Monday, November 26, 2007

Kevin Dubrow of Quiet Riot RIP

Kevin Dubrow (1955-2007) of Quiet Riot was found dead in his home yesterday. I was able to see Quiet Riot twice through the years, most recently at Rocklahoma this past summer. Here is my review of that performance.

Kevin was one of the most over the top and entertaining front men I've ever seen and has been an icon on the hard rock music scene since the release of Quiet Riot's Metal Health album.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Down at the Fonda

On Friday night I saw Down at the Henry Fonda Theatre in Hollywood. The show was originally scheduled at the Santa Monica Civic Center but was moved a few weeks back. I arrived around 7:30 for an 8:30 show time. When I arrived there was a line to get into the club that was running about 3/4 of a block. It took nearly 45 minutes to get through this line.

The show was supposed to kick off at 8:30 but I'm assuming because of how long it took to get into the club things were delayed about 30 minutes. Just as Down did on the last tour there wasn't an opening act but instead an opening video that featured live performances from a number of 70s classic rock and hard rock bands. Between the live clips the movie showed footage of Down on tour and backstage. Some of the bands included in the opening video included Lynyrd Skynyrd, Thin Lizzy, Ted Nugent, KISS, Deep Purple (w/ Coverdale), AC/DC and a few others.

As the movie ended the video screen went up, smoke filled the stage, and Down came out and played a 2 hour set. They hit the stage at 10:05pm. I was seated the first row of the balcony, and considering the pit was active on the floor I was in a good place. As has become standard for LA the sound system was good and I had a perfect view of the stage.

Phil Anselmo looked great and was probably the first time I had seen him in concert where he was visibly sober. He was extremely interactive with the crowd and seemed much less pissed off then previous times I had seen him with both Down and Pantera. The band has a great live sound and were very tight live.

I must admit that their new cd Over The Under hasn't grabbed me like their first two. They ended up playing 7 tracks off the new album so I wasn't as familiar with the songs as I would have liked. The new material came off well live so I'll have to give the cd another chance. Since I wasn't as familiar with the new material it made for what felt like a long set.

New songs N.O.D., and Three Sons and One Star, and older songs like Stone The Crow, Lifer and Temptation's Wings were highlights of the set. During the final song of the set a group of females, possibly lady Down?, came out and took over the instruments and closed out Bury Me In Smoke. They actually sounded pretty close to the real band. All the Down guys were still on stage taking pictures and Rex was filming everyone with a video camera. At the end everyone did their final bow and only Phil was left on stage.

Phil led the crowd a capella through a lyric of Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love - "Way down inside, you need...."

Henry Fonda Theatre
November 23, 2007
Los Angeles, CA

The Path
Lysergik Funeral Procession
Lifer (dedicated to Dimebag)
Three Suns And One Star
Hail The Leaf
I Scream
Ghosts Along The Mississippi ->
Learn From This Mistake
Lies, I Don't Know What They Say But...
There's Something On My Side
Temptation's Wings
Beneath The Tides
Losing All
(Lowrider - cover with Pepper and Phil screwing around)
On March The Saints
Eyes Of The South

Stone The Crow
Bury Me In Smoke (lady Down ended the song)
Whole Lotta Love (Phil leads "way down inside" lyric a capella to close out the show)

Playing music again

This past week I played drums with a singer/songwriter named Eric Levai. Jacki and I went to see him on Tuesday night at the Fox and Hounds in Studio City. Jacki said this would be someone she would come out to see. That is always a good thing.

On Wednesday night Eric and I got together at West LA Studios and worked on 4 songs over a course of 3 hours. Same, Revolution Baby, Doing Fine, and One. Check out his myspace page for samples. Very productive session. We will probably get together again in the next few days. Hopefully he will add a bass player and possibly another guitarist into the mix.

As I'm beginning to feel out the music scene in LA I have scheduled an audition with another band for December 1st. They are more indie power pop. Think an indie version of Cheap Trick with a female singer. There is one other band I might attempt to play with, but they want me to learn the Metallica song "The Four Horsemen". Playing the parts aren't a problem, however remembering all the changes for a 7+ minute song is. I've worked through half the song so far. But do I really want to be in a metal band?

At this point the goal is to try out a few situations and see which one I like best.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Before the show I grabbed a quick dinner at the Rainbow. I had a grilled cheese and bacon sandwich just like I did last week before the Vayden show. After I wrapped up dinner at the bar I walked out to the front and the guys from Hellyeah were sitting at a booth. I did a double take and Vinnie Paul acknowledged me and said hey.

