2017: YEAR IN REVIEW (part 1) by Captain Anarchy

WELL, ANOTHER AWESOME YEAR WITH TONS OF GIGS AND EVENTS DRAWS NIGH… AND AS USUAL THERE’S NOT ENOUGH ROOM FOR ALL OF THEM TO BE REVIEWED HERE IN PRINT, SO HERE IS PART ONE (OF “DEUX”) OF CAPTAIN ANARCHY’S OWN “2017: YEAR IN REVIEW” ARTICLE ~ HAPPY HOLIDAZE, ENJOY !

MISSION LOG: Sadly the Captain had a few personal friends that died this year, far before their time and unfortunately in what were also tragic circumstances as well, which  is understandably why his last few columns seen here in the print version of the magazine judiciously featured obituaries he had written in memoriam of his fallen comrades, rather than his usual format of live show and event reviews… and thus with apologies to all bands, promoters, booking agents and public relations personnel, etc.. And albeit some of the reviews that he had produced had appeared sporadically and solely on the magazine’s official website throughout the year, instead of in print, unfortunately the site itself had some issues of it’s own and was hence down for reconstruction a few times, therefore requriing that those reviews be re-uploaded, which is something that is still a work in progress at this point. So if you are a band member or other industry-related person that is or has been looking for your review online please be patient with our staff and accept their apologies and the Captain’s personal apology as well, please check back on our website periodically, and in the meantime please enjoy Part One of the Captain’s “2017: Year In Review” article here below, where you may just actually find his review of your show or event if it took place in the first half of the year… and thank you very much for your understanding.

Please note that “Part Deux” will appear on the magazine’s website soon… and with any luck it may also possibly appear in the next print issue as well, but that is yet to be determined.

MORRIS DAY and the TIME @ Saban Theatre (Beverly Hills)

I know that I’ve said this in past reviews, but I cannot express enough the magnificence of the historically protected Beverly Hills architectural landmark known as the Saban Theater and it’s overwhelming grandiose art deco nature, featuring a columned two-story rotunda lobby and a massive high-arched ceiling with spacious orchestra and balcony level seating for over 2,000 people, etc. that is one of the epitomes of the great mid-Wilshire and Hollywood theatre and movie premiere palaces of the 1930’s.

And so it was here that I kicked off yet another year of awesome concerts, having checked out the first three of them at this L.A. marvel of a venue for live shows, where even though it’s a pretty large venue the auditorium itself is designed so that any seat still offers a great view of the stage without ever feeling like you’re too far away to clearly see the performers with your naked eye.

Starting the year off right I teamed up with my partner in crime Sweet E., but first I cleverly disguised myself in my cosplay as “Jay” from the hilarious “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” stoner movie (played by actor Jason Mewes), and then we stormed this palace to rock ‘n’ funk it up to the legendary Morris Day and The Time… and man did they deliver, with all the might and exuberance that they delivered in the movie, for those that saw them in it and/or saw them way before that in 1984’s “Purple Rain” for that matter, and that we all know and love them for !

Blending R&B, blues and funk with current guitarist Tori Ruffin’s wildly explosive and dangerously electrifying rock ‘n’ roll guitar style reminiscent of say Prince meets Jimi Hendrix, these O.G. funksters and co-conspirating originators of the “Minneapolis sound” (a subgenre of funk rock with elements of synth-pop and new wave, pioneered by Prince in the late ’70’s) proceeded to immediately get the crowd up on their feet to dance their asses off and flail their hands in the air as the band tore the house up !


THOMAS AUSTIN, MORRIS DAY & JELLYBEAN JOHNSON
~ Photo by Captain Anarchy.

Morris Day, smooth mutha-funkin’ pimp that he is, was of course suited up, lookin’ fresh and leading the charge with his usual debonair flare, dynamic dancing skills and slick-yet-gutsy vocals, backed by his remaining core members of melody making master keyboardist Monte Moir and legendary rock steady drummer Jellybean Johnson who never seem to skip a beat. And although it was a bit disappointing that they were not joined by their other original members, such as backing vocalist/dancer/percussionist and Day’s mirror-toting personal valet and comic foil Jerome Benton, nor the mega-star making and Grammy award-winning songwriting and record production team of Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam, whom have worked with major artists such as Janet and Michael Jackson, Prince, Herb Albert, Boys II Men, Patti LaBelle, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Rod Stewart and far too many more to mention here, the band held its ground and knocked out one hell of a show nonetheless with the assistance of newer members Christian Crooks on second guitar, Ricky “Freeze” Smith on the bass and Thomas Austin handling the backing moves and playing the role of Day’s mirror-checking valet.

And of course all of their classic cuts were addressed, such as “Get It Up”, “Cool” (which of course got everyone doing the old school C-O-O-L hand gesture), “The Stick”, “777-9311”, “Gigolos Get Lonely Too”, “Ice Cream Castles” and naturally their big hit “Jungle Love”… to name just a few of the great songs that they quaked L.A. to in their marked performance on this spectacular night… and of course Sweet E. and I we’re down in the very front blazed on the 420 and rockin’ and jivin’ with the crowd the whole time !

Hey, what more can I say… except for be sure to check them out yourself when they return there again next year on March 25th ~ Snoochie Boochies !!!

CAPTAIN ANARCHY ~ Smushin’ Glass “Jay & Silent Bob” Style
at the Morris Day and The Time Show (@ Saban Theatre)
  ~ Photo by Eric “Sweet E.” Becica

 

LED ZEPAGAIN & QUEEN NATION @ Saban Theatre (Beverly Hills)

A week later I  returned to the Saban, and this time since the bands were more ’70’s in origin I infiltrated disguised accordingly in my “Warriors” movie cosplay as a Warrior named “Ghost”, along with the lovely Lady Victoria at my side, to catch two of the world’s greatest tribute bands of all time… those being Led Zepagain and Queen Nation. Taking a step right of time and on to the stage, Queen Nation knocked our socks off with flawless renditions of some of the greatest hit songs by Queen, and then some ! Watching vocalist Greg Finsley with his dead ringer looks, attire and stage moves, and listening to his masterful piano playing and impeccably spot-on voice, is virtually like a spirtual experience… as he literally seems to channel Freddy Mercury from the beyond, seriously.

GREG FINSLEY & PARKER HOLMES of QUEEN NATION
~ Photo by Captain Anarchy.

And backed by the world’s friendliest smiling faces of guitar virtuoso Mike McManus, who himself could easily be confused to be Brian May, effervescent bass master and all around fun guy Parker Holmes, and former BulletBoys drummer Peter Burke (whom is also a highly regarded studio performer for bands and major motion pictures and TV shows), this band truly emulates an authentic Queen experience like no other. I mean I remember having seen the highly-regarded Queen tribute band called Sheer Heart Attack back in the day, and they were phenomenal, but I really must say that Queen Nation may possibly even be just one notch better… but I’m just gonna leave it at that.


PARKER HOLMES of QUEEN NATION ~ Layin’ It Down !
~ Photo by Captain Anarchy.

