Category Archives: ROCKIN’ EVENTS

ROCK AND ROLL ALL NITE

Legendary guitarist Ace Frehley’s debut headlining show at Whisky A Go-Go brings out the KISS Army’s rock soldiers to the Sunset Strip.

Legendary KISS guitarist Ace Frehley headline The Whisky A Go-Go for the first time ever on February 27 and he did not leave without tearing the roof off of the joint. The 71-year-old rock icon looked great and was in High spirits as he continually tossed guitar picks to the fans and shared stories about his life in music.

“The Spaceman” may have been unmasked but he definitely brought back the same raw energy and ferocious hard-rockin’ energy that  helped make KISS one of the biggest bands in the world. Frehley started the show at around 9:45 p.m. and immediately had the crowd fist-pumping when he opened the show with “Rip it Out,” the killer opening track to his 1978 KISS-related solo album. The second the opening chords of “Rip It Out” started to echo throughout the room, the suddenly ubiquitous devil’s horns salutes let you know the crowd of diehard rock soldiers from the KISS Army were pleased.

The legendary guitarist has inspired probably half of the rock bands of the last five decades, and the crowd at the Whisky was made up of a good mix of young and older fans, many of them sporting KISS t-shirts.

Frehley never sounded better, tearing into another track from his first solo album. The  hard-rockin’ “Snow Blind” actually seemed like the perfect theme for the evening considering that the weather that night was so severe that it was snowing in parts of Hollywood, and the show looked like it may have been in jeopardy. But the fans turned out and the nearly sold out show was packed all the way to the back of the room.

The former KISS shredder kept the solo vibe going a bit more, rolling through “Speedin’ Back to My Baby” before taking the show up a first notches with KISS’ “Parasite.”

It was hard to tell who was having a better time, the crowd or the band on stage. Frehley’s band was amazing and included longtime drummer Matt Starr, a frequent guest artist at Whisky’s Jam Night Hollywood who was especially spot-on while covering KISS’ classics, including effortlessly handling lead vocals on “Detroit Rock City.”

Before kicking into “Rock Soldiers'” which is arguably one of Frehley’s best solo songs, he provided a brief music history lesson. The NYC-born singer-songwriter mentioned that he wrote the song with Chip Taylor, who, he said, is Angelina Jolie‘s uncle and Jon Voight‘s brother. (Taylor also wrote the classics “Wild Thing” and “Angel of the Morning.”) “Rock Soldiers” had the crowd joining freely on the chorus at full volume, helping Ace deliver his anthem about keeping the flame of rock and roll alive. It was especially cool to experience this ode to hard rock devotees at the iconic Whisky during Frehley’s first-ever headlining gig at the world-famous L.A. club.

Before closing out the show, Ace covered his Frehley’s Comet era with “Insane” and, of course, delivered his biggest solo hit, “New York Groove” plus a few more KISS staples that he co-wrote, including “Rocket Ride” and “Getaway.”

He also included “Shock Me” in the set after revealing that he was inspired to write the song after being electrocuted during a KISS concert in Clearwater, Florida, in the Seventies.

Frehley closed out his stellar headlining show with the KISS classics “Cold Gin,” and, for an encore, “Deuce,” but not before delivering a 10-minute guitar solo that was so hot it was literally smoking. Ace introduced his slick new Gibson guitar with blinking LED lights that proceeded to smoke as he soloed.

After he spent most of the show tossing out guitar picks to fans throughout the crowd, Frehley let them know that he had as good of a time as they did. “I’ve been playing guitar for 50 years, and I never had a lesson!” he announced with a laugh that seemed to indicate that even he was awed by the show. 

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ROCKET MAN

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legend Ace Frehley is bringing his KISS and solo hits to the Whisky, Feb. 27.

Get set to rock and roll all night when iconic former KISS guitarist Ace Frehley gets back in the West Hollywood groove with a headlining gig at the Whisky A Go-Go on February 27.

As we said back in 2017 when he headlined the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills, the founding KISS member is really in his element when he’s commanding the stage as a frontman. He puts on an exciting two-hour set of non-stop rockers that include his own classic KISS, Frehley’s Comet, and solo hits.

During his set, Frehley covers many KISS classics, like “Rocket Ride,” “Cold Gin” and “Shock Me” as well as solo hits like “Rock Soldiers” and his cover of “New York Groove” from his 1978 KISS solo album.

Frehley’s equally famous smokin’ Gibson guitar will also make a guest appearance along with a few guest artists to be announced soon.

The Whisky A Go-Go is at 8901 Sunset Boulevard at Clark Street. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $65.