I asked if he would mind if I took a picture and he said go ahead. Just at that point world renowned photographer Neil Zlozower walks up to the table and says hi to Vinnie and the band's dinner arrives at the table. At that point Vinnie posed for a quick picture and I said I'd see them over at the show.

I finally got into the show right as Bloodsimple was wrapping up their set. I had seen them previously open for Mudvayne so I knew I could miss their set. Otep was interesting. Great band with a female singer. The crowd was really into this band and Otep probably had the biggest crowd of the night. They played a solid set, although I couldn't tell if I liked the singer or not.

After a short set change Hellyeah took the stage. It was great to see Vinnie Paul back on drums. At one point he had everyone yell Hellyeah loud enough so Dimebag to hear. A very cool moment.

Their set clocked in right at one hour. They played their entire album plus a cover Stone Cold Crazy. I noticed that their music sounded better live than on the cd. Their cd was not able to capture that live sound in the studio. The guitars and drums sounded much better live. However as much as I like Chad, his vocals are oftentimes unintelligible when he is in his shouting/growling mode. He also has the same problem with Mudvayne live. Regardless it was a good set, short and sweet.

After a dry spell with guitar picks I was able to get a pick from both Greg Tribbett and Tom Maxwell.

November 14, 2007
W. Hollywood, California

Matter Of Time
Rotten To The Core
Stone Cold Crazy (Queen / Metallica)
In The Mood / Star
One Thing
Waging War
Thank You
Alcohaulin' Ass
You Wanted Know

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Lenny Kravitz Starts A Love Revolution

Last week I received an email from Virgin Records inviting me and a guest to a taping of a Lenny Kravitz show in Los Angeles. I sent a follow up and was confirmed for me plus a guest. Upon confirmation I found out the event was for a taping of Yahoo! Music's Nissan Live Sets.

The directions had us park in a garage in Century City and stated that buses would take us to the taping. Jacki and I arrived separately to the garage and met up around 5:15. We made it to the site of taping around 5:30. The event was filmed on one of the sound stages at Fox Studios.

After what seemed an enormously long wait they finally let us into the sound stage. After some camera tests, and warming up of the audience Lenny finally hit the stage.

This was my fourth time to see Lenny and he always has a great band with him. On this outing he had his core band (guitar, bass, drums) and had keyboards and a trumpet and sax player. The band performed flawlessly except for the false start on Mr. Cab Driver when the drummer thought they were playing Let Love Rule instead.

However due to the logistics of taping the show the energy of the performance was all over the place. Let Love Rule was not a great opener to getting a crowd going, and then Lenny followed up with a new track that very few people knew. Once he launched into Always On The Run the crowd started to get more into the show as did Lenny and band.

The other odd aspect was the breaks for audience Q&A. Just when the band and crowd were beginning to feed off of one another the entire flow of the show was disrupted for fan questions. I'd recommend moving all of the fan Q&A to the end of the show, or just having one block of questions so as not to disrupt the performance. Even with the disjointed flow I must commend Lenny for providing some great answers and stories for some of the audience questions. As odd as the situation Lenny really tried to connect with the person asking the question and offered sincere responses.

Once again this is an event experience you could get by living in Los Angeles. Look for us on Y! Music Nissan Live in the near future.

Lenny Kravitz
November 13, 2007
Y! Music Nissan Live
Fox Studios
Los Angeles, California

Let Love Rule (Lenny ended song early due to a guitar problem)
Bring It On
Always On The Run
Where Are We Runnin'?
Q & A Part 1 - from audience with Lenny
Love Revolution
Mr. Cab Driver (w/ false start)
Let Love Rule
Q & A Part 2 - from audience with Lenny
Dig In
Are You Gonna Go My Way?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Midnight Fog

As I walked out of the gym a midnight fog had rolled in. My gym is about 2 miles from the ocean but the fog smelled like salt water. First time I had experience the smell of salt water so far from the beach.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Supagroup and Thorriors Unite

This past Thursday I was able to see Supagroup once again. This made show number 3 for me since I first saw them at Smith's Olde Bar in Atlanta Georgia. The tickets said doors at 8:30pm with the show starting promptly at 9pm. Since Supagroup was the first band on the bill I made sure to arrive early. After a late start from work and nearly an hour on the road I made it to Spaceland right at 8:30pm.

As I walked up to the front door Chris Lee and Leif Robinson Swift from Supagroup were standing out front with one of the guys helping them out on the tour. A quick re-introduction and reminder of me seeing them at the Keyclub show about a year back. Chris seemed to remember meeting me from that show and Leif introduced himself to me. I asked if they were going on right at 9 and they said no the second band canceled so they wouldn't be going on until 10 or 10:30.