Then Led Zepagain took to the stage with all of their power and might, bringing their own equally impressive on-point performance as they recreated a bona fide Led Zeppelin show. And with a frontman extraordinaire like Swan Montgomery emmulating Robert Plant again also came the dead ringer looks, attire and stage moves and spectacularly spot-on vocals sang and played to the perfection that we’ve all come to know. Sadly this show would be the last time that I got to see the amazing Jimmy Sakurai play guitar and pull off his perfect Jimmy Paae licks and impression with the band however, as unfortunately soon afterward he and the band parted ways and he went on to form his own Led Zep tribute called “Mr. Jimmy”, which I have still not seen yet but that I hear is also quite good and which does not suprise me in the least… and I hear tale that he has now also joined the John Bonham group as well, which I also look forward to seeing.

SWAN MONTGOMERY, JIMMY SAKURAI & JIM WOOTTEN
~ Photo still shot pulled from You Tube video posted by Roxana Atilano.

But at any rate, with the help of the magnificent Jim Wootten laying down the solid bass lines and eerie keyboard parts of John Paul Jones, the band tore it up this night… blitzing through an incredible set of all the best ‘Zep songs that we could ask for and really getting the crowd rocking as they filled the great hall of the Saban with their immaculate sound, which was dialed in to perfection by their touring soundman and “fifth Beatle” Mr. John Prpich of RADD Sound Studio, whom also guest appears with the band on the mandolin and rhythm guitar as well, in what was another top notch tribute show and live concert at this great venue.

Both of these tribute bands play here semi-frequently, so please do yourself a favor and be sure to catch them next time around !
ACE FREHLEY & ENUFF Z’NUFF @ Saban Theatre (Beverly Hills) ~ Split Review by Gerry Gittelson (Metal Sludge Editor) & Captain Anarchy
(Smash Fashion & Enuff Z’Nuff reviews by Gerry G., syndicated from their original appearance on the Metal Sludge website, and Ace Frehley review by Captain Anarchy)


ACE FREHLEY on the magnificent marquis of the Saban Theatre
~ Photo by Captain Anarchy.

And now we are joined here briefly for the first half of this review by legendary L.A. writer and Metal Sludge Editor Gerry Gittelson, whom was our anti-hero Captain Anarchy’s journalistic mentor back in the days of Hollywood’s world famous Rock City News…               so take it away Gerry G-Spot:

LOS ANGELES, Calif., USA — We’re sitting with Chip Z’Nuff backstage Friday at the massive Saban Theatre on famed Wilshire Boulevard.

It’s smokey and frenetic, as various rock stars from the biggest (Gene Simmons and John 5) to the smallest (Keith St. John) — ha ha, totally kidding, Keith — mingle about with lots of pretty girls and hangers-on thrown in.

It is still the first year of Enuff Z’Nuff’s great experiment — bassist Chip taking over lead vocals — and one thing is for sure: the band is kicking ass.

Having just tore through a killer live set in support of Ace Frehley, who is ready to go on in few minutes, Chip is celebrating, as well he should be.

It’s 28 years later, and the tall, blonde Chicago native is the only original left. Talented but troubled lead singer Donnie Vie has long battled substance-abuse problems, spectacular drummer Vikki Foxx moved on decades ago, and guitarist Derek Frigo died in 2004.

“That first band was iconic, and I’m proud to say I spent all those years with them, but I think this band holds up really well,” Z’Nuff said. “I certainly didn’t want this job as the lead singer. I thank Donnie”. He said: “Listen, get in the front and sing these songs. People are going to know it’s Enuff Z’Nuff. You co-wrote the songs. You produced all the records. You should do it.”

Chip manages to sing just like Vie, fortunately, and fans are eating it up. Enuff Z’Nuff is doing a series of dates with Frehley after performing with big cousins KISS on a rock cruise.

As for Vie, Z’Nuff said the ex-singer is living in Chicago and apparently doing better than usual.

“He’s just getting his health together, and he’s probably going to do a solo record, and that’s it,” Z’Nuff said. “He doesn’t owe anybody anything.”

Among Enuff Z’Nuff key backing players are guitarists Tony Fennell (Ultravox) and Tory Stoffregen.

“Tony Fennell changed the whole face of the band. He really did,” Z’Nuff said. “He had confidence in my voice and in my pipes, and he thought I could do the gig.”

Frehley played a fun set with most of the big KISS songs coming at the end, including “Cold Gin,” “Detroit Rock City” and “Deuce.”

Promising locals Smash Fashion opened. The modern glam foursome, led by singer/guitarist Roger Deering, went over very well. Among the highlights were “Teenage Demon,” “Wolves of Wonderland” and “Gentle Hand.”

The other members are mohawked guitarist Stuart Cason, bassist Scarlet Rowe and drummer Repo.

We would meet up later with Chip at the Rainbow Bar & Grill just a few blocks north on Sunset Boulevard. In the meantime, Z’Nuff could not help but reflect on the band’s old logo, the green peace sign that nodded to Enuff Z’Nuff’s main influence, the Beatles.

“I think I do push the message of peace, and I push it all the time,” Z’Nuff said. “The country is very divided right now, and one thing that’s common to everyone is to get along and be peaceful, and be respectful to each other, and that’s what’s going to help this country survive”.

“I know it sounds corny, but it’s really the truth: Let’s have some respect for each other, OK? That’s what it’s all about at the end of the day. That’s going to go a long way. The peace sign looks cool, and it means cool things”.

CHIP Z’NUFF of ENUFF Z’NUFF ~ Holding it Down at The Saban ! ~ Photo by Captain Anarchy.

Hey, it’s Captain Anarchy chiming in here and taking back over the helm now… thanks a lot for that Gerry G., that was friggin’ great ! And now, here’s what I thought about Ace Frehley…..

They say three time’s a charm, which it certainly was as Lady Victoria and I returned to The Saban once again, just another week later, but this time doing so dressed in my red, black and yellow KISS Army uniform to see and salute the legendary former KISS spaceman-guitarist Ace Frehley no less ! And although I have seen Ace play here before, and many times at other venues as well, I must say that this was an interestingly diversified set this time around though. The first half consisted of a couple of his standards like “Rip It Out” and “Rock Soldiers”, and the newer song “Toys” from his 2014 album “Space Invaders”… but then there were quite a number of cover songs as well, such as the killer classic KISS cuts “Parasite” (which they actually opened up with), “Love Gun” and “Rocket Ride” which were all quite a treat, and including some surprises like the Thin Lizzy song “Emerald” and the Willie Dixon song “Bring It On Home”. Then, mid-set, bassist Chris Wyse (formerly of The Cult) treated the crowd to an enigmatic bass solo which segwayed in to yet another KISS cover “Strange Ways”, followed by the Hello cover “New York Groove”, another original “2 Young 2 Die”, and yet two more KISS covers “Shock Me” (one of my personal faves) and “Cold Gin” as well. And in-between the latter two songs the Space Ace himself took a shredding guitar solo of his own, with his guitar smoking and appearing to catch on fire as he is so well known for, and naturally leaving the crowd roaring for more !

ACE FREHLEY ~  Shredding hard but with ease at the Saban Theatre !
~ Photo by Captain Anarchy.

