Many of the guys at Powerplay doubted that I could pull it off. Not only did I pull it off , but also I was the guy that every man on the 'Voices Of Metal' tour was jealous of, for two days at least. "What was this amazing feat?" I hear you ask... Being granted two days of unrestricted access to the one and only Vixen.
I joined Vixen at the Sauk County Fair Ground in Baraboo, Wisconsin, which turned out to be a 4,500 capacity outdoor state fair. I was introduced to the band by tour manager Eden. The first surprise was that due to personal problems, there had been a major line-up change. The band had started the tour with three original members, but the only one remaining now was guitarist and founding member Jan Kuehnemund . The new members were Jenna (vocals) , Lynne Louise Lowrey (bass) , and Katherin Kraft (drums) . Kath wasted no time in getting to the stage and setting her drum kit up. The other ladies were in good spirits and immediately started to tuck into a spread of food (mainly cold meat, cheese and vegetables) in their 'dressing room' . The dressing room in this case was a large outdoor tent, and the only toilets were portable ones, situated ten minutes walk from the tent; this was not luxury by any means. The crucial makeup was put on using small handheld mirrors [5,6], after which Jan warmed up on her guitar and Kath practised on a drum pad . The final essential preparation was the body warm up, which involved elaborate stretching exercises . Lynne, who has studied Karate, added a few impressive high-kicks into her routine.
A sizable crowd had gathered to welcome Vixen, who chose to open with one of their heavier numbers, "Rev It Up" . This is the only time that I have seen all the security in the pit turn around to watch the band, rather than keeping their eyes on the audience. After taking some live photos I retired into the main arena to watch the show. From a distance I couldn't help but notice the similarity between Jenna's looks and those of original vocalist Janet Gardner - a clever choice indeed. I wondered how many people in the audience knew that there had been a change. In only two weeks, the new members had learned to play the songs immaculately, and Jenna's voice was an exact copy of Janet's, which put to rest my biggest fear. Highlights for me were "Cryin" and "Edge Of A Broken Heart". After the show, Vixen signed stuff for their fans for about ten minutes  before piling into their van and travelling to the next venue.
The next day we were at the DTE Energy Music Theatre in Detroit, a 15,000 capacity amphitheatre, and compared to the previous day, this place was a palace. Vixen had two nice dressing rooms with adjoining bathrooms, so two girls shared each one. The catering was great too, with hot food being served at lunch and dinnertime by professional chefs. On arrival, the make-up and hair preening rituals began immediately. Jenna informed me that it takes them an hour on average just to do their makeup. Today, Vixen actually got to do a full soundcheck as headliner Vince Neil and the other bands on the bill, Ratt and Slaughter, had finished theirs early. With only their foundation makeup on, they ran through "Rev It Up" and "Edge..."  before returning to their dressing rooms to finish getting ready. Vixen had a lot of friends at this gig, including their manager, Jim Mooradian. Show time for them was 6:45pm, and due to strong rain, the attendance wasn't that great. But those who turned up really got involved, waving their hands and shouting along. The set list was the same as the previous night's, but the audience participation parts were cut down to avoid the heavy fines that the band would have incurred if the band played over their allotted time. What we got, in order, was "Rev It Up", "Streets In Paradise", "How Much Love", "Cryin", "I Want You To Rock Me" and "Edge Of A Broken Heart". On stage, Jenna was presented with quite a few roses from male admirers and Jan was again the star of the show.
After they had cooled down for half an hour, I managed to catch a photo session with the girls before they were mobbed by the fans who had been able to blag their way backstage. Jan then made use of a masseur who had set up shop backstage . Explaining why she needed it, she said, "I'm about to get a shoulder massage for my carpel tunnel. My fingers feel numb. I'm not really sure what's wrong, but it's not good!"
After hanging out and having a few more drinks, it was time for me to say goodbye. I can't wait for this line-up of the band to settle down and release a new album. The talent is there in abundance and the future is looking good for this rejuvenated band.