Tag Archives: los angeles

SOUNDS OF SABBATH

RAINBOW

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.

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THE GUERILLAS

L.A. street artists add refreshing vibrancy to Sunset Strip with homage to rock icons and Hollywood legends.

LACMA may have been on lockdown as we wait out the crazy corona crisis, but local guerrilla artists have been busy keeping the urban landscape interesting with original works of art that have been dotting the Sunset Strip lately.

Alec Monopoly leaves his artful touch in the 90210

Rock icons like KISS, Star Wars heroine Princess Leia, sports great Mike Tyson, and legendary rock and roll club Whisky A Go-Go are just a few of the fascinating subjects that inspired some of the stellar street art that we’ve come across recently in WeHo.

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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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IN LIVING COLOR

Troubadour gets colorful, hopeful facelift as iconic venue sits empty.

During these turbulent times, it’s now that we can certainly use live music as a healing process and to combat the isolation caused by the lockdown. So, it’s especially unfortunate that the Troubadour, one of my favorite local live music venues, has remained empty for months due to the pandemic.

Recently, one of the nightclub’s promoters was on the local news lamenting about struggling to keep the landmark concert venue afloat during these unfortunate times. And like most music fans, I certainly feel the pain of these promoters and clubs that strive to continually bring in quality artists that are keeping rock n’ roll alive.

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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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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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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

READY TO ‘ROAR’

Robert Plant

LED ZEPPELIN LEGEND ROBERT PLANT TO ROCK HOLLYWOOD HILLS, JUNE 2

Robert Plant and the Sensational Space ShiftersBeen 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 Greek Theatre 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.

GUN CONTROL

Hollywood Roses

Hollywood Roses Revisits Guns N’ Roses at Whisky, Feb. 14

hollywood-roses-axl

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”!

ROCK THE HOUSE

Just Like Priest

OzzMania, Just Like Priest, Motorbreath & More are Bringing Heavy Metal Hits to House of Blues Sunset, Jan. 21

OzzManiaGoing through Ozzfest withdrawl? Relax — there is a rock and roll reprise of sorts on the horizon.

West Hollywood hot spot House of Blues Sunset is hosting the closest thing you’re ever gonna find to Ozzfest on January 21, when OzzMania (right) brings to the Strip an arsenal of Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath hits, along with four other metal-loving tribute bands!

motorbreathSoCal cover band OzzMania proves you can’t kill rock and roll with a headlining night of non-stop metal that will be shaking up Sunset alongside Slayer-worshipping rockers Slaytanic; masters of Metallica, Motorbreath (right); spot-on Judas Priest imitators Just Like Priest (main photo, top); and Du Hast, which will rock out some Rammstein.

House of Blues Sunset is at located at 8430 Sunset. Get tickets and show times here.

ART ATTACK

snc-titleMetal-Loving, Groundbreaking Urban Artists–and a Few Superstar Creatives–Are Turning L.A. into the Guerilla-Art Capital of the World. Eat Your Heart Out, East Village

By David Ciminelli 

HARINGHanging out in NYC’s East and West Villages in the ’80s/early ’90s, it wasn’t uncommon to spot cool and edgy urban art left by creative transplants like Keith Haring and Mark Kostabi and locals like SAMO/Basquiat and Robert Longo. (Nowadays, you can still find some of these celebrated artists’ sidewalk carvings and fading murals throughout NYC, if you know where to look.)

CyrcleToday, throughout Greater Los Angeles, there’s a new crew of mega-talented street artists leaving an artful touch on the cityscape and transforming the Sunset Strip and various parts of L.A. into an attention-grabbing urban art gallery of wickedly-creative pop art. Prolific standouts in the urban jungle of creativity include current and future superstar artists like ThrashBird, BeccaAnnie Preece, Alec Monopoly, David Flores, Plastic JesusPhil Lumbang, Cyrcle., ThankYouXWrdsmth, Teachr1, ImHuge, Trusto, SepterHedHomo Riot, Mr. Brainwash and Destroy All Design.

Roxy

Take a virtual tour below of these and other artists’ amazing artwork that Sunset and Clark has stumbled upon over the past few years during our travels up and down the Sunset Strip, from the PCH to DTLA, and throughout the Southland. A few world-renown artists, including the edgy and awe-inspiring Banksy, Kenny Scharf, Retna and Shepard Fairey, also gifted the City of Angels with colorful original creations, both sanctioned by the city and guerilla-style. Check ’em out and get inspired by awesome artworks that all share a rock and roll edge.

Beatles Banditos

Stones art, Hlywd, 2010

Johnny Cash

Destroy All Design

KISS

Alec Monopoly

Killer Mickey

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LET THERE BE ROCK!

AC/DC

ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT ANGUS YOUNG!

The Sunset Strip welcomed in a new neighbor this week, when Angus Young landed on the boulevard in a slick new West Hollywood billboard hyping AC/DC‘s new hit album, Rock or Bust.

acdc

It’s great to see the Aussie guitar god overlooking the strip between La Cienega and Alta Loma, especially when Rock Row near the Whisky and Roxy is suffering from the urban blight of not one but two (!!) One Direction billboards featuring the boy band peering down on the intersection of Sunset and Clark/San Vicente.

acdc1111

ac-dc-sunset-750

HARD LUCK WOMEN

PRISS

YOU WANTED THE BEST (KISS TRIBUTE BAND), YOU GOT THE BEST: PRISS AT VIPER ROOM, NOVEMBER 14

PRISS-BASSHey, Iron Maidens, we’ve found the perfect band should the female Maiden cover group ever decide to start its own Metalpalooza festival: PRISS, a face-painted, leather-costumed, hard-rockin’ KISS tribute band that is fronted by four fierce female rockers.

