Tag Archives: sunset boulevard

AMERICAN GRAFFITI

Artists turn L.A. streets into an urban art gallery any music fan would love.

In 2020, the Sunset Boulevard scene–from Rock Row to Dodger Stadium–has dramatically changed as a result of the pandemic and the nation’s turbulent political climate. And the changes extend beyond just the physical sense of seeing the famous, once-glamorous and vibrant landscape covered in bland blonde plywood and political graffiti.

The biggest impact is the deafening silencing of the world-class live rock and roll music that always seemed to be a ubiquitous part of the Sunset Strip. Regardless of when you visited Sunset’s Rock Row, there was always an exciting rock and roll energy and spontaneous soundtrack permeating the legendary thoroughfare and creating an intrinsic connection with visitors.

Until this year, there was always music in the night air, whether it was the power chords of superstars like Lita Ford or local faves like Budderside emanating from the Whisky A Go Go, or the rockin’ retro sounds of Missing Persons or L.A. rockers Warner Drive (pictured below) shaking the foundation of the Viper Room.

Warner Drive band

However, while the temporary closure of the Whisky, Viper Room and Roxy is tough on everyone, there is some good news.

Continue reading AMERICAN GRAFFITI

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.

Continue reading HEAVY METAL HERO WORSHIP

GUN CONTROL

Hollywood Roses

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

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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.

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.

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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

REVISITING SUNSET



SLASH & MYLES KENNEDY SERVE UP ‘NIGHTRAIN’ ON DIRECTV, NOV. 7

Myles Kennedy & SlashGuitar Center has just released a badass sneak-peek at the upcoming Slash with Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators concert set to premiere on DIRECTV on November 7.

Taped at the Roxy on September 25, the clip features the rockers performing a scorching cover of Guns N’ Roses‘ “Nightrain.” Contrary to Slash’s shirt, the number definitely does not suck!

Catch the full show November 7 at 9 p.m. on DIRECTV channel 239.

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.

RETURN TO SUNSET

SLASH-MYLES-KENNEDY

SLASH AND MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS SET FOR THREE-NIGHT L.A. TOUR AT ICONIC ROCK CLUBS, SEPT. 23, 25 & 26

slash-sunsetandclarkLegendary GN’R alum and Sunset Strip rock refugee Slash is heading back to West Hollywood and Rock Row in September to shred at three of the city’s most iconic rock clubs: Troubadour, Roxy and The Whisky A Go Go. The three-night mini-tour will have Slash reuniting with his SSMF 2010 guest artist, occasional studio collaborator and frequent touring mate, Myles Kennedy and his band Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators.

The band will first head over to Santa Monica Boulevard and Doheny and hit up the iconic Troubadour on September 23 for a headlining gig before cruising up to Sunset on September 25 to rock the Roxy. The party continues on September 26, when Slash and Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators take center stage at the world-famous Whisky A Go Go.

Get tickets and additional details here. See you at the shows!

SONG REMAINS THE SAME

Led Zeppelin 2

BEEN A LONG TIME SINCE YOU ROCK & ROLLED? GET SET TO SHOUT AT THE DEVIL & DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY ONCE AGAIN! 

Not enough metal in your summer? Bummed about the closing of Rock Row landmark Hollywood SoundCheck? Disappointed by the lack of classic metal bands in the SSMF 2014 lineup? Don’t fret. A good mix of hard rockin’ fan bands is coming to a stage near you to save your end-of-summer partying.

Motley Inc.On September 12, a hard rocking trio of cover bands paying homage to three of the biggest rock groups in history–Van Halen, Bon Jovi and Motley Crue–will set their amps to 11 and rattle the roof of House of Blues Anaheim. Giving L.A. rock fans a good reason to make the commute over to The O.C. is Atomic Punks, the L.A. Music Awards-winning tribute band whose spot-on covers of early VH tracks has made fans out of metal aficionados like Bret Michaels and Howard Stern; Crue-worshipping rockers Motley Inc.; and Wanted, which will attempt to rock a million–or a couple hundred–faces with scorchin’ renditions of Bon Jovi’s runaway hits. Get tickets and additional details here.

