Category Archives: LIVE SHOWS

WHISKY CURES EVERYTHING

Five of the hardest rockin’ shows headed to the Whisky A Go-Go in 2021.

Sure, we all know that the year 2020 sucks worse than that recent Tommy Lee album, but with a promising vaccine reportedly on the way, there are plenty of awesome concerts that we’re looking forward to in 2021 as we start to make up for lost time.And thanks to Pfizer, we’ll be doing it mask-free and close enough to scare the band. (That was a Fast Times at Ridgemont High joke.)

While we certainly love, respect and appreciate livestream shows from our favorite bands and nightclubs, nothing can ever replace the euphoria and excitement and the intrinsic connection with bands and fellow fans that a live concert offers. Catching concerts at the Whisky A Go-Go–which I’ve done countless times for decades–is a unique experience that wows all the senses.

Whisky A Go-Go

Setting the scene for virtually every Whisky show is the ubiquitous aroma of fine cannabis that wafts above small cliques of Whisky patrons usually seen hanging out in front of the club between sets. The contact high provides a decent buzz that adds to the excitement of seeing the awesome interior of the legendary venue and its unique rock artifacts that cover its walls and pay tribute to past Whisky headliners and house bands like Motley Crue and The Doors.

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BACK FOR THE ATTACK

Dokken

Dokken and Lynch Mob bringing the hits to Sunset in 2021.

The world-famous Whisky A Go-Go on the Sunset strip has been working overtime to keep rock alive while the nightclub is temporarily closed because of the coronavirus. The Sunset Strip landmark has been hosting livestream concerts from the Whisky stage by bands like Black Veil Brides, and on September 19, guitar goddess Orianthi will be busting some strings for a livestream show, and thrash metal monsters Armored Saint headline a livestream set on October 10.

Dokken

Now, the Whisky has revealed another amazing show to look forward, and it’s not a lifestream show either. It’s a live, in-your-face double whammy concert bill featuring Lynch Mob and Dokken performing at a special two-night headlining gig at Whisky on Feb. 5 and 6. Lynch Mob is, of course, fronted by guitar hero George Lynch from Dokken. And it will be great to see the “Wicked Sensation” rocker back on the Whisky’s stage and rockin’ alongside longtime on again/off again bandmate Don Dokken.

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BLACK CELEBRATION

BVB

Black Veil Brides to livestream anniversary show from the Whisky.

Hollywood rockers Black Veil Brides are putting on their best leather and hitting the road…sort of. Andy Biersack and his fellow Sunset Strip refugees are taking the coronavirus situation in stride and have devised a great solution to keep on rockin’. On August 1, the band will head to WeHo to celebrate the release of its forthcoming new album by performing Re-Stitch These Wounds in full at the Whisky A Go-Go.

The special record release party performance will be the first time that BVB will be rocking tracks from Re-Stitch These Wounds, a 10-year anniversary re-recording of the Brides’ 2010 debut album, We Stich These Wounds. The new release is due July 31.

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FUTURE DAYS

Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam reschedules European tour dates, adds shows.

Pearl Jam’s North American tour in support of the Seattle band’s 11th studio album, Gigton, is still pending due to the coronavirus pandemic, but its 2020 European tour has been rescheduled for June and July of 2021. The 2021 tour routing includes two new concert dates — Pinkpop Festival and Prague. Support acts will be announced closer to the concert dates.

Previously purchased tickets will remain valid for all rescheduled shows.

Pearl Jam

“We look forward to returning to Europe, pending these events can safely take place in Summer 2021,” said the band is a press statement that hit social media on July 23. “The safety and well-being of the band’s fans, crew and event staff continue to be priority.”

KICK OUT THE ‘JAM’

Whisky A Go-Go

Whisky’s ‘Jam Night’ delivers more treats than tricks in October.