And of course the whole time the set was held together with solid precision by the professional playing skills and showmanship of both guitarist and all around nice guy Richie Scarlet and drummer Scoty Coogan with his great lead and backing vocals, and whom play these songs to perfection… as if they were literally born to do so. And in the end Ace and Crew delivered two more KISS covers for a kick ass encore as well, those being “Detroit Rock City” and “Deuce”, as Gerry G. mentioned here earlier, which sent us and the crowd reeling over the top in what was much like a veritable KISS lover’s “dream set” from the alien god himself !!!

GERRY “G-Spot” GITTELSON (far left), CHUCK LEGEND (center),
CAPTAIN ANARCHY (center right), PRINCE OF DARKNESS (right)
and the ENUFF Z’NUFF Crew & Backstage Thugs @ Saban Theatre

~ Photo by Lady Victoria

And I just want to thank Chuck Legend at Artists Worldwide for taking us backstage so that we could hang out with my journalistic mentor Gerry Gittelson and my old writing cohort Chris “Prince of Darkness” Cuomo from Rock City News, and to party with Chip Z’Nuff and his crew and backstage thugs… and of course to get to briefly say hello to Ace himself  ~ Cheers !

Gerry Gittelson can be reached at: gerryg123@hotmail.com

P.S.: These guys also play here semi-frequently, so if you like Ace and KISS be sure to check the online calendar for the venue and come see them when they return… you’ll friggin’ love it !

ADAM ANT & BLANKS 77 @ The Observatory (Santa Ana)

It was pouring rain and traffic was completely screwed when Sweet E. and I braved our way out on the road, like two highwaymen in the night sporting our finest blend of punk and pirate attire and attempting to cross the Orange County Curtain to make it to The Observatory in time to see Blanks 77, whom had put us on the list, perform in the Constellation Room. But sadly, even though we had left relatively early enough, or at least to have made it under normal weather and traffic conditions, our effort was nonetheless an epic fail… and there was no way that we could have left any earlier, as Sweet E. actually does have a real job above and beyond working for free for this fish wrap in trade for a couple of spots on a guest list. So all I can say is that they are a great street punk style band that has albums out that you should check them out, and that all of the punks that I talked to that night said that they played a tight, killer set. And the venue was packed to the gills, I’ve never seen it so crowded before… we tried to get in to the Constellation Room to at least find the guys and tell them that we were sorry thatw e missed them and to thank them for getting us in to the show, but as we crammed in to the hallway we literally got swept along with the crowd right past the door and in to the main hall, where Adam Ant was just starting his set, and we never did get a chance to make it back, nor to see The Oi Scouts either, which was another disappointment as well.

However, Adam Ant did play a friggin’ in the riggin’ ringer of a set though, singing and performing in superb form, dressed in a bit of an update of his classic Native American meets Pirate attire, sporting the most bad ass pirate hat that I have ever seen, and backed by some aggressive young gun punks on guitar and bass that fit the roll quite well and lended a nice touch of yester-year to his entourage which also consisted of a few of his usual solo band members as well. And they proceeded to blast most precisely and with just an extra touch of speed and ferocity through an extensive 26 song set consisting of every single song off of the Adam and the Ants “Kings of the Wild Frontier” album, which was a tour that I actually personally saw back in the day, I wanna say at the Greek Theatre in 1982 and with the Adolescents opening up for them if I remember correctly… and I remember that my friends and I were dressed in punk rock attire with the addition of Native American regalia, which resulted in punks yelling; “Black Flag kills Ants on contact !” at us throughout the show ~ LOL ! Yeah, I think that was what we had did that weekend instead of going to the US Festival… which was probably the only thing worthwhile that we could have done that would have justified us having missed it. I mean it was either that or I saw them a year earlier at Perkins Palace or a few months later at the Hollywood Palladium… I don’t know, that was a long time ago and it’s all a bit fuzzy, but I’m pretty sure that it was at the Greek because I seem to remember having been outdoors under the stars, but whatever.

ADAM ANT ~  Livin’ it up and serving Ant Music at The Observatory !
~ Photo by Captain Anarchy.

Anyway, they played the full album flawlessly, which really “took me back”, but that was only half of their set. The second half consisted of a plethora of the best songs off of the first Adam and the Ants album “Dirk Wears White Socks”, as well as a veritable medley of Adam Ant’s solo hits, and even some really kick ass obscure cuts… and most importantly some songs that he had written way back when he was first starting The Ants and that he had never recorded or released, which were really good and was a fantastic treat ! And if you wanna know just how bitchin’ it was, the second half of their set list read like this: “Beat My Guest”, “Christian D’or”, “Stand and Deliver”, “Vive Le Rock”, “Cartrouble”, “Desperate But Not Serious”, “Zerox”, “Never Trust a Man (With Egg on His Face)”, “Lady/Fall In”, “Goody Two Shoes” and “Prince Charming”. And as if that was not enough he wound it all up with “Red Scab”, a cover of “Get It On” by T. Rex, and finally “Physical (You’re So)” which he had held back until the end for one last big bang !

But at any rate, I actually also saw him do pretty much this same set at the Henry Fonda Theater a few days apart as well, where they were just as impressive. And I was able to do so courtesy of my friend Alex G. who floated me his tickets because he couldn’t go at the last minute, so I just want to thank him for that as well, because getting to see this rare performance of these songs again some 35 years later, and probably never again in my lifetime, was really, really special to me… and getting to do so twice was even better !  So here’s to the guys from Blanks 77 and to Alex G. ~ Cheers Mates !!!

L.A. GUNS & THE AVIATORS @ Whisky A Go Go (West Hollywood)

I wanna thank The Aviators from Bakersfield for getting me and my crew in on this night, as they were playing direct support for l.A. Guns and they took care of us. And they played a great, tight set of their action-packed songs which were well received by the capacity crowd that night as well. Some of you may have caught them there in the past, as they have played there many times over the last several years, having headlined the venue themselves as well as having played in support of Britny Fox and a whole slew of the other usual glam rock and glam-metal suspects, and oddly enough even with Black Oak Arkansas just to break things up too. And aside from being well-drawing hometown heroes in Bakersfield, these guys have also toured extensively up and down the California coast and ventured in to Canada, played at major marathons and other big time events in cities all over So. Cal., and in 2015 they were also the winners of the “Cathouse Live Battle of the Bands” and consequently played Riki Rachtman’s massive Cathouse Live festival in Irvine, CA shortly thereafter as well to a huge crowd. And all of this stands to reason considering the band’s melodic and catchy song structures and propulsive chords that are complimented by powerhouse frontman August Young’s dynamic voice, the incredible lead guitar skills of early twenties guitarist Will Slikker, the driving guitar force of Daniel Boone, and which are reminiscent of all the big anthem arena rock bands of the late ’70’s and early ’80’s like Aerosmith, Whitesnake, AC/DC, etc.. My only complaint would be that I was not all that thrilled with their new image with heavy facial hair and mostly non-rock type of street wear, which gave them almost a hipster-meets-cowboy/country music kind of look ~ LOL ! But be sure to catch these guys some time, as they really do truly friggin’ rock !

L.A. GUNS ~  Kickin’ ass all night long at the Whisky A Go Go !
~ Photo by Captain Anarchy.

