As most of Columbus was out of power on Friday night, the fact that the America Rocks show went off without a hitch was pretty amazing. True, most of the bands on the lineup retained only one original member, but the hits are the hits and ’80s hair metal fans were treated to hours worth of recognizable tunes.
Lillian Axe kicked things off with a heavier-than-expected set and closed with the only song of theirs I remember (“Show a Little Love”). Those looking for straight-up Metal Edge nostalgia needn’t look any further than Pretty Boy Floyd who wore teased hair and leather pants. The Bulletboys tossed a few newer songs into their Van Halen-sounding set (I asked by buddy Shawn is “Hell on My Heels” was from Van Halen I or Van Halen II!). Faster Pussycat went the glam-goth route in the mid-90s and retain that look but have gone back to the sleaze rock sound they were known for. Jack Russell’s Great White closed out the night with a bluesy, classic rock sound and a set full of recognizable hits – I’m guessing of all the bands on the tour, these guys are the most likely to stick to their group when not performing.
As mentioned in the Jack Russell interview posted earlier this week, the America Rocks tour hits Columbus tonight and features a who’s who of early ’90s Metal Edge favorites (Jack Russell’s Great White, Faster Pussycat, Bulletboys, Pretty Boy Floyd, Lillian Axe).
Doors open at 6:30, music starts around 7. Grab your favorite pair of leather pants, tease your hair, and come join me at the Alrosa Villa!
If you’re reading this, you’re probably already a Great White fan or at least a fan of the ‘80s hair metal genre. And, if that’s the case, you probably already know that last year singer Jack Russell had a falling out with the other members of Great White (guitarist Mark Kendall, drummer Audie Desbrow, keyboardist Michael Lardie) and depending on who is telling the truth, either Jack fired the other members or the other members fired Jack. That stuff will all, most likely, be settled in a court of law, but the result is that there are now two versions of Great White out there. Jack, for the time being, is on the short-end and has to call his band Jack Russell’s Great White while the other guys recruited Terry Illous (XYZ) to sing on Elation which was released, under the name Great White, last month by Frontier Records.
Jack Russell’s Great White is hitting the road this summer, headlining the America Rocks tour which also features Faster Pussycat, Bulletboys, Pretty Boy Floyd and Lillian Axe. The America Rocks tour hits the Columbia Music Arena in Portsmouth on Wednesday night ($20/advance) and the Alrosa Villa in Columbus on Friday night ($28/advance).
I’m a HUGE fan of the ‘80s hair metal genre and anytime I get the chance to talk to somebody I grew up lip-synching to in front of my bedroom mirror as a teenager, it’s a thrill. Talking to Jack was no different – the 17-year-old me was pulling a Chris Farley interviewing Paul McCartney (“Remember when you toured with Whitesnake? Remember you played in Cleveland? I was there. It was AWESOME!”).
When Anthrax, Testament and Death Angel fall tour dates were announced a few months ago, there appeared to be a hole in the schedule on November 16. This left metalheads in central Ohio with a little bit of hope that PromoWest would deliver a killer bill at one of their venues. But within hours of the initial tour announcement, the Alrosa Villa posted info about a one-off Death Angel show thus eliminating any chance of the full bill hitting Columbus.
Back in my formative years (late ’80s/early ’90s) I knew of Death Angel as the thrash metal Filipino-American kids. I don’t think that really helped them get airplay on Headbanger’s Ball, but “Bored” was a staple and the band member’s ages (all in their late teens) was usually mentioned. After going on hiatus for 10 years, a few of the original members (singer Mark Osegueda and guitarist Rob Cavestany) got back together with a revolving door of new members. The current lineup, touring behind 2010’s Relentless Retribution, has been together since 2009.
(Old school Death Angel vs New school Death Angel)
A full night of metal takes place Wednesday at the Alrosa with a lineup of Death Angel, Dismemberment, Skullbomb, Fade to Oblivion, A.O.D., and Strikken. Doors open at 6 with music to start shortly thereafter. Tickets are $14.
If you’ve over the age of 30, you’ve heard Mr.Big’s 1991 chart-topping, power-ballad “To Be with You”. Some 20 years later, you can still hear the song on a variety of satellite radio stations, from the ’90s channel to the hair metal channel to the lite rock channel. It’s also featured in the Broadway musical Rock of Ages.