SUCKING IN THE ’70s

Whisky A Go-Go and Hal Sparks set to host a night of classic rock from one of the greatest eras for music.

If you weren’t fortunate enough to have lived through at least part of the ’70s, you’re in luck because the Whisky A Go-Go is going to take rock fans back in time to the good old days when Zeppelin ruled and nobody even knew what twerking was yet. 

Tuesday Night Music Club: Chuck Wright (l.) & Hal Sparks

On January 17, actor, rocker, and Nerd Halen frontman Hal Sparks is once again hosting Ultimate Jam Night Hollywood, which is themed “That ’70s Jam.” The set will include two hours of stellar rock covers of Me Decade masterpieces delivered by world-class working musicians that you probably have seen before performing in some of your favorite classic and modern rock bands, from Quiet Riot to Duran Duran.

Beasts of Burden: Rolling Stones circa 1970s

Plus, Sparks is a very entertaining and funny emcee that makes the segway between numbers go very smoothly, so the entire evening just feels like one big party.

Down at the Whisky: Hal Sparks at Ultimate Jam Night

Sparks is a musician and diehard rock fan who truly knows his rock history even when he’s not reading from the clipboard. He will often riff on interesting factoids about the bands and songs throughout the evening, which is also a fun part of the Tuesday night events.

Kings of Teenage Wasteland: The Who

During the “That ’70s Jam” tribute concert, you can expect the Seventies aura–and likely the aroma–to be spot-on during the Whisky’s homage to the hard rock hits and ballsy ballads of one of the best eras for music that gave us everlasting classics by KISS, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Aerosmith, Pink Floyd, The Sweet, and so much more.

Shout It Out Loud: KISS pretty much owned the Seventies

And when it comes to recreating classic songs, nobody does it like the band from the Whisky A Go-Go’s famous “Ultimate Jam Night Hollywood” event. In fact, a while back when they covered the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” with Leif Garrett on vocals, they had at least a dozen musicians on stage to make sure they replicated every nuance of that classic song. (Props to Leif Garrett, too, for completely delivering on that rock ‘n’ roll masterpiece.)

He Was Made for Rockin’: Leif Garrett at Whisky

So, if they dare to cover “Stairway to Heaven” at “That ’70s Jam,” you can bet it’s going to be the next best thing to sitting on a grassy knoll in Golden Gate Park stoned out of your mind watching Led Zeppelin do it at Kezar Stadium in 1973.

Rock and Roll: Led Zeppelin looking effortlessly cool backstage in the ’70s

The cool thing about watching the band cover Zeppelin at the Whisky is that you’ll be standing in the same room where Led Zeppelin performed on January 5, 1969. Like, that’s sure to give the stoners a super-cool high, man.

The Whisky A Go-Go is located at 8901 Sunset Blvd., at Sunset and Clark St. An opening band starts the evening off at 8 p.m. “That ’70s Jam” kicks off at 10 p.m. Free to those 21 and over. Yes, this night of world-class live music is free!

HEY, I KNOW THAT DUDE!

On Monday nights in L.A., about the only sure shot you got is Fast Times at the Whisky A Go-Go.

The Whisky A Go-Go‘s Monday night house band, Fast Times, is a totally awesome and completely tubular ’80s tribute band that never fails to knock your neon lime green socks off and get your checkerboard Vans moshing.

Bored on a random Monday night, we cruised over to Sunset and Clark to catch yet another set by Fast Times, which has been the Whisky’s Monday night house band for the past two years. And they always give one of the coolest, most faithful sets of ’80s covers that are spot-on and have an awesome added edge that comes from the high-energy live show that includes plenty of audience participation.

Throughout the show, the faux Jeff Spicoli frontman brilliantly segues from handling the vocals of Jon Bon Jovi one minute to Dave Gahan the next and then effortlessly switching to Mark Almond and Holly Johnson, and the segue is as smooth and crisp as the keyboard riffs of a Casio.

Fast Times always manages to engage the audience to the point that for a moment in time, the Whisky feels like you just stepped into a rockin’ prom circa 1985. The crowd is very much into the experience, everyone knows the words of every song, and they’re excited by just how good the covers are.

Plus, the audience is often invited to sing/yell the choruses into the microphone during the many times various band members step up into the edge of the stage. Fast Times’ set feels more like a really wicked party than a concert. 

The only disappointment came when we stepped outside and realized there wasn’t a 1982 DMC DeLorean waiting to hit 88 mph and take us back to the ’80s for good.

AND THE BEAT GOES ON

The Go-Go’s frontwoman Belinda Carlisle is bringing 50 years of timeless rock n’ roll hits to Beverly Hills in October.