Following Phil Lewis leaving the Steve Riley version of L.A. Guns to push forward fronting the Tracii Guns version of the band instead, this show was the launch gig of a world tour by the newfound Lewis-Guns reunion in support of their forth-coming new release on Frontier Records entitled “The Missing Piece”,  which is the first album of new material featuring both singer Lewis and guitarist Guns in 15 years. The first single, “Speed”, as well as an accompanying video, was released a few months after this show by Frontier Records on July 12, 2017, which was right about the same time that the band came back from the tour to play here yet again as a “welcome home” sort of show. But on this night L.A. Guns hit the stage and proceeded to rip ‘n’ tear in to the crowd with a non-stop set of nothing but their absolute best songs spanning their first three albums, and the exuberant and sweat-soaked patrons were ready for it too, eager to throw their fists in the air and bang their heads relentlessly ! I guess they figured that playing their first reunion show together in fifteen years in their hometown of Hollywood, and also doing so as their launch show for their new tour, that they would just skip trying out their new material that their tour was based around and just cut to the chase and deliver all of us what they knew that we really wanted the most… that being a full set of their best material from back in the day that was part of “the soundtrack of our lives” in the ’80’s. And man did they serve it up proper too, in a long set that was so good that it still wasn’t even long enough for the screaming crowd that couldn’t get enough and wanted even more !!!
MARKY DeSADE of REVLON RED & TINA DOMECILLO @ L.A. GUNS
~ Photo by Erickk Pulley.

My only complaint was another facial hair related one, as I wasn’t diggin’ on Tracii Guns new full beard either, which also made him look like a hipster as well, but more like a hipster-meets-biker in his case… well, sort of ~ LOL !

LED ZEPAGAIN on AXS TV @ Whisky A Go Go (West Hollywood)

I’m not sure if this was the very first show with new guitarist Anthony Thymiakos and drummer Derek Smith following the departure of guitar wizard Jimmy Sakurai, but it was an early one for sure. This was the second time that the band had been on the AXS TV’s “World’s Greatest Tribute Bands” show, having been on it before back in 2014. But this time the band performed the iconic Led Zeppelin “lV” album in it’s entirety. And though guitarist Thymiakos may have been a little bit wild and wooly around the edges, harkening to an earlier era incarnation of Jimmy Page, as opposed to Sakurai’s more pristine and seamless approach, he nonetheless held his ground and did a decent job here. But having seen him with the band a few times since then I can also say that he has certainly continued to grow and improve in his role along the way as well.

LED ZEPAGAIN ~ Seen on AXS TV’s “Worlds Greatest Tribute Bands”
~ Photo by JM-PHOTOGRAPHY.US

Anyway, the band did a great job overall and it was cool to hear ‘Zep “IV” performed live, but I write about these guys all the time… hell, I already even wrote about them earlier in this column, so I’m not gonna bore you by rehashing all of the details about how much they look and sound like the real ‘Zep back in the day, etc.. And besides, “the proof is the pudding”, so if you wanna know how hard these guys rock then you can just go check them out for yourself, as they play all over town and tour all over the world constantly, so if you’re a die hard ‘Zep fan then get your ass out to one of their shows !

JENNIFER PONCE, SHELLEY McLAUGHLIN, A WARRIOR CALLED “GHOST”JOHN PRPICH & ROXANA ATILANO at LED ZEPAGAIN @ THE WHISKY
~ Photo by Brenda Holdridge Wootten.

My biggest regret of the evening though was that just because “I just wasn’t feelin’ it” I therefore never charged the front of the stage nor did I attempt to be interviewed in the crowd afterwards, especially since I showed up ‘guised yet again in my “Warriors” movie regalia as a Warrior called “Ghost”… because had I have done so then I would have been all over the recording of that show, instead of never appearing in it even once. Well, that and the fact that I didn’t bother to try to meet the AXS TV host Katie Daryl… but even more so is that I had no idea that the super cute actress Amy Adams was there and I didn’t get to meet her either, but oh well.
ANTHRAX “For All Kings” Tour @ The Wiltern (Mid-Wilshire)

Following a fun and super drunken day at the So. Cal. Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Irwindale, which we paid to get in to and therefore I am not going to bother reviewing here, we foolishly sailed Sweet E.’s pickup truck all the way back to the mid-Wilshire district for the Anthrax concert that we were of course inevitably running late for, and where we lost a lot of time looking for parking too. We would have seen at least the last half of their set had the venue not needlessly closed the box office and taken the guest and industry lists to an unknown location, which meant that we stood out front missing most of their songs while the disorganized staff searched for it. But finally, by the grace of a really cool manager, we were allowed in without having to get our names checked off the list… and while the band was playing “March of the S.O.D.” we were escorted to some actually fairly decent seats where we had a reasonable vantage point not too far from the stage no less.

CAPTAIN ANARCHY, LEATHER MASTER ERIC & SWEET E.
at the Southern California Renassiance Pleasure Faire

There we proceeded to blaze an immense cloud of 420 smoke in to the vicinity and we ended up having a blast as we watched the band shred like hell on the kick ass new song “Blood Eagle Wings”, followed by “Antisocial” (which many may not know is actually a Trust cover). Then they rocked us out with their excellent, pumped-up cover of “Carry On Wayward Son” by Kansas, which they made sure to point out to the crowd was the very first time that they had ever had a keyboard player perform with them on stage, that being famed keyboardist Fred Mandel whom has played with icons such as Alice Cooper, Elton John and Queen (and the song is also a bonus track on the new expanded vinyl edition of their latest album “For All Kings” as well). And rounding out the set with a bang was of course one of their crowd favorite’s “Indians”, which was followed by their DIO tribute of “Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll” by Rainbow, and which brought to an end a very wild and rowdy piratical adventure for us… YARRRRRRR !!!

ANTHRAX ~ Burnin’ up the stage big time at The Wiltern !
~ Photo by Captain Anarchy.
HAMMERFALL, DELAIN & DEFINITY @ Whisky A Go Go (West Hollywood)

‘Guised in my cosplay as the barbarian Marnaan the Defiler, I infiltrated the Whisky where HammerFall really did “let the hammer fall” on the capacity crowd for their “Built To Last” tour, crushing us all beneath the it’s heavy metal weight ! It had been since 2010 when these Swedish metal barbarians had last invaded L.A. at the House of Blues on Sunset, a show that I had skipped because I had seen them a few days before that at the Galaxy Theatre (now “The Observatory”) in Santa Ana. And before that it had been since 1998 when they had played at the Whisky for the first time as well, which was another one of their amazing shows that I had also attended and headbanged to the point of whiplash at as well. So having only offered a few opportunities for me to see them in a two decade time span there was no way that I was going to miss this one, come hell or high water !

MARNAAN “The Defiler” with JOACIM CANS & OSCAR DRONJAK
of HAMMERFALL ~ Partying like metal barbarians at WHISKY A GO GO

~ Photo by Jumpin’ Jeff.