Tuesday nights in WeHo have never been the same since “Ultimate Jam Night Hollywood” took over the Whisky a few years back. The weekly two-hour showcase of live music has brought back to the Sunset Strip neighborhood an authentic and always awesome rock and roll experience not seen nor heard since the days when Axl, Nikki and Blackie strode its storied streets. In fact, many of the stellar musicians in the “Ultimate Jam” band as well as the weekly surprise guests have likely rocked a stage alongside iconic bands like Guns N’ Roses and Quiet Riot at one time or another. The Tuesday night “Jam” band includes Chuck Wright (Quiet Riot) Matt Starr (Mr. Big), and Mitch Perry (Edgar Winter Group).1OAK

When not rocking the Whisky’s stage as frontman for the new revival of Sweet, staggeringly talented vocalist Paulie Z hosts “Ultimate Jam Night,” effortlessly segueing between announcing the artists and raising the roof with the house band on a few of the evening’s cover tunes. And all through October, Z and his crew were serving up more treats than tricks.

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‘CRIME’ REPORT

Geoff Tate’s Whisky show proves he’s still king of prog-metal.

Former Queensryche frontman Geoff Tate delivered a mind-f*** at the Whisky on August 17, and fans couldn’t get enough of the hard-rockin’ hits crushing their cabezas. Tate’s timeless classics had the crowd of 200 or so fans fist pumping and singing along throughout the nearly two-hour set that celebrated the 30th anniversary of Queensryche’s 1988 breakthrough album, Operation Mindcrime.

Promising to perform the prog-metal masterpiece in its entirety, Tate and his band delivered a faithful rendition of the 15-song concept album that saw his talented daughter, Emily Tate, guesting on vocals on “Sister Mary.” The multi-platinum Operation Mindcrime is one of Queensryche’s most memorable and successful releases, and arguably the Seattle band’s best album. And Tate and company blew the roof off the Whisky A Go-Go performing perfect renditions of the classic rock hits.

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STONED ON SUNSET

UJNH - GILBY CLARKE

Whisky’s Rolling Stones tribute would’ve made Mick Jagger proud. 

Host Paulie Z and the guys behind Ultimate Jam Night, the free weekly Tuesday night event at the Whisky A Go-Go, pulled off another spectacular show with a recent tribute to the Rolling Stones. Now, you can never go wrong with the Stones, but add in special guests like Guns N’ Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke and keyboardist Dizzy Reed and Eagles of Death Metal‘s Jesse Hughes, and you’ve got one helluva show.

UJNH - JESS HUGHES

Of course, the Ultimate Jam Night Hollywood house band was stellar, too. Rock tour veterans Mitch Perry (Edgar Winter Group, Lita ford), Matt Starr (Ace FrehleyMr. Big), and Ultimate Jam Night Hollywood founder Chuck Wright (Alice CooperQuiet Riot) never missed a beat as they performed alongside a rockin’ roster of guest musicians from local and national bands.

The addition of horns and percussion really helped capture the sound and spirit of the nearly 20 Rolling Stones classics that were covered throughout a solid two-hour show.

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HEAVY METAL HERO WORSHIP

Dio Portrait

Feuding bands Last in Line & Dio Disciples to rock Sunset in 2018.

Fans of the late, great Ronnie James Dio are getting two good reasons to hit the Sunset Strip in early 2018. The world-famous Whisky a Go-Go will be welcoming back to its stage Dio Disciples on Jan. 25 to start the year off right — and LOUD — with a night of RJD classics. Dio Disciples is comprised of musicians who worked with Dio later in his career, including drummer Simon Wright, who backed up Dio on 1990’s Lock Up the Wolves and RJD’s tenth and final studio album, 2004’s Master of the Moon.

Then, as “Hey Angel” and “Evil on Queen Street” are still echoing in your cabeza, the Whisky’s walls will be shakin’ again to the sounds of Last in Line, which headlines the Sunset Strip club two weeks later, on Feb. 16.

As far as authenticity goes, this Dio tribute band launched by guitar legend Vivian Campbell (pictured with Dio, right) carries a bit more cache and is comprised of members of RJD’s career-making early band, which also helped co-write tracks on the first three hits-packed Dio albums: 1983’s Holy Diver, 1984’s Last in Line, and 1985’s Sacred Heart.