The L.A. band, which certifiably kicks ass — check ’em out here — will be heading to the Sunset Strip on Friday, November 14, to bring the hits from one of the greatest rock bands on the planet to the Viper Room. The 21-and-over show also features two more really good local bands that are definitely worth checking out: Spirit in the Room and Breaking Arrows.


Even the “God of Thunder” himself, Gene Simmons, has given PRISS a seal of approval, featuring the band on Family Jewels last year, when Shannon Tweed joined PRISS on stage as “Queen Simmons.”


The ladies of PRISS not only prove that KISS’ famous costumes — and various incarnations of them — look even better on a sexy-edgy all-female band, they are also remarkable musicians that rock just as hard as the ground-breaking, multi-platinum group that inspired them.

PRISS-3PRISS is comprised of starry-eyed guitarist-vocalist Doll Stanley (Moa Henriksson); darling demon bassist-vocalist and “Goddess of Thunder,” Jean Simone (Andrea Zermeno); spacey lead six-string slinger Lace Frehley (Jennifer Paro); and foxy feline drummer Luda Criss (Judy Cocuzza).

Viper Room is located in the heart of West Hollywood, at 8852 Sunset Boulevard at Larrabee. Doors open at 9 p.m. and tickets are only $10. (Seriously, $10!) Get tickets and more information here.

The only reason you can possibly have for missing PRISS on the Sunset Strip is that you’re laid up in a KISS Kasket! See you at the show!

Photos: prissarmy.com

GOING TO CALIFORNIA

jimmy_page_l.a.

LED ZEPPELIN GUITAR GOD JIMMY PAGE TO TALK MUSIC & MAYHEM WITH CHRIS CORNELL NOV. 12 IN L.A.

chris.cornell_soundgardenBeen a long time since you rock and rolled? Los Angeles music fans are getting a rare opportunity to witness rock history next month, when iconic superstars Chris Cornell (right) and Jimmy Page share a conversation about the 70-year-old Led Zeppelin founder’s glorious years in one of the world’s greatest bands on November 12 at Downtown L.A.’s legendary The Theatre at Ace Hotel.

Jimmy-Page-BookThe event, “An Evening with Jimmy Page in Conversation with Chris Cornell,” is being held to celebrate the release of the iconic British guitarist’s photo memoir, Jimmy Page.

Soundgarden frontman Cornell and Page will be chatting about the latter’s time in the Yardbirds and Zeppelin and showcase some private phtos from Page’s personal collection. Genesis Publishing’s 500-page book , which debuted last month, features over 650 rare photos and artwork from the musician’s pre- and post-Zeppelin superstardom and traces his career from the start right up to his 2008 stint performing “Whole Lotta Love” alongside Leona Lewis at the Beijing Olympics.

page-zeppelin

“An Evening with Jimmy Page in Conversation with Chris Cornell” starts at 8:30 p.m.; doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $100, which includes a copy of Page’s memoir, and $150, which includes the book and a poster. The Theatre at Ace Hotel at 939 Broadway. Get ticket details here.

SAINTS OF SUNSET

Warner-Drive
WARNER DRIVE TO HEADLINE CITY OF ANGELS RECORD RELEASE SHOW AT SUNSET STRIP’S VIPER ROOM NOV. 8

Warner DriveAs far as Hollywood buzz bands go, they don’t get much better than Warner Drive. The hard rocking fivesome has been tirelessly shaking up the Sunset Strip for a couple years now before recently taking some time off the club scene to record new material.

Local fans will get a live taste of the new stuff when Warner Drive hits up the Viper Room on November 8 for a headlining gig at the iconic rock club. The band’s return to the Sunset Strip is to celebrate the long awaited release of WD’s new album, City of Angels.

As expected, the band does not disappoint with City of Angels, which includes 10 solid tracks featuring WD’s newer club staples and brand spankin’ new material.

City of AngelsCity of Angels, which officially dropped September 9, kicks off with “Rising From the Fallen,” a full-throttle, Sabbathy hard rock anthem that Disturbed would have killed to have recorded. We think the late, great Dio would give this track two devil’s horns up.

The album starts off very strong and never lets up, seguing to the title track, “City of Angels,” which is the coolest L.A. anthem to surface from a Sunset Strip-launched band since Motley Crue‘s “Saints of Los Angeles.”

“Radio Love Song” echoes with ’80s-metal-style harmonies and is the most radio-ready and badass sing-along track since WD’s signature jam “The Scarecrow.” Likewise, the band’s new single “Boys N’ Girls” is another killer original rock song that would have fit comfortably on any early Skidrow or Dokken album.

SAMSUNGAlso on the new release, frontman Jonny Law and crew — guitarists Candice Levinson and Ryan Harris, bassist Elvis James and drummer Jonny U — switch gears from party rock to get political and bust some strings on the catchy, hard-rocking “West Memphis Three.”

“King of Swing” is standard Warner Drive: mercilessly melodic chorus, scorching guitars and a solid rhythm section that kicks this tune into overdrive and should blow the roof off of the Viper Room on November 8.

Also, considering that WD has already immortalized Viper Room in one of its best songs, expect Warner Drive to deliver a particularly scorching version of “Viper Room.”

Viper Room is located in the heart of the Strip at 8852 West Sunset Boulevard. The show starts at 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $10, or $15 with a copy of City of Angels. Lose Control and Kicking Harold are also on the bill. Get ticket details here.