As soon as the band’s rowdy loyal fans saw founding member and guitarist Oscar Dronjak descending the staircase on to the stage they began shouting his name, and the cheering escalated as singer extraordinaire Joacim Cans, axe man Pontus Norgren,  bassist Frederik Larsson and drummer Johan Kullberg all made their way on to the stage as well. The band started their smashing set with “Hector’s Hymn” from their “Evolution” album and immediately the crowd went in to a frenzy, pumping their fists, headbanging uncontrollably and singing along at the top of their lungs. Then they played the very anthemic “Riders of the Storm” off their “Crimson Thunder” LP, followed by “Blood Bound” off the “Chapter V: Unbent, Unbound, Unbroken” album, in what was a complete flurry of metal madness ! And from there they proceeded to play a plethora of their hits of the past like “Any Means Necessary”, “Renegade”, my favorite “Let The Hammer Fall” and a great bunch of other power-punching songs like “The Dragon Lies Bleeding” and “Last Man Standing”, as well as some excellent cuts off their new “Built To Last” LP  including “Dethrone and Defy”, the album’s title track “Built to Last” and their latest “hammer” titled track “Hammer High”. And finally they closed out to an exhausted crowd with “Bushido” from their “Evolution” LP and the huge sing-along song “Hearts On Fire” from their “Crimson Thunder album, in what was an absolutely fantastic friggin’ show !!!

With this show bringing the band’s North American tour to an end they headed out on a European tour including dates in Spain, France and Germany and ultimately home to Sweden… but before leaving us singer Joacim Cans promised us all that it would not take another seven years for them to come back, and indeed he meant it because they already have another Whisky show booked for June 14th, 2018… and this time it’s with Flotsam & Jetsam playing support, which is gonna kick ass, so be sure to get your tickets as soon as they go on sale and before it sells out, and also be sure to get a copy of HammerFall‘s latest kick ass album “Built to Last”, ‘cuz it totally rocks !!!

PONTUS NORGREN of HAMMERFALL ~ Showing how it is done !
~ Photo by Captain Anarchy.

Then epic metal band Delain, hailing from Netherlands, took to the stage in all their glory, and I must say that Charlotte Wessels, the gorgeous and talented lead vocalist, has a very beautiful voice that works really well with her co-founding member and keyboard player  Martijn Westerholt’s lustrous style. And in conjunction with the soild reinforcement of Timo Somers and Merel Bechtold on guitars, Otto Schimmelpenninck van der Oije on bass and Ruben Israel on drums it all comes together fabulously to define Delain’s unique symphonic metal signature sound. They opened their set with “Hands of Gold” from their current album “Moonbathers”, followed by their welcomed older song “Go Away” from their second album “April Rain”. Next up was another song off their new album, a great cut called “The Glory and the Scum”, followed by “Suckerpunch” which really got the crowd going and segwayed into three of their prominent hits “Get the Devil Out of Me” from the “We Are The Others” LP and “Army of Dolls” and “Here Come the Vultures” from “The Human Contradiction” album, and rounding out with one more new song “Fire With Fire”.

TIMO SOMERS & CHARLOTTE WESSELS of DELAIN @ THE WHISKY
~ Photo by Captain Anarchy.

It was at this point that they brought out a surprise guest to join them on stage, that being Burton C. Bell of Fear Factory, whom proceeded to perform a superb duet with Charlotte on the song “Where Is the Blood” from the “We Are The Others” LP ! And after doing some research after the show I found out that they did not play this song at any of their other shows along the tour, so this was a very special treat for us here in Hollywood. And then they rapped up their enigmatic set with  “Sleepwalkers Dream” from their first album “Lucidity” and “Not Enough” from the latest album. Screaming for an encore, the band conceded and broke off  “Mother Machine” from the “We Are The Others” album, followed by “Don’t Let Go” from “The Human Contradiction”, and finally ended with what is undoubtedly their biggest hit out of all, that being the title track from “We Are The Others”, which naturally had their whole crowd of die hard fans singing along and pumping their fists in the air and banging their heads right up to the end, in what was one of the most overly-produced sounding over-the-top shows that I have ever seen pulled off on this scale at this iconic venue !!!

BLACKEST OF BLACK FEST w/Danzig & Ministry @ Oak Canyon Ranch (O.C.)

I ventured deep behind the Orange Curtain for Day Two of this festival with my cohort Manu Pix, with a boat load of booze in the “rolling bar” cooler and dressed to the nine irons with him in his finest gothic metal attire and myself transformed by spell in to the “Slaytanic Priest”. But this adventure turned in to a friggin’ three hour tour getting there and finding the place, as this event was hidden way off the beaten track and deep in the hills of Anaslime. Hence, much to our dismay, we completely missed Venom Inc. by a mere matter of minutes following their performance, and whom were half the reason that I even wanted to go to this thing for in the first fuckin’ place ! So once we arrived the parking lot was naturally devoid of people, and oddly enough of security as well, so we proceeded to take advantage of the situation and throw our own private tailgate party, which at one point involved me finally meeting the beautifully bewitching Jamie Ryckman, head mistress of San Diego’s exclusive deathrock venue “Club Hemlock”, and her charming young friends whom all came up from San Diego for this show, and who recognized me as a friend of their former San Diego cohort turned L.A. resident DJ Tenebrae… and whom also shared some of their most excellent Don Julio tequila with us as well, for which we would like to thank them yet again.

And Manu and I could hear Atreyu playing, followed by the Japanese band called Vamps, but we were having way too much fun cranking our own tunes and partying in the lot, so we really didn’t give a shit if we saw them or not. And in fact we were making fun of them and laughing the whole time because they both actually just sounded like generic, corporate-concocted nu-metal garbage. And what made them even funnier is when they played some hair metal covers, I mean especially considering that they are the type of guys that usually hate that genre of music, so that just made them sound like they were trying to sell out that much harder ~ ROTFLMFAO !!!

AL JOURGENSEN ~ Ministry giving Danzig a good run for his money…

Anyway, as the sun fell we finally made our way in to the venue, which was a lot smaller and less spread out than we had expected, and also featured far less “carny” type of booths, attractions, rides, etc. than we had expected. In fact, it was so sort of lack luster that we never even did bother checking out much of what it did actually have to offer, and a lot of people told us that we weren’t missing much anyway. So we headed straight for the front of the stage and off to the left, where we could get up really close, and there we saw the last half of Ministry’s action-packed set, whom totally kicked ass and were far better than I remember them back in the ’90’s… but then again I was so fuckin’ high on drugs all of the time in that horribly lame fucking decade, which I did just to cope with the fuckin’ thing, that I don’t really remember much of it anyway ~ LMFAO ! But seriously, I friggin’ loved Ministry’s music, image and stage show, and they totally destroyed it with “Waiting”, “Worthless”, “Bad Blood” (which was their first time playing it live since 2003) and culminted with “N.W.O.” with Burton C. Bell of Fear Factory. And then in the end they killed it with “Just One Fix” and “Thieves”, and as far as I was concerned they could have gladly kept playing for another hour and I would have loved it !