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BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN

Sunset Strip legends Pretty Boy Floyd return to the Whisky, Dec. 1.

A lot has changed on the Sunset Strip’s Rock Row since the awesome Eighties, when local legends like Motley Crue, Ratt, Creature, Warrant, and Pretty Boy Floyd, ruled the scene.

Somewhere along the way, after Hollywood hit-makers like Guns N’ Roses and Crue stepped off the Strip and into global stardom while landmark haunts like Gazzarri’s and Duke’s shuttered, the celebratory anthem of “sex, drugs, and rock and roll” was drown out by grunge and changing times. And by the late-’80s, instead of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, all we were left with was AIDS, crack and Mariah Carey.

Then, a few decades later, we mourned the death of Motley Crue, witnessed the end of the Sunset Strip Music Festival, and then the Sunset Strip lost a part of its soul with the passing of local legend Mario Maglieri last May.

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DECADE OF DECADENCE

Nikki Sixx to celebrate Heroin Diaries anniversary with L.A. book signing.

Sunset Strip-launched rock and roll icon Nikki Sixx will be stopping by Barnes & Noble bookstore at The Grove on October 27 for a meet and greet with fans in honor of his best selling memoir The Heroin Diaries turning 10. The rare opportunity to meet the mastermind behind Motley Crue is free to those who have bought a copy of Sixx’s autobiographical tome from Barnes & Noble. A special 10-year anniversary edition of Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star, which contains new chapters, and its related soundtrack, which contains new reworked tracks, will be released the same day as Sixx’s book signing.Heroin Diaries - Nikki Sixx - SouthernCaliforniaRocks.comThe multi-talented musician recently announced that he is pulling the plug on his popular nationally syndicated IHeartRadio talk show, Sixx Sense, at the end of the year. Sixx is, as he says, “shifting gears” to concentrate on other high-profile projects, including the upcoming Broadway musical adaptation of The Heroin Diaries.Heroin Diaries Tenth Anniversary - SouthernCalifroniaRocks.com“It’s been an inspirational journey and I’ll always be a fan of the medium, but it’s time to shift gears outside the realm of solely radio,” said Sixx in a recent press statement. “I’m in the process of developing new and unique programming and ventures across multiple platforms. But I’m really gonna miss Sixx Sense.”The former Crue bassist, who has since launched the equally badass band Sixx A.M., is currently on a mini-tour to hype the tenth anniversary edition of his infamous 2007 drugalogue about his battle with and successive win over substance abuse.In addition to seeing his harrowing New York Times bestseller hit the Great White Way next year, Sixx has hinted on social media about some exciting other projects he has in store for 2018, including putting a sharper focus on his acclaimed portrait photography. He will launch a global tour of his photography exhibit “Conversations with Angels,” which is currently on display at L.A.’s Leica Gallery through Nov. 7.Nikki Sixx - SouthernCaliforniaRocks.comSixx will be signing copies of The Heroin Diaries beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27, at The Grove, located at 189 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles. Wristbands are required. Get more details here.

WANTED MAN

Stephen Pearcy - RattRock Row Refugee Stephen Pearcy Returns to Whisky, June 23

Before and after launching Sunset N’ Clark in 2006, we have been to some really great shows on the Sunset Strip. There was Motley Crue headlining the now-defunct Sunset Strip Music Festival in 2011, and Ozzy Osbourne before that, in 2009. But one of the most surprising shows that really stands out as being pretty stellar was Ratt legend Stephen Pearcy‘s headlining appearance at the Rainbow‘s “Parking Lot Party” in 2015.

Stephen Pearcy - Ratt

We’ve seen the original Ratt perform many times back in the day. And the band, with its signature two-guitar assault, always gave a stellar show. But years later at the Rainbow, while we still loved Ratt, we kinda weren’t expecting Pearcy, after having been off the Strip and out of the spotlight for a while, to rock as hard as he did.

