Return of Rainbow’s ‘Backyard Bash’ brought classic metal back home to the Sunset Strip.
It’s been a hell of a wait but on Sept. 5, the Rainbow Bar and Grill welcomed back all the heavy metal you could handle with the triumphant return of its annual Backyard Bash, an all-day live concert event featuring national and local bands cranking out heavy metal hits in the parking lot behind the Roxy and Rainbow.
After having its spring events canceled twice and their fall event once, the Sept. 5 Backyard Back marked the first time the Rainbow is hosting a rock and roll party of this magnitude. And it did not disappoint.
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.
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 MotleyCrue and The Doors.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rock 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 StephenPearcy‘s headlining appearance at theRainbow‘s “Parking Lot Party” in 2015.
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.
Pearcy 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.
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 supergroupKings of Chaos — including Billy Idol, Linkin Park‘s Chester Bennington, ZZ Top‘s Billy Gibbons, The Cult‘s Billy Duffy and Stone Temple Pilots‘ Dean 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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
RELIVE HOLLYWOOD’S HEAVY METAL GLORY DAYS WITH THE BEST OF RATT, DOKKEN, SKIDROW, CINDERELLA & MORE MONSTERS OF METAL AT CATHOUSE LIVE, AUG. 15 IN THE O.C.
Legendary club promoter Riki Rachtman is back to save the modern music scene by opening up a big ol’ can of heavy metal whoop ass on August 15 with the hotly anticipated return of one of his most famous Hollywood clubs, the Cathouse. And he’s bringing a few famous friends with him when Cathouse Live rocks The O.C. this summer.
Bringing added heat to Southern California’s summer concert season are legendary hard-rock frontmen Sebastian Bach, Stephen Pearcy (right), Tom Keifer, Don Dokken and Tracii Guns, whowill be covering the greatest hits of Skidrow, Ratt, Cinderella, Dokken and L.A. Guns, respectively, onthe Cathouse Live main stage at Irvine Meadows.
Theheavy metal hit-makers will besharing an all-star bill with Extreme, Trixter, Saigon Kick and Sunset Strip refugees Bang Tango, BulletBoys, Junkyard, Pretty Boy Floyd and Little Caesar. Plus, there are many more timeless metal bands that will keep Cathouse Live rockin’ from sun up ’til sun down on August 15.
Rachtman’s rockin’ summertime revival offers a rare opportunity for fans to get a taste of the famous club he launched in 1986 with some help from Faster Pussycat’s Taime Downe. Cathouse became a favorite hangout for the likes of everyone from Axl Rose (right) to Lita Ford and hosted every band from Pantera to Pearl Jam. The Hollywood hot spot, which closed its doors on Highland forever in the Nineties, is immortalized in classics by Motley Crüe, AliceCooper and Faster Pussycat.
We raise our Bics to Rachtman for bringing the best of classic metal back to SoCal this summer with Cathouse Live. And the best part? Tickets start at $15! Get more details here.
(Main photo: (clockwise from top, left to right): Don Dokken, Bang Tango, Sebastian Bach, Riki Rachtman, Trixter, Extreme, BulletBoys’ Marq Torien and Tracii Guns)
BEVERLY HILLS ADDS SOME ROCK TO ITS RITZ WHEN WHITESNAKE HEADLINES SABAN THEATRE, JUNE 9
The still of the night in the 90210 won’t be still for long!
Hit-making heavy metal band Whitesnake is slithering its way over to Beverly Hills’ Saban Theatre on June 9, when frontman David Coverdale will rock Wilshire with the band’s endless list of metal classics, like “Still of the Night,” “Slow an’ Easy” “Fool for Your Loving” and “Here I Go Again.”
The hits are gonna keep rollin’ all night, straight through to 2011’s “Love Will Set You Free” from Forevermore.
Coverdale and his crew — guitarists Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra; drummer Tommy Aldridge; bassist Michael Devin; and keyboardist Michele Luppi — will also be crankin’ amped-up Deep Purple classics from Whitesnake’s recent covers release, The Purple Album.
LED ZEPPELIN LEGEND ROBERT PLANT TO ROCK HOLLYWOOD HILLS, JUNE 2
Been a long time since you rock and rolled?
Robert Plant is returning to L.A. to grace the gorgeous Hollywood Hills summer skyline with his golden pipes when he headlines the GreekTheatre on June 2.
This time around, the Led Zeppelin legend is bringing along his new band, the Sensational Space Shifters, pictured right at L.A.’s Shrine Theatre in 2013. The iconic singer-songwriter and his band will be focusing on music from their 2014 album, Lullaby and… the Ceaseless Roar.
Get ticket information and more details on the Greek show here.
Check out and the Sensational Space Shifters in the short film Returning to the Borders, below.
Hollywood Roses Revisits Guns N’ Roses at Whisky, Feb. 14
Sure, on Valentine’s Day, you can always do the usual wine and roses thing with your better half.
However, we have a much better suggestion: the Night Train and Roses thing!
On February 14, toast the evening with some Night Train while getting your faces rocked off by the sounds of Hollywood hit-makers Guns N’ Roses at local faves Hollywood Roses‘ headlining gig at the world-famous Whisky A Go-Go!
The Whisky is located in the heart of the Strip’s Rock Row at 8901 Sunset Boulevard at Clark Street. Get more details and tickets for Hollywood Roses’ Valentine’s Day show here.
But don’t blame us if the date starts to feel a little uncomfortable should the band break out “Used to Love Her”!
The O.C. Hosts Three Nights of All-Star Tribute Concerts to Rock Gods Randy Rhoads, Bonzo, John Entwistle & Keith Moon, Jan. 22-24
Timeless hard rockin’ hits by Led Zeppelin, Ozzy Osbourne and The Who will be shaking up The O.C. from January 22 to 24, when California Music Fest hosts three nights of classic cover tunes by superstar performers from the world of metal paying tribute to late, great legends John Bonham (right), Randy Rhoads (main photo, top), John Entwistle and Keith Moon!