DANZIG ~ MASTER OF CEREMONIES at BLACKEST OF BLACK FEST

So then, after following the neon-lit toy helicopters flying around in the air, we hence found Kyrad and Spyke slinging them… so we teamed up with them, which of course led to us all consuming a bunch of $10 watered down beers, blazing 420, and starting our own side mosh pit with a bunch of other heads once Danzig hit the stage. And although sometimes Danzig lets me down with a bunch of covers thrown in the middle of his set, or with a really bad PA system, or just whatever, I must admit that was far from being the case this time around. In fact, he totally friggin’ ruled, storming through a set of pretty much all of his greatest hits that are far too numerous to name here… and besides, if you don’t know his songs then you probably aren’t that big of a fan of his, and thus shouldn’t even be bothering to read this anyway ~ LOL ! And he also debuted some cool songs like “Devil On Hwy. 9” and “Last Ride” as well, in what was a total fuckin’ riot of a show that was so much friggin’ fun that it totally made up for all of the other bullshit that happened earlier. And afterward we got invited back to the RV Campground where we partied with Kyrad, Spyke, Lauren and her friends and a bunch of other cool people that all kicked us down beers, booze, smoke and food and blasted the metal tunes until 3am. And best of all was that on that night I got introduced to my new friend Matt the Tatt Guy, whom is a killer tattoo artist and all around super friendly, fun, cool and nice guy, and with whom I have went on to have many great adventures with since then too… but that’s another story, to be continued in Part Deux.

SLAYTANIC PRIEST & LAUREN T. @ THE BLACKEST OF BLACK FEST
~ Selfie by Lauren T.

On a side note: I’ve heard that Danzig can have a pretty shitty attitude towards a lot of people and fans at shows, but I also heard that he was signing merch at this show and he was being very friendly and amicable. But then again I suppose that makes sense, because when he’s playing anywhere else he’s getting paid a guarantee and hence he can probably give a shit less about what people think about him or if they get offended, but when he’s playing his own festival he probably doesn’t want to alienate anyone, as he wants them all to come back and bring as many of their friends as they can every year because he’s not getting paid a guarantee, he’s getting paid what he makes off the show, and that won’t be much if people start not showing up. And honestly for some reason I was expecting this festival to have like 20,000 people or maybe even way more than that, but in reality it looked to me like there were maybe only a couple of thousand people there at the most… LOL ! But I personally don’t give a flying fuck anyway, because I just really like his voice, lyrics, music, stage show, recordings and videos…  so I could actually care less about what kind of person he is or what he says, thinks or does regardless.

SUICIDAL TENDENCIES @ Robert Vargas’ “Mike Muiral” Unveiling (DTLA)

Famous L.A. artist Robert Vargas, known for doing big ass murals of all kind o’ different shit all over town, got the green light from underground music and art supporter City Councilman Jose Huizar to bust out a giant “Muiral” of Mike Muir’s mug, the lead singer of veteran Venice punk-metal band Suicidal Tendencies. The mural was painted on the side of a building on the Eastside of Downtown L.A., and God only knows why when they are a Westside band proud and true, where it will be seen daily by thousands of people as they pass by on a local newly reconstructed freeway bridge that will open sometime in the not-so-distant future… and most of whom will probably have no friggin’ idea who it is or could probably give two shits either honestly, but “what-ever” ~ LOL ! So all of these dudes thought it might be fun to throw a gig in the empty parking lot for the unveiling of the thing, which wasn’t even finished yet, but to do so anyway while they had the chance. But apparently whomever they got to organize it for them was a total dipshit and a naive fool that didn’t know what the Hell they were doing, nor what to expect or how to contend with it, which was pretty obvious. So when it all blew up and the metaphorical “shit hit the fan” then naturally the media painted the punks and metal heads as the culprits and the one’s to blame, just like they alwatys do, and of course no one that was truly responsible for the fiasco even bothered to step up and speak for them in their defense either… surprise, surprise. And that’s pretty much the long and short of it…

ROBERT VARGAS, MIKE MUIR & COUNCILMAN JOSE HUIZAR
~ Photo by Captain Anarchy.

But at any rate… contrary to all of the bullshit and hype that you may have heard on the news or read online, no one tore the fence down. I was there, and I am telling you that it did not happen, period. And there were also not 5,000 people there either, it was more like 1,500 or so at the very most, but honestly it was probably only somewhere between 800 to 900 really, and I would be surprised if it was actually even that many to be honest with you.

So here is the real story… there was plenty of room in the fenced off parking lot surrounding the stage, regardless of any potential Fire Marshall restrictions that may or may not have plausibly being accounted for, but the organizers/promoters (whoever that may have been… perhaps inept and naive City Council staffers or something, no doubt) instructed their security team to only allow 600 people inside, leaving the rest of us stuck outside and too far from the stage to really see and enjoy the band. However we could all see that there were clearly only a few hundred people in the gated area and whom were only filling up the first half of it closest to the stage, thus leaving the second half between them and the gate completely empty and with plenty of space left over to easily accommodate the rest of us. So consequently, as Suicidal Tendencies began playing their adrenaline-fueled anthemic “You Can’t Bring Me Down”, the crowd got the not-so-bright idea to start shaking the gate really hard out of frustration, and admittedly they were indeed trying to tear it down. And this continued as the band broke into their vintage cut “I Shot The Devil” as well, during which the crowd was also moshing in the middle of the blocked off street too.

SUICIDAL TENDENCIES at the ROBERT VARGAS’ “Muiral” Unveiling
~ Photo by Captain Anarchy.

So finally the security guards got the message that there was no way in Hell that the crowd was going to relent, and that therefore the gate was going to come down no matter what, probably sooner rather than later, and undoubtedly causing major financial damage to it and the property… and possibly even resulting in personal injuries and law suits that might arise from them, etc. So with it having become crystal clear at this point that this was certainly not going to end well, especially for the property and maybe not for them either, they finally decided to do the right thing and they opened up the gate and let everyone in. And once everyone was inside, where there indeed was in fact more than enough room for everyone to begin with and even with room to spare, meaning there was no actual viably good reason for them not to have let in everyone in the first place, then everything was peaceful. There was a mellow mosh pit and the crowd was just chanting, headbanging, throwing their fists in the air and rocking out, just like at any other punk or heavy metal concert. There were even a lot of young couples with their kids and/or babies there, so everyone was acting rowdy but at the same time also keeping it cool too. And the band was able to then get through their silly but thrashin’ fun new song “Clap Like Ozzy” from their latest release “World Gone Mad”, as well as two more killer classics “Trip At The Brain” and “Pledge Your Allegiance”, which they knocked out really well… or at least they would have if the PA system hadn’t kept cutting out towards the end, either because they were straight out over-powering it and blowing it the fuck up or because some asshole was fucking with it because they wanted to put an end to the show due to pressure from the promoters/organizers, city officials on site and/or the presence of the police who were closing in on the scene.