Sure, his famous long raven locks now had a few streaks of silver, but the combustible energy was as raw as it was back in the day when tying bandanas to your shins was cool.

After chatting about his on again/off again stint in Ratt, Pearcy reminded the crowd that as the singer and songwriter behind all of the band’s hits, he “is Ratt.” He was referring of course to the other “Ratt” incarnations that were scurrying around on the club circuit at the time courtesy of his then-ex-band mates.

From the small stage adjacent to the Rainbow’s side patio, Pearcy proved that he is indeed Ratt by covering timeless anthems like “Wanted Man” and “Dance” with a ferocious energy that could power every neon sign over Sunset for a year.

Stephen Pearcy - Ratt

Stephen Pearcy - -Whisky - 2014Pearcy is bringing that energy back to the Sunset Strip on June 23, when the metal icon again headlines the Whisky A Go-Go in support of his latest album, Smash. Since the Rainbow’s “Parking Lot Party,” the Rock Row refugee has been back on the block to rock the Whisky a few times, including last fall.

There’s never been a better reason to ditch Netflix for a night and instead take in some kick-ass culture straight from the awesome ’80s. Expect to hear all the classics that still blow away anything on the radio today. The show starts at 10 p.m. Angel City Rockers, SJ Syndicate, Crowfly, and Retrofeelya are also on the bill. Tickets are $30.

KINGS FOR A DAY

Kings of Chaos - Chester Bennington

All-Star Band Kings of Chaos Rock Long Beach Grand Prix

The sun was shinin’ and the rock stars were out on April 28, when Matt Sorum and his famous friends in the supergroup Kings of Chaos — including Billy Idol, Linkin Park‘s Chester Bennington,  ZZ Top‘s Billy Gibbons, The Cult‘s Billy Duffy and Stone Temple PilotsDean and Robert DeLeo — rocked the main stage of the 48th annual Long Beach Grand Prix. Former Guns N’ Roses, The Cult and Velvet Revolver drummer Sorum is the ringleader of the Kings, who have only played a handful of live shows since forming in 2012.
Billy Idol - Long Beach Grand Prix

Needless to say, Kings of Chaos’ Long Beach show was a rare and unique hits-packed showcase that seemed more of an event than a mere concert.

The set kicked off in spectacular form with a pumped up Bennington, donned in a purple suit and a fedora and evoking the rock and roll soul of Weiland, tearing up the stage with a scorching cover of STP’s career-making classic, “Sex Type Thing.” That spectacular performance was followed by an equally powerful take on “Interstate Love Song.” The entire KoC set personally defined the term “badass” to a crowd that came for fast cars and ended up getting whiplash from the headline entertainment. No disrespect to STP’s former frontman but Bennington not only owned the stage, he owned that band on this evening.

Billy Gibbons - Long Beach Grand Prix

The Linkin Park frontman made up for deciding to neglect LP songs by covering most of STP and Velvet Revolver’s hits instead. He periodically turned over the mic and the stage to Idol and Gibbons, who performed their respective hits with Sorum, Duffy and the DeLeo brothers backing them up with a solid rhythm section.

Chester Bennington - Long Beach Grand Prix

Idol was having as good of a time as the crowd was as everyone collectively sneered and fist-pumped through ragers like “Rebel Yell” and “Dancing with Myself.”

Billy Gibbons - Long Beach Grand Prix

Likewise, Gibbons covered familiar territory with a newfound ferocity that nearly melted the amps with a smokin’ set of double-Z classics like “Gimme All Your Lovin'” and “Sharp Dressed Man.”

Long Beach Grand Prix

We were so engrossed in the music that we can’t even tell you who won the Long Beach Grand Prix. But we have no found just who deserves the crown for the overall event.

Concert Review: ACE FREHLEY

EX-KISS SHREDDER PUTS L.A. IN THE N.Y. GROOVE WITH SMOKIN’ HITS-PACKED SET

KISS‘ legendary original guitarist Ace Frehley rolled into Los Angeles’ Saban Theatre on Feb. 3 for a stellar show of new tunes from his latest album, Space Invader, and, of course, unforgettable KISS classics. 

