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.
Stellar L.A. bands Dina Dover and The Band Called Sex are proving Gene Simmons wrong.
Music icon Gene Simmons caused a stir with rock and rollers in the recent past when he proclaimed that rock and roll is dead.
The outspoken Demon was referring to the fact that modern rock radio simply doesn’t have any decent new rock bands that seem like they will stand the test of time like KISS did, and Van Halen, Motley Crue, and other legendary bands from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s (and a few from the ’90s) who we all still listen to today.
While we’d never refute the legendary Demon’s opinion on such an important topic, there is a good sign that rock and roll may not necessarily be dead. Proof of life is found at the Whisky A Go-Go, where we recently took in a set by the totally awesome L.A. ’80s tribute band Fast Times.
On a random Monday night, as we were checking out the two local bands opening the show, Dina Dover and The Band Called Sex, we were stoked by the rock and roll authenticity of both bands, whose original songs were memorable, catchy, and rocked hard without any bit of pretentiousness or gimmickry.
Plus, you could see and hear obvious influences of the likes of The Go-Go’s, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath in the performances by these new young bands that played straightforward melodic original rock and roll that the crowd seemed to really appreciate.
The two bands that supported Fast Times, Dina Dover and The Band Called Sex, had the 40 or 50 people in attendance riveted to their music as they banged their heads, bopped to the beat, and cheered on the bands as if they were watching Aerosmith. It was a sight to behold, especially after post-pandemic L.A. nightlife had been stagnant for so long.
The Band Called Sex delivered some badass, unpretentious original rock and roll that echoed of the bluesy grooves of Led Zeppelin and the powerhouse pipes of Ronnie James Dio but delivered with a straightforward musicality all its own.
Dina Dover followed TBCS and the excellent band may look like a misfit group of high schoolers who just stepped out of The Breakfast Club, but when they jam together, it’s magic–a marvelous cohesive rock and roll sound that is slick, edgy, and instantly catchy. If The Go-Go’s ever got together with Blink 182, this could be their love child.
Plus, any rock band that opens their set with a fantastic cover of Michael Jackson‘s “Thriller,” automatically gets a gold star in our book. It’s not easy to make an MJ song your own, but they did it effortlessly.
The memorable evening at the Whisky A Go-Go was an authentic music moment that was goosebump inducing because it seemed to be a noticeable, pivotal moment where music fans were in the mood to get their faces rocked off and they were certainly getting exactly that on this random Monday night on the Sunset Strip.
This musical experience was all about being moved by the entire enormity and majesty of this rockin’ showcase of original music that was followed by Fast Times’ incredible spot-on covers of the best rock songs of the ’80s by bands like Def Leppard and Van Halen.
So, with all due respect to the mighty Demon, rock may be on its last breath, but it is being resuscitated nightly at the corner of Sunset and Clark, where you could still rock and roll all night and party everyday. And for that we’ll forever be grateful.
Hollywood street art gives a shout out to classic Pat Benatar album.
When you’re strolling through HOLLYWOOD, there are usually a lot of distractions that have your eyes darting from one scenario to the next. One minute you’re gazing in awe at Marilyn Monroe‘s star in front of McDonald’s on Hollywood Boulevard and the next you’re trying to quickly look away from the crackhead pooping on the sidewalk in front of Madam Tussaud’s Hollywood Wax Museum.
Fortunately for us, while walking to the Hollywood Bowl recently to catch a Stevie Nicks show, it was a random, rockin’ homage to another music icon, Pat Benatar, that distracted us.
The vibrant, dye cut sticker-art tribute to Benatar’s fourth album, Get Nervous, is immortalized on the back of a sign post on Highland, just outside the Bowl.
The crazy-cool artwork immediately had the songs from the 1982 album streaming through our cabeza, timeless classics like “Shadows of the Night,” “Little Too Late,” “Looking for a Stranger,” and “Anxiety (Get Nervous).”
Caught up in the nostalgia, we found ourselves holding an old Bic lighter high in the air as we continued our stroll to the Hollywood Bowl.
Hey, bud, let’s party! Faux Jeff Spicoli hosts ‘Fast Times’ and rolls out the best of ’80s rock at Whisky A Go-G0 every Monday Night.
The Whisky A Go-Go is slowly but surely getting back into the swing of rocking your face off again with awesome live shows and concerts that will make you remember exactly why the Sunset Strip is the birthplace of rock and roll.
There is nowhere else in the city of Los Angeles where you’re going to get as much world-class entertainment–for $10, no less–than at Whisky’s weekly event, “Fast Times.”
The moniker is both the name of the event and the band that headlines the evening of totally awesome all-1980s hits at the hottest party you’re ever going to find anywhere in Hollywood on a Monday night.
It’s actually more precise to say that “Fast Times” is the name of the band, and the band is an event. They deliver note-perfect covers of high-energy, fist-pumping rock and pop classics by bands everyone loves, like Depeche Mode, Beastie Boys, and Bon Jovi, and the energy in the room, the visuals, and the faux Jeff Spicoli host combine to make this one of the coolest Eighties parties this side of a Ridgemont High prom.
Bulldozers have been coming uncomfortably close to the huge white skeletal remains of the historic Hollywood rock club Tropicana in the past few weeks. The defunct legendary ’80s club infamously hosted female mud wrestling, championed the local metal scene before the Rolling Stone cover stories and is justifiably immortalized in Motley Crue‘s classic track “Girls, Girls, Girls.” The Tropicana is where Vince Neil said he “lost my heart” The band even posed at the club with some of the wrestlers for the 1987 album’s inside sleeve (below).
Fortunately, the current crop of bulldozers rumbling next to the club’s former location on Western near Fountain are flattening the adjacent empty lot. The old Tropicana haunt looks safe for now, but there’s no word on what’s in store for the future of the empty former heavy metal hot spot.