Then when the ghetto bird and the cops arrived in full force the crowd was flipping them off and chanting all of that “Fuck the Police” type of shit, but it was also very obvious to all of the parties involved that no one planned on actually rioting. So after some words from Mike Muir and councilman Jose Huizar the crowd left peacefully and it was no big deal. Therefore there was really no need for the “show of force” by the L.A.P.D., but by the same token they were being cool with people and just asking them politely to leave in peace, which everyone did. So in reality it was actually poor planning, organization and crowd control decisions that incited the crowd and thus triggered the events that occurred which ultimately led to getting the show shut down, because had they planned it better then no one would have acted up like that, plain and simple. I mean come on, let’s keep it real here, anyone with half a brain should have known that pulling a stunt like that was only going to incite that type of crowd to react like that, so therefore it was clearly the fault of the organizers/promoters that got it shut down and thus ruined it for everyone… or at least as far as I’m concerned it was.

CAPTAIN ANARCHY at the ROBERT VARGAS’ Mike “Muiral” Unveiling
~ Photo by Kyrad.

Anyway, I do have to admit that the “Muiral” was prety cool, and I had a good ass time walking around in my full skeleton makeup and sporting my S x T ball cap and Neighborhood Watch shirt with my with my shorts past my knees and my white sox above them underneath, old school gangsta style… and of course strollin’ in my combat boots and hilariously sippin’ my rum ‘n’ coke out of a one liter Pepsi bottle… and if you don’t get what’s funny about that very last part then you’re obviously not a Suicidal fan, DUH ! And I also got to see a few heads that I know from the scene, and to hang out with my homeboy Chris Hazard, former vocalist of Funhouse and Venice local. And I also got to rap briefly with Mike Muir, whom I had not seen in years, and he didn’t recognize me under the skeleton makeup but once I told him who I was then the look on his face was priceless, as we have known each other since the early days of the punk scene and the formation of his band, way back in the very early ’80’s when me and my holmies use to hang out with him and the S x T Cycos and the N x W crew at Mar Vista Park ~ Órale, Simón Ese ! But the drag was that my camera ran out of batteries by then, so some pinché poser claiming that he was a photographer for the L.A. Weekly took the picture of us together instead, which he claimed would be on the magazine’s website for me to download in a week or so. But the fact of the matter is that none of his pics ever showed up on there, and I spoke with several people that work in the photography department there and none of them had ever even heard of that fool ! So if I ever see that pendejó again I might just have to jack that puto’s camera or something… Chalé Holmes ~ LOL !

KORONEBURG FESTIVAL (Corona) & LED ZEPAGAIN @ Romano’s (Riverside)

In my eleven archer garb as Markäen Evenstar ~ Master of the Elfstones, and accompanied by my Spanish pirate mate Manu Pix, we traveled to the land known as Corona for the Koroneburg Old World Festival, which is Southern California’s one and only permanent Renaissance Village that has been around since 1998, hence meaning that next year it will be celebrating it’s 20th anniversary ! Complete with colorfully painted, authentic wooden structures, rather than the usual tents most vendors sell their wares out of at other faires, it’s nature alone lends to a really genuine feel for the many enthusiastic patrons that attend this event in droves every year ! The festival spans the era of 1450-1600 and takes place at the fictitious estate of the Baron Heinrich Von Lauffer, located along the Rhine River (aka the Santa Ana River… heeheehee) between Mainz and Strasbourg.

The Crossroads Group event organizers for this faire boast “The Baron invites the finest minds and most talented actors to celebrate the coming of spring at his Barony of Koroneburg”, and in my experience of having attended this faire many times before I doth largely concur. The festival celebrates the inventions and the changes of the renaissance period, and within it’s vast 180 acre layout visitors are sure to discover many wonderful re-enactments, plays, jousting and combat demos, and an array of various medieval and renaissance period type entertainment. This is also a fantastic faire to find fine arts and crafts and some of the most unique, high quality, handcrafted vendor’s merchandise that is very hard to obtain at any of the other faires at all. Items here tend to range from your expected sorts such as garb, hats, jewelry, tankards, etc., but also include period weapons, hand carved staffs, one of a kind sculpture and glass art decorations, and much more… but most are like none that you have ever quite seen before. And if armor is your “thing”, or even lovely chain and scale mail bracelets and such for ye ladies, then be sure to visit the Master of Chain booth and ask for Master Brandon, as he makes the finest chain and specialty scale mail across the land… and be sure that you let him know that Captain Anarchy sent you !

ELVEN ARCHER MARKÄEN EVENSTAR at KORONEBURG FESTIVAL
~ Photo by Manu Pix.

Sadly, the Baron whom use to host the festival passed away a few years ago, and hence the festival missed a season or two. However, if I am correct, during that hiatus his son got all of the licensing in order and re-opened it this year, much to everyone’s delight. And so there is also even still a Baron that looks pretty much exactly the same and tends to roam the festival cavorting with all those in attendance when not performing re-enactments himself, and he is every bit just as jolly of a character to party with as the original one too, if I do say so myself (…and I do !!!). And here you will also enjoy many delectable period foods and beverages, dine outdoors on Italian food in a period restaurant (hey, now that’s something definitely different for a faire !), and sample (overindulge mayhaps ?) many very interesting beer and wine variations, some of which be ye rare micro-brews. And be sure to check out the honey meade booth, as they have a number of unexpected flavor choices also not to be found at pretty much any other faire either… ummm, yum ! However, for those with children in tow, ye shouldst be advised that this faire is also very kid-friendly and hosts many games and such for the little one’s to indulge in too. And all folk should be sure that ye experience the firing of the cannons when they bring it back this coming year as promised, as when I’ve seen it in the past it has truly a spectacular event that’s also unique to this faire too, especially if they do so after dark on a couple of key weekends like they use to, as they use to stay open later than usual on those nights (until 9:30 p.m.) and you could really see the fiery muzzle flashes – Huzzah !!! And they also have discount tickets and coupons available, and a “Pirate” themed weekend too, so be sure to check out their website for details at: www.renfestcorona.com

ANTHONY THYMIAKOS of LED ZEPAGAIN ~ Gettin’ down on the twin neck
~ Photo by Captain Anarchy.

After the festival my piratical compadre Manu Pix and I made our way just a short trip up the freeway to the new location of Romano’s, downtown Riverside’s premiere live music venue. And the new spot was killer, and far better than the old location, as it has a full bar and restaurant  downstairs with pool tables and dart boards, etc. and the live music venue is an entirely different entity upstairs with a full bar and a large smoking patio of it’s own. Plus the stage and PA system are way better too, and here we saw Led Zepagain tearin’ up yet another killer set of all of the best ‘Zep songs that we could ask for. And it was also evident at this show that new guitarist Anthony Thymiakos’ skills had already jumped up another notch as he continues to grow in to his role. The place was packed too, and the girl-to-guy ratio was actually pretty good as well, and everyone was rockin’ hard and really having a great time. And something that was really interesting was that my ol’ pal and ‘Zepagain soundman John Prpich was walking around with an iPad that had an app on it that was the soundboard, so he was literally mixing the band’s sound from the iPad while he moved around the room checking all of the acoustics, which was just friggin’ mind blowing ! And even better was when he got on stage with the band and played rhythm guitar and totally freakin’ rocked it to the crowd that absolutely loved him too ! Anyway, I’ll have more on this place once I’ve returned there for a second round, hopefully soon… Cheers !!!