Molly RingwaldsThe next night, on September 13, head over to House of Blues Sunset for a trip back to the awesome ’80s with Brit band The Molly Ringwalds. The costumed cover rockers’ roster of retro rock and pop classics generally includes tunes by Sunset Strip icons like Guns N’ Roses, The Go-Gos, Motley Crue and Poison. Timeless tracks by Eighties metal monsters like Twisted Sister and Whitesnake also often wind their way into The Molly Ringwalds’ set list. And considering that these cover rockers are from Sheffield, England, you can expect to hear some anthemic hits from the group’s hometown heroes, Def Leppard.

pyromaniaWanna get rocked? The Whisky A Go Go is the spot to head to on September 16, when fellow Def Leppard lovers Pyromania takes center stage as headliners of the return of AXS TV’s concert show The World’s Greatest Tribute Bands. Get more details and free tickets here.

Stroll the Sunset Strip east the following week and hit up House of Blues Sunset for a night of good times, rad times when Led Zeppelin 2 cranks up its amps on September 25. Winding down its national tour through America, the Chicago-based band sticks so close to Zeppelin’s repertoire that you can expect to get a contact high just by watching. It’s also why Metallica guitar legend Kirk Hammet has publicly declared, “These guys sound fucking exactly like Led Zeppelin!”

HEAVY MENTAL

Robert Trujillo

ROBERT TRUJILLO TO REUNITE WITH MASS MENTAL AUG. 26 

mass-mental-whiskyMetallica bassist Robert Trujillo is keeping good on a promise made earlier this summer and is heading back to the Sunset Strip to rock the Whisky A Go Go with a reunited Mass Mental on August 26.

The all-ages show will feature Trujillo once again jamming with his funky, pre-Metallica, art-rock bandmates: vocalist Benji Webbe, bassist Armand Sabal-Lecco and drummer Ken Schalk.

Making the historic heavy metal experience even more cool is the addition of guest vocalist Whitfield Crane of Ugly Kid Joe.

The L.A. show is a warm-up gig for Mass Mental’s September 6 slot at Germany’s Warwick Open Day music fest.

Get tickets for the Whisky show here.

GET THE PARTY STARTED

viper-room-aniversary

VIPER ROOM FINALLY REACHES DRINKING AGE

Viper RoomLandmark Sunset Strip rock club The Viper Room celebrates its 21st anniversary this month as one of the city’s best venues for live shows. To mark the milestone, from August 11 to 16, The Viper Room, at 8852 Sunset Boulevard, is hosting a week of special shows featuring an electric and eclectic mix of music, including an all-star salute to classic rock. Check out the details here.

Great acoustics, fantastic sight lines from anywhere in the club, comfy vibe and an always awesome roster of diverse rock-oriented artists has kept Viper Room one of Sunset and Clark’s favorite hot spots on the Strip since we first stepped foot in the club not too long after it first opened its doors. Here’s some of our favorite Viper Room moments from the first 21 years…

Warner DriveFAVORITE SHOW BY A LOCAL ACT:

After randomly stumbling upon Warner Drive one night during a multi-band bill a few years ago, the Hollywood rockers immediately became–and remain–our favorite local band. And we made that decision before the band was done with its first song.

 

Big B

FAVORITE SHOW BY A NATIONAL ACT:

Bryan “Big B” Mahoney in 2012. The hip-hoppin’ white trash renegade rocked the Viper Room hardcore with nothing but a mic, a kick-ass three-piece band and an arsenal of redneck party anthems. The set still has us baffled as to why B isn’t bigger than Kid Rock yet.

 


Extra FancyBEST VIPER ROOM MOMENT:

Checking out a multi-band bill in the mid-Nineties and watching singer-songwriter Brian Grillo (right), frontman of legendary, in-your-face, Silver Lake-launched homocore band Extra Fancy, literally drop his mic mid-show and jump off the Viper Room stage before a packed crowd to chase a heckling homophobe right out of the club!

 

 

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FAVORITE ROCK STAR SIGHTING:

The time we turned and noticed that the guy standing next to us at the back of the club nodding his head to the music at a random show was one of our all-time favorite artists, Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis.

