If you can forgive an aging Kip Winger
for singing the praises of jailbait in "Seventeen," then Winger Live
is a harmless, nostalgic trip through the glamour and glitz of '80s hair metal. The band's entire founding lineup is present -- a rare feat for any 20-year-old act, but one that's especially impressive given this genre's high turnover rate in the 21st century. Kip
's pipes and poster-boy good looks have withered a bit with age, and many (if not all) of the songs have been modified, their original keys lowered in accordance with the singer's dwindling range. Still, Winger
blows through this two-disc set with convincing energy, playing all the predictable hits ("Heading for a Heartbreak," "Seventeen," "Miles Away") while falling prey to the typical (but excusable, since it's all in good fun) trappings of an '80s rock band. That is, they devote entire tracks to solos by guitarist Reb Beach
and drummer Rod Morgenstein
, and there's a great deal of "Come on!" and "Help me out! Sing it!" yelled by the enthusiastic bandmates. Most of the highlights are sandwiched onto the second disc, which features the band's encore section as well as a solid version of the forgotten "Who's the One." For the most part, Winger Live
is strictly a "fans only" release, but that won't keep it from evoking a bit of guilty nostalgia in others.