REDD KROSS “Punk Is Dad” Show w/ The Side Eyes, The Meow Twins, Professor and the Madman & White Night @ The Echoplex (Echo Park)

I wanna thank the guys at Burger Records, the record label for some of the bands that played this show, for taking care of me, as well as my pal Alex G. too. Alex and I teamed up with former Flipside writer Mike Snider for this outing that began in the afternoon, as this was actually a pretty early show and was being held in honor of Father’s Day for punk rock dad’s, of which I myself am one. So knowing that sadly I have not seen my son in a while, nor would I probably hear from him today either, my pals decided to take me to this show to go have some fun. So of course I sported my “P.U.N.K. Keeping Kids On The Street” t-shirt just to be the sarcastic kinda goofball that I am… and for those of you who don’t “get it”, it’s a spin on the classic “D.A.R.E. To Keep Kids Off Drugs” slogan and logo from the so-called “War on Drugs” farce in the ’80’s. And it was nice seeing a lot of punk dad’s and their kids there… that was actually pretty cool.

FRANK AGNEW JR. of WHITE NIGHT ~ Beltin’ it out big time !
~ Photo by Captain Anarchy.

Anyway, first up were the young band White Night, featuring Frank Agnew Jr., the son of famed guitarist Frank Agnew of the iconic old school O.C. punk band the Adolescents. Borrowing their logo font from a short lived but other highly regarded O.C. punk band China White, and a few musical liner notes on direction from the Adolescents, they nonetheless have created their own sound which is kind of reminiscent of a flowery Silverlake-inspired psychedelic-tinged pop-punk style along the lines of Possum Dixon at times, but with a page borrowed from say The Descendents on the edgier side of things, and at times even seemed to have a little bit of a goth sort of vibe happening as well, oddly enough… but I say all of this for lack of any better reference really. I don’t know, they’re hard to describe, but I definitely recommend that you check them out, as they did a great job here and they were fun… and you should probably bring your girlfriend too, ‘cuz I think she might dig their sound as well.

SEAN ELLIOTT of PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN ~ Pullin’ keys & guitar !
~ Photo by Captain Anarchy.

Next up were Professor and the Madman, a collaboration of Sean Elliott leading the charge on vocals and guitar with Frank and Alfie Agnew both backing him on guitars and vocals as well, and the rhythm section of Mark Tolbert on bass and vocals and Nick Scalzo on drums. So in other words the band has affiliations with the Adolescents, D.I., Doggystyle and The Detours, as well as The Damned too because on their two albums worth of recordings they actually had Rat Scabies play with them as well… and in fact the band even had a #1 hit song on Reverbnation for a while as well. And with a style that combines rock, punk, power pop and alternative rock these veteran players really commanded the stage with their “grave vocal tones and sometimes haunting guitar riffs” that stem from “influences ranging from The Damned and early Punk to Pink Floyd and The Beatles”, as they like to describe their own sound and with which I fully concur. In fact, I mean with that said then what else can I really say here, as that truly describes pretty much exactly what their show was like. But I will say that these guys not only have great, catchy and sometimes dark-ish/goth-tinged songs, but that they are also all great musicians and performers, have good clean vocals, and were very entertaining to watch to say the least.

ASTRID McDONALD of THE SIDE EYES ~ Storming the crowd ferociously !
~ Photo by Captain Anarchy.

The following band was the Meow Twins, another young band, and if I remember correctly I think the cute girl named Candle that sings for them is the daughter of one of the guys in the ’80’s skate punk band JFA or something… which was why they were also on the bill, but they didn’t show up for whatever reason, so whatever. Anyway, I’m not sure why they’re called the Meow Twins, maybe because there’s two girls in the band or something, I dunno. Anyway, Candle has a kind of smoky sounding voice that sounds older than her age, and she attacked the mic and crowd aggressively. And the band had sort of an old school punk sound with a bit of a gothic twist I suppose, for lack of a better description. However I can’t say a whole lot more about them really, because we were outside during a good portion of their set taking a break and blazing up, but they seemed pretty cool though… albeit maybe one of the lesser skilled bands of the show, but I don’t think they care anyway.

CAPTAIN ANARCHY of H. x P. & ASTRID McDONALD of THE SIDE EYES
~ Photo by Alex G.

Then the direct support band hit the stage, yet another young band, that being The Side Eyes featuring the young and alluring Astrid McDonald, the daughter of my ol’ pal Jeff McDonald and niece of Steve McDonald of Redd Kross, and whose mother is none other than Charlotte Caffey of The Go Go’s… so she definitely has some talent running through her. And if you haven’t figured it out yet there was a pattern to this show, that being that the dad’s bands and their kids bands were basically taking turns performing here on Father’s Day, hence the show title “Punk Is Dad”, a spin on the ’80’s slogan “Punk’s Not Dead”… DUH ! Anyway, Astrid has a fantastic young voice and she really stormed the crowd with ferocity, and she threw in a few really high pitched shrill screams ala Dinah Cancer of 45 Grave style as well. And actually I guess their music can best be described as sort of like 45 Grave at times too, but less spooky… or maybe like Alice Bag and The Bags for instance, and definitely draws it’s main influence from the various other early ’80’s era of So. Cal. punk bands in general for sure, which is and was fantastic ! And they wrapped up their set with a great cover of “Don’t Talk To Me” by The Eyes, which was written by Astrid’s mom Charlotte back when she was in that band in the early days of the punk scene.


CAPTAIN ANARCHY of H. x P. & STEVE McDONALD of REDD KROSS
~ Photo by Alex G.

And finally Redd Kross took to the stage and rocked the living hell out of us all ! They straight up served a veritable boat load worth of a good potion of their early era punk rock classics to an eager crowd that was ready to eat them up, and did ! However I think that there may have been a number of fans that might have been a bit disappointed because they wanted to hear more of the band’s more psychedelic type of mid-to-later era material though. which they did not play a whole lot of other than having opened with “Neurotica” and played “Blow You A Kiss In The Wind” and maybe a couple of others, and one or two off their new album “Researching The Blues”, at best. But whatever, because we got exactly what we came hoping for, which were a bunch of their old punk tunes like “Annette’s Got The Hits”, “Everyday There’s Someone New”, “Kill Someone You Hate”, “Burnout” (which they use to invite me up on stage to sing with them back in the early ’80’s, and I even got my picture in Flipside doing it to prove it ~ LOL !), “Linda Blair” (which included a long “free flowin’ jam” and lots of guitar solos), and I can’t remember if it was “Clorox Girls” or “Standing in Front of Poseur”, or maybe both… plus a whole bunch more ! However, sadly my camera finally took a dump on me at this point, so unfortunately I didn’t get any good pics of the band that were print worthy. But I did run in to my other ol’ pal Chuck Legend of Artists Worldwide and bass player of the Fizzy Bangers, so we hung out and rocked out the whole time and it was great !!!

Oh, and did I mention that you can order reasonably priced and fairly large slices of some really kick ass pizza at the bar there, which comes from a famous place nearby that has an authentic N.Y. style recipe but with funky twists for toppings available ? Check it out next time you’re there, you won’t regret it, it rules !!!

‘Nuff Said…NOW WATCH MY FUCKING PLAYLIST!

Categories: Uncategorized
Skip to toolbar