unmistakable melody.

Winger performing “Miles Away”

Kip, with his captivating stage presence, had the intimate crowd in the venue electrified and revved up with his unfaltering and powerful vocals and high-octane energy. Both guitarists, including original member Reb Beach, let it all out with blistering solos, speed, and amazing melodies that the Winger sound is noted for. Rod Morgenstein remains one of the great rock drummers and was simply amazing to watch. His chops are flawless, and he makes intricate drum parts look like a walk in the park; mesmerized is an understatement. The band has steadfast and resolute chemistry. Most bands of the ’80s era have gone through various lineup changes and are typically not all original. After 35 years of playing together, these guys remain the consummate pros dedicated to both making amazing music and providing their fans with the best live performance possible.

Winger closed the night after a nearly 80-minute set with “Easy Come, Easy Go”, “Madalaine” and “Saints Solos.”

WINGER SET LIST: Stick the Knife in and Twist, Seventeen, Ca,t Get Enough, Down Incognito, Guitar Solo (Howie), Hungry, Proud Desperado, Junkyard Dog (Tears on a Stone), Miles Away, Rainbow in the Rose, Guitar Solo (Reb), Pull Me Under, Time to Surrender, Drum Solo (Rod), Headed for a Heartbreak, Easy Come Easy Go, Madalaine, Saint Solos

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