The original lineup – Eric Martin (vocals), Paul Gilbert (guitars), Billy Sheehan (bass) and Pat Torpey (drums) – released 4 albums between 1989 and 1996. After Gilbert left in ’97, ex-Poison guitarist Richie Kotzen joined the band and played on two Mr.Big releases before the band broke up in 2002.
A 2009 reunion – to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Mr.Big’s self-titled debut – proved successful and in 2010 it was announced that the band would be releasing an album of new material. What If … was released earlier this year and Mr.Big hit the road to promote the first new album in 10 years.
On Saturday night, Mr.Big will play at the Alrosa Villa with Lynch Mob (featuring ex-Dokken guitarist George Lynch). This is the only date on Mr.Big’s tour where the two bands are playing together so it’s sure to be a memorable evening.
Paul Gilbert took some time last week to answer some questions I sent via his publicist.
The venue in Columbus where you’ll be playing, the Alrosa Villa, is billing the show as it’s “37th Anniversary Show”. When you see the tour itinerary, are you aware of these types of things? Not that you’d necessarily plan anything special, but there might be a little bit of additional buzz because of the anniversary.
PG: Well, first of all, a hearty congratulations to the Alrosa Villa for keeping it together for 37 years. That’s a long time to survive in the entertainment business, so they must be doing something very right.
My job is to play guitar, and I’ve been practicing and playing my guitar like a madman for over three and half decades, so hopefully that will give people something good to remember about their experience in the venue. Continue reading →
Irish bands are supposed to sound like U2 or Thin Lizzy or Van Morrison, right? Nah, not always. Kopek’s got a modern-rock edge to their guitar-heavy sound though there’s some classic rock influence mixed in as well. These guys have been touring with the likes of Hinder and Cold and based on comments left on their Facebook page, they’ve been holding their own next to the more well-known headliners.
This show was booked at the last minute and therefore to encourage kids to come out, the Alrosa has made this a low dough show. $5 should get you in the door to see a band that has some serious potential to be filling much larger venues in the not-so-distant future.
Thursday night skate-punk-metal rockers Suicidal Tendencies bring the Join the Army/Deja Vu tour to the Alrosa Villa.
Suicidal Tendencies recently released No Mercy Fool!/The Suicidal Family which is a re-recording of tracks from the band’s second album, Join the Army, and songs from ST guitarist Mike Clark’s speed metal band, No Mercy.
Doors open at 6pm and tickets are $20. Also on the bill are Death Before Dishonor, Damn Near Down, and Catastrophic Manifestation.
RATT did it right. Rather than trying to be modern sounding or advancing their sound, they went back to Out of the Cellar and Invasion of Your Privacy, figured out what they did to sell millions of records in the late ’80s and used that as a template for a brand new record of songs that sound brand old.
I was hoping you’d be reading an interview with one of the guys (3 original members – Stephen Pearcy, Warran DeMartini, Bobby Blotzer, 2 newer guys – Carlos Cavazo, Robbie Crane) in this spot but nothing ever worked out even though we tried a few times.
Maybe things aren’t real good in the RATT camp these days. Pearcy recently told a British-based website that he’s looking forward to a break. “I’m ready to go with new solo stuff with the Rat Bastards and my new band Battering Ramm. Will we do another Ratt record? I don’t know. Things didn’t fall into place and I’ve left my options open. We’ll see what happens.”
Saturday night RATT will run through a greatest hits set, with a few tracks from 2010’s Infestation thrown in, to celebrate the Alrosa Villa’s 30th anniversary. This might be the last time you’ll have a chance to check out RATT before they hang it up. Tickets are $25.
About 4 or 5 years ago I caught Jack Russell and Mark Kendall with a bunch of kids playing under the name Great White opening for a Jaime St.James-led Warrant in Cincinnati. Most of you have tuned out by now, I get it, but for those sticking around for the ride, Great White was way better than I expected and I had forgotten how many songs of theirs I knew all the words to.
Since that time, most of the original members of Great White have returned and they’ve even released 2 new CDs, 2007’s Back to the Rhythm and 2009’s Rising.
The Other Paper did a good job at addressing the elephant in the room this week (band involved in one of the most horrific events in rock history playing at a club where one of the most horrific things ever happened to a musician) so I’m not going to rehash the whole thing.
Great White will play the Alrosa Villa tonight along with some local openers. Tickets are $20.