Appropriately enough, this particular Friday evening in L.A. was unusually chilly, moody and rainy, making it feel more like autumn in New York. So, when this famous native New Yorker cranked up his most loved jam, “Back in the New York Groove,” the crowd was definitely feeling every beat of Ace’s groove.

The best moment during a night that included many was when Frehley pulled out his famous Gibson and played a smokin’ solo while his axe literally smoked, just like back in KISS’ early days.

After opening the show with the KISS classic “Parasite,” the influential guitarist shared lead vocals with his various band members on a number of KISS’ best songs, including, of course, “Cold Gin,” “Rocket Ride” and “Shock Me.”

The Spaceman was in fine form and seemed to be having as much fun as his audience, sharing stories and his famous chuckle between songs. He mentioned that he is celebrating 10-plus years of sobriety, a revelation that justifiably got as much applause as his set did. 

Opening acts Smash Fashion and late-Eighties/early-Nineties stalwarts Enuff Z’Nuff were also fantastic and a lot of fun. L.A. newbies Smash Fashion offered a dose of solid, catchy Stone Temple Pilots-like original rock songs.

Likewise, Enuff Z’Nuff’s original jams, particularly the 1989 smash “Fly High Michelle,” were well-received and had the crowd on its feet and singing along at full volume. The timeless rock ballad was almost overshadowed by the band’s excellent cover of David Bowie‘s “Gene Genie.” 

All in all, this was a three-homerun heavy metal bill that knocked it out of the ballpark. 

Ace Frehley

Ace Frehley

Ace Frehley

WING FEST

WINGER CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF HITS AT WHISKY, NOV. 11

If you do the math, that nearly-jailbait babe that Kip Winger was serenading in 1988’s “Seventeen” would be a 44-year-old cougar today. But Kip and crew will still be cranking out the obsessive pop-metal ode to young lust when Winger hits the Sunset Strip to rock the Whisky A Go-Go on Nov. 11. And that’s a good thing.

The New York rockers will be in town to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the release of the band’s 1988 debut, Winger. The album spawned the hit singles “Headed for a Heartbreak,” “Madalaine,” “Hungry” and, of course, “Seventeen.”

Singer-bassist Kip Winger and his crew–guitarists Reb Beach and John Roth and drummer Rod Morgenstein, will be rockin’ and rollin’ out all the hits from Winger straight up to “Better Days Comin'” and the scorching guitar-heavy rocker “Rat Race” from 2014’s Better Days Comin’.

Evolution Eden and Osairis are opening the Whisky show.

30 YEARS OF ‘DOOM’

flotsam-and-jetsamFLOTSAM & JETSAM CELEBRATE THREE DECADES OF DOOMSDAY, NOV. 5 AT WHISKY A GO-GO

doomsdayMetallica‘s ex-bassist Jason Newstead‘s old band Flotsam and Jetsom is bringing its manic metal anthems to the Whisky A Go-Go on Nov. 5 . The metal stalwarts have just returned from a European tour and are promoting F&J’s self-titled 12th studio album, which was released last spring.

But even decades later, the Newstead-era “Hammerhead” and “She Took an Axe” from Flotsam’s 1986 debut, Doomsday for the Deceiver, and “Wading Through the Darkness” and F&J’s cover of Elton John‘s “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting,” from 1988’s breakthrough album Cuatro, are still as blistering and badass as they come.


flotsam-and-jetsam-drummer-jason-bittner“We are very excited to get out with this package and thrash through the United States, playing material from our new album, fan favorites, as well as celebrating the 30-year anniversary of Doomsday for the Deceiver,” promises Flotsam and Jetsam drummer Jason Bittner.

Bay Area thrash-metal newbies Hatchet will also be shredding at Whisky as Flotsam’s support act on the U.S. tour.