 

 

 

GN'R

COOLEST VIPER ROOM SHOW EVER:

In what was probably the hardest rockin’ show since Guns N’ Roses used to rock Sunset, Viper Room regulars the Lonely Drunks Club Band celebrated the 25th anniversary of Appetite for Destruction in 2012 by inviting the vocalists for some of L.A.’s best bands, including Brando’s Island and GN’R tribute band Hollywood Roses, to front the mic on a track-by-track cover set paying homage to the hits-packed metal classic. Axl would approve.

 

 

Viper Room - David FloresMOST INDELIBLE IMPRESSION:

In addition to bringing in some of our favorite national acts and introducing us to great local bands like Warner Drive and Lonely Drunks Club Band, The Viper Room has also helped to hype some very cool visual artists whose original work has adorned the club’s exterior over the years, including our faves David Flores and Becca.

 

never-the-brideMOST SURREAL ROCK MOMENT:

If we weren’t there to witness it, we wouldn’t have believed it when then-newly signed Atlantic artists Never the Bride performed a record release show for the British band’s 1995 self-titled major label debut that included a powerful cover of “Going to California” that was indisputably on par with Led Zeppelin‘s untouchable original.

KISS ALIVE ON SUNSET

kiss-sunset2

KISS SCORES PRIME SPOT ON ROCK ROW TO HYPE NEW TV SHOW

kiss-sunset400-1Rock legends Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley tower over the Sunset Strip’s Rock Row in a hot new billboard hyping the founding KISS members’ latest project: the premiere of the AMC reality TV show 4th and Loud, which goes behind the scenes of the L.A. KISS arena football team.

kiss-billboard-original-400The billboard, which features Simmons and Stanley sans their iconic makeup, sits above Aahs! at Sunset and San Vicente and overlooks the Whisky A Go-Go.

It’s great to see KISS in the WeHo ‘hood again following the unveiling of the band’s billboard for John Varvatos that lit up La Cienega earlier this year.

‘BETTY’ TURNS 20

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HELMET HIGHLIGHTS ’94 CLASSIC AT VIPER ROOM JULY 11

Hard rock fans will be getting a healthy serving of “Milquetoast” on July 11, when Helmet hits up the Sunset Strip to rock Viper Room with a special performance of Betty in its entirety.

The New York hard rockers are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Helmet’s critically acclaimed 1994 rock classic, which also includes the timeless tracks “Vaccination,” “Wilma’s Rainbow” and “Biscuits for Smut.”

In addition to performing Betty track-for-track, Page Hamilton and crew will likely crank out some of the band’s other amp-shaking killer classics, like “Exactly What You Wanted,” “Unsung,” “Gone,” “See You Dead” and the title track to the band’s latest release, 2010’s Seeing Eye Dog.

Joining band founder and frontman Hamilton in Helmet’s current line up is guitarist Dan Beeman, drummer Kyle Stevenson and bassist Dave Case.

Viper Room is located at 8852 Sunset. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Check Viper Room’s calendar for ticket details.

 

 

SIGN O’ THE TIMES

flipagram

 

OLD TOWER RECORDS SUNSET LOCATION IS ‘FLIPPED’ AGAIN

Tower_Records_Sunset1WeHo has gotten yet another facelift! Innovative start-up Flipagram is bringing some youthful, edgy ambiance back to the old Tower Records Sunset location as the newest proprietor of the famous property in the heart of West Hollywood.

live-on-sunsetAfter Tower toppled in 2006, the shell of Tower Records Sunset at the corner of Sunset and Horn had it famous yellow and red exterior painted over numerous times in various shades as it housed a few different businesses of varying success.

SAMSUNGLive on Sunset clothing store settled into the warehouse-size building for a few years before calling it quits in 2013. The site then became a random parking lot for a few months before a Halloween costumes pop-up shop rented the space last fall.

abandoned tower sunsetFlipagram set up shop on Sunset in June after launching online late last year. The good news is that the company seems to have a lot more in common with the former record retailer than other businesses that were housed at the old Tower location. Music-focused Flipagram lets users synch their choice of hit songs to their cell photos to create “short video stories” via the free app. It’s kind of like Instagram but with an added dose of cool courtesy of some Motley Crue or Def Leppard. And what could be better than sharing your photographs synched to “Photograph”?!?