If you were one of the lucky ones who caught The Go-Go’s 2018 show at the Hollywood Bowl, which took place beneath a twinkling starlit SoCal sky just before the pandemic reared it’s ugly head, then you know just how awesome it is to catch a legendary Hollywood-launched band play an equally iconic venue.

Fans will get that opportunity again this fall, when The Go-Go’s frontwoman Belinda Carlisle headlines another local landmark, the gorgeous, intimate-sized Saban Theater in the heart of Beverly Hills.

The hit-making singer-songwriter is sure to give Beverly Hills a night to remember with a set spanning more than 30 years of solo smashes, from 1986’s Belinda to 2007’s Voila. Of course, fans can also expect to hear over 40 years of timeless hits from The Go-Go’s, which formed in L.A. in 1978, after Carlisle and her friends devised the idea while sitting on a curb outside a house party in Venice.

“I Get Weak,” “Circle in the Sand,” “Mad About You,” “Leave a Light On,”and her number one single “Heaven Is a Place on Earth” still hold up today as some of the best pop gems in music history, composed of instantly memorable choruses and dance-inducing melodies wrapped around smartly written lyrics about love, loss, and learning to navigate both with a smile on your face and a beat in your step.

To rock fans who grew up in the awesome Eighties, The Go-Go’s were the soundtrack to the Me Decade, and kids certainly got the beat from the moment 1982’s hits-packed Beauty and the Beat hit the bins.

The band’s debut album shot to No. 1, making the California band the first all-woman group off singer-songwriters to top the charts with their own original material.

Beauty and the Beat’s singles “We Got the Beat” and “Our Lips Are Sealed” were instant global smashes that made the band MTV darlings and landed them on the cover of Rolling Stone and launching a 50-year-strong career that shows no signs of slowing down.

Carlisle’s Beverly Hills show at the Saban on Oct. 27 starts at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $50-$130. The Saban Theatre is at 8440 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills.

MONSTER BASH

Slipknot drummer Jay Weinberg’s ‘A Hollow Realm’ Art Exhibit Opens in Silverlake for one night only, July 7.

Slipknot drummer Jay Weinberg is hosting his first solo art exhibit on July 7 in Silverlake. The multi talented musician will showcase his paintings in a one-time, in person show titled “A Hollow Realm.”

The rare showcase is described as “a fully-immersive virtual gallery experience created in collaboration with Optic Nerve.”

Fans are invited to attend the free event, which will take place from 6 p.m. through midnight at Rampart Studios Gallery, located at 2520 Sunset Boulevard in the heart of the Sunset Junction area of Silverlake.

To RSVP, head over to the “A Hollow Realm” website. See you fellow maggots at the show!

RAINBOW IN THE DARK

Sunset Strip rock landmarks Rainbow and Whisky set to pay tribute to metal legend Ronnie James Dio, July 7 and July 19.

The immortal Ronnie James Dio would have hit the big 8-0 on July 10, and to celebrate, the Rainbow Bar and Grill is celebrating with a rockin’ party dedicated to the late, great singer-songwriter, who once famously fronted a band named after this very restaurant.

On July 7, the Rainbow is hosting “Dio at the Rainbow in the Dark,” a record release celebration in honor of Rhino Records’ 40th anniversary remixed and remastered edition of Dio’s spectacular 1983 solo debut, Holy Diver. The classic rock masterpiece is being released on three formats: digital, vinyl, and as a two- and four-disc CD set.

Ubiquitous Sunset Strip headbanger and radio personality Eddie Trunk is emceeing the event, which is happening from 7-9 p.m. in the upstairs bar, where the evening is sure to be dominated by the glorious sounds of Dio’s timeless classics rockin’ the roof off of the Rainbow.

The Rainbow Bar and Grill is located at 9015 Sunset Boulevard. The “Dio at the Rainbow in the Dark” event is free.

One week after the Rainbow’s Dio celebration, the Whisky A Go-Go is hosting a night honoring the heavy metal legend on July 19, with the club’s biweekly Ultimate Jam Night Hollywood event set to crank out career-defining classics spanning Ronnie James Dio’s career, from Holy Diver to 2004’s Masters of the Moon as well as scorchers like “Man On the Silver Mountain,” “Gambler, Gambler,” and “Rock ‘n Roll Children” from his time in Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Elf, and Heaven and Hell.

The Whisky is located at 8901 Sunset Boulevard at Clark Street in West Hollywood. Ultimate Jam Night Hollywood’s Dio tribute will kick off at 10 p.m. and is free to those 21 and over, and $10 for those under.