Tag Archives: sunset boulevard

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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”?!?

HEAVY METAL PARKING LOT

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BULLETBOYS TO ROCK RAINBOW’S PARKING LOT, APRIL 13

One of L.A.’s hardest rocking Sunset Strip bands of the late ’80s/early ’90s, BulletBoys is heading back to Rock Row on April 13 to shake the amps at iconic hot spot Rainbow Bar & Grill‘s Party in the Parking Lot.

tguns-bigMark Torein is still fronting the mic for the local metal monsters that hit the mainstream with a bang in 1988 courtesy of BulletBoys’ badass, guitar-heavy scorcher “Smooth up in Ya,” from the band’s self-titled debut. The timeless track rocks just as hard today and is sure to be a highlight of Rainbow’s free event, which also includes sets by Hollywood-launched hard rock hit-makers Great White, Sunset Strip legend Tracii Guns (pictured right), Metal Blade stalwarts Bitch and more metal monsters that will turn back the clock to the awesome Eighties and keep the hard rock hits echoing throughout the heart of Rock Row all day and night on Sunday.

Rainbow is located at 9015 Sunset Boulevard. Party in the Parking Lot is free and kicks off at 2 p.m. in the back parking lot behind the Rainbow and Roxy. See you at the show!

 

CLASSIC METAL

BULLET BOYS, L.A. GUNS TO ROCK SUNSET

We were walking down Sunset this evening sulking from neglecting to get tickets to see metal gods Metallica play L.A. in May when we spotted the Whisky‘s marquee and two words made us feel better right away: Hollywood Roses, the best GN’R tribute band around will be rocking the Whisky ion February 9.

Then two more words smacked us upside the head: Bullet Boys – on February 15! That, naturally, was followed by another two words: Hell yeah!

The best of late ’80s/early ’90s metal is slicing its way right back to the Sunset Strip and to that we raise our Bic lighters high!

Fellow L.A. rock refugees James Hetfield and Metallica will also be playing L.A. soon, when the iconic band rightfully receives the Ronnie James Dio Lifetime Achievement Award at rock mag Revolver‘s Golden Gods Awards Show at Downtown L.A.’s intimate-sized Club Nokia on May 2.

Also set to perform is Five Finger Death Punch, Dillinger Escape Plan and a bunch of other awesome bands. Tickets to this rockin’ once-in-a-lifetime event, unfortunately, are astronomical — plus, they’re general admission!

Catching Hollywood Roses and Bullet Boys at Whisky is definitely an awesome backup plan. Plus, with all the ca$h we’re saving by skipping the Golden Gods event, here’s all the other Sunset Strip shows we’ll be checkin’ out in the next couple of months:

Warner Drive @ Viper Room • Feb. 6 (and 13, 20 and March 1)

Fall Out Boy @ Roxy • Feb. 7

Lonely Drunks Club Band @ Viper Room • Feb. 8

Fan Halen (authentic down to the spandex Van Halen tribute band) @ Viper Room • Feb. 9

Buckcherry @ Viper Room • March 7-9

L.A. Guns @ Whisky • March 23  

Lizzie Borden @ Whisky • April 13 (Celebrating 30 years of metal!)

Dizzy Reed @ Hookers &a Blow @ Whisky • May 7, 14, 21 & 28

We’re also lookin’ forward to checking out Buckcherry’s support act Cherri Bomb again at Viper Room. OK, we admit we initially cast them off as a Runaways knock off awhile back…but that was when we were drunk and before catching them live and seeing the ladies rock the hell outta the Strip at last summer’s SSMF. Check out some rockin’ anthems below from the band’s that will keep alive the Sunset Strip’s enviable rep as the global anchor of authentic kick-ass rock and roll.

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HOT WHEELS

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FAST TIMES ON SUNSET BOULEVARD

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Spotted this freshly posted “Super Street Art” by mysterious art ninja EmSixFive while stumbling home from the Rainbow this evening. The nostalgic ode to hot rods and model car kits covers part of a utility box near the front of the Roxy.