Chris and I talked briefly about the new album, working with Kevin Shirley, Chris mentioned Kevin is up in the Bay area trying to get Journey's career back together, and the start of the tour. I asked why was "What's Your Problem Now?" on the new album and he said it was because the record company didn't want to make another video. He said he thinks Jailbait will be released as the next single.

He and Leif left and said they'd see me inside.

Once inside I grabbed a beer, an LA Weekly and set up at a table right in front of the stage. It was a long hour and a half but Valient Himself, the singer from Valient Thorr, was playing DJ and was playing tons of great music I had never heard. The only song in the hour and a half that I was familiar with was "Just What The Doctor Ordered" by Ted Nugent. Supagroup went on stage at 10:30p sharp.

They ended up playing without a setlist and proceeded to call out audibles for the next song throughout their set. The show omitted material from their first release. If you aren't familiar with Supagroup they are a band rooted in the music of AC/DC and have the antics of a bunch of teenage party band on stage.

Highlights were Hog Wild, Promised Land, Wasted, and Invncible Me.

November 8, 2007
Los Angeles, CA

Ready To Go
Born In Exile
Hog Wild
It Takes Balls
Promised Land
Let's Go (Get Wasted)
Bow Down
Lonely At The Bottom
Invincible Me
Roll In Smokin'

After their set I spoke briefly to Benji Lee and mentioned the Keyclub show to him. He said he remembered it was a good night although no one was at the show. He also recalled the event where one of the guys from the Giraffes dropped his pants and was almost kicked out of the venue while they were on stage. I couldn't believe he recalled that night.

The quote of the night was from Chris. On stage he said that when they arrived the Thorriors were already lining up and word came out that the second band canceled. He said one of the Thorriors said "Good... One less band to sit through."

Next up was Valient Thorr. The crowd was full of Thorriors. What is a Thorrior you ask? It is a kid with long hair, wearing a ratty blue jeans jacket with the sleeves cut off and a giant home made looking Valient Thorr logo on the back. Look here for the official word on becoming a Thorrior. After seeing the band's set you can see why they garner this type of loyalty.

Their set was an unforgettable experience. From the opening of the set with Valient Himself pumping up the crowd to the encore chant of Valient Himself threatening not to play the encore if the crowd didn't know the encore chant. Unaided the crowd launched into
"P-A-R-T-Y We don't need no alibi!" Encore achieved.

I hadn't heard their material prior to their show but from their new album they did play both Heatseeker and Exit Strategy. I've since picked up their second album Legend Of The World and I think I have a new favorite album for this year.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Vayden at the Slash Book Signing

Before the show I met JP from Vains Of Jenna. He was handing out flyers for their show at the Knitting Factory on November 17. We talked about the recent tours including the tour where they opened for Poison and Ratt. I mentioned I had already planned to see the Knitting Factory show with some family and friends and would see them then.

About 9pm I finally was able to meet up with Bruce, the drummer for Vayden. He was getting me a ticket since the Slash book signing event cost so much. After a quick introduction I made my way into the show.

The first band up was called Aces and Eights. The drummer was the worst drummer I've seen in LA. And then to top it off Slash got up on stage with the band for several songs including a mediocre run through of the Sex Pistols Problems, and our horrible version of Stevie Ray Vaughan's Pride and Joy. Even Slash couldn't make up for how bad this band was.

Next up was Vayden. I saw them a little over a year ago at the Keyclub and have been looking forward to seeing them out in LA ever since. They sounded even better than I remembered. The new bass player and guitarist were great additions. Highlights of their set included Karma with an amazing bass rumble triggered by the drummer and Anthem, my favorite song off the ir cd.

Unfortunately since the first band ran long Vayden's set was cut short by 3 songs.

November 7, 2007
Whisky A Go Go
W. Hollywood California

Just The Tip
Karma Is A Professional Wrestler
Anthem Of The Used
Hanzel and Gretel? or Sweet...?
Come Together (Beatles)

Songs not played but were on the setlist
Hanzel and Gretel? or Sweet...? - I'm not sure which one they played
Save The World

The last band I stayed for was 72. The guitarist and drummer made the band. They reminded me of Sum 41.

After the Vayden set I talked to their singer Curtis. He came over to me and thanked me for coming out. I mentioned that I first saw them a little over a year ago at the Keyclub.

I can't say enough good things about this band. Curtis is a front man on the rise and once Bruce is known he will easily be in all of the drum magazines. As Curtis says on his Myspace page"
My name is Curtis Casey lead singer of your next all time favorite band, Vayden." No exaggeration.

Another good night out for live music. Go see Vayden if you ever see them in your town. If you like your music a little heavy with great musicianship you won't be disappointed.

(C) 2003- 2008 ytsanyd | |