The rockin’ monochromatic graphic captures the essence of an era so vividly that it got us reminiscing about those old model car kits that took all afternoon to build. Then as soon as you proudly placed it on a shelf, its wheels fell off, leaving you with nothing but a mess and fingers you couldn’t separate.

But the residual high from the glue usually made it all better.

BLUES BOUND

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SOCIAL DISTORTION HEADLINES H.O.B. 

Fullerton-launched rockers Social Distortion are bringing the band’s crankin’ collection of hard-rock hits to the Sunset Strip’s House of Blues next week, headlining sold out shows December 13 through 15.

HOBSocial D returns to the Strip again for three nights of sold-out shows December 27 through 29.

L.A. fans that couldn’t get tix to any of the December shows can still catch Mike Ness and crew rocking their hits alongside future-classics from Social D’s latest release, Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes,at the band’s January 20 H.o.B. show. Unlike their January 19 concert, fans can still get tix to the January 20 gig via House of Blues’ website.

The band’s series of House of Blues shows is being presented by KROQ, the legendary L.A. radio station that championed the O.C. band back in the day long before the sold-out international tours.

Wow! For those keeping score at home, that’s eight mostly sold-out shows at House of Blues! We’d like to see Bieber try to accomplish that s#%t!

Sunset Soul

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GODFATHER OF SOUL GETS A SHOUT OUT ON THE SUNSET STRIP

jb-500Late music legend James Brown is the newest icon to receive a rockin’ tribute via Sunset Boulevard’s Gibson Guitar Town outdoor art installation of towering hand-painted guitar sculptures that are ubiquitous throughout the famous Strip, from Doheny to Crescent Heights.

Evocative of the iconic rock-and-soul singer’s electric flair, the fab and funky 10 foot tall Les Paul guitar dedicated to JB features a badass monochromatic portrait and colorful splashes of lightning-blue accents that give added radiance to the black and pink guitar body and fret board.

Appropriately, the tribute to Brown, who passed away in 2006, is set on hollowed ground, on Sunset near Horn, in the former off-site second parking lot of the equally legendary but defunct Tower Records Sunset.

Strange Currencies

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SUNSET STREET ARTIST PAYS IT FORWARD IN INGENUITY

A1We noticed the curious graphic above on the back of a Sunset Strip stop sign and thought it was cool. Later, we randomly spotted it again in another format and were truly impressed.

Ingeniously, the mystery artist adhered the graphic to a fence in front of the legendary Sunset Tower hotel, dissecting it so that it organically forms into a cohesive image as you pass by. Priceless! Check it out below.

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Social D. Returns to the Strip

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GETTIN’ SOCIAL ON SUNSET: Mike Ness and the band are set to rock the Sunset Strip’s House of Blues Dec. 13-15 and 27-29.

SOCIAL DISTORTION BRINGS H.O.B. TOUR TO THE SUNSET STRIP 

Ever-touring punk-rock renegades Social Distortion are kicking off a tour of House of Blues venues across the country beginning October 18 in Cleveland.

Expectedly, Mike Ness and the gang are selling out every stop on the tour, which hits the Sunset Strip’s H.O.B. in December for six shows! The O.C. rockers play three nights from December 13 to 15, then return a few nights later, from December 27 to 29.

The band is playing all over So. Cal, too, in support of Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, headlining H.O.B. shows in The O.C. and San Diego before and after the L.A. dates. They’re also playing Sin City, of course. Get the full tour sched here.

Better yet…Ex-Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan is opening Social D.’s December 29 Sunset Strip show with his smokin’ band Loaded.

Ness has also invited a load of other cool bands, like Caddillac Tramps, to support the iconic punkers out on the road. Check the run down here to see what bands are opening the various shows.

See you at the shows!