On Los Angeles’ famed Miracle Mile, lies the historic El Rey theater. The El Rey played host to Australian founded band, The Dead Daisies on Friday night, August 25th. The Dead Daisies are one of those outfits that is constantly in flux, with members changing on a pretty regular basis. The current lineup has been touring the world since the beginning of June, with an extensive European tour, some stops in South America and about two weeks of U.S. dates. The American portion of the tour is winding down and culminates in a September, 2nd show in Milwaukee.
The crowd is less than capacity, but the 700 plus venue is an estimated, 85% full. KISS’ Paul Stanley is on hand to see the opening act, The Dives. The New York based quartet, is fronted by Stanley’s son Evan Stanley. Evan plays lead guitar and handles lead vocals for the opener. The Dives turn out a 40 minute set of coffeehouse rock, with a bit of a harder edge. Rhythm guitarist, Mike Lefton, takes lead vocal duties on a cover of the Beatles Don’t Let me Down, and the band displays their influences and does a nice job paying homage to the Fab Four. The group is rounded out by Jimmy Meier on drums and Sergio Ortega on bass guitar. Their set is energetic and proficient. Although this particular bill may not have been their target audience, they ultimately win the crowd over with their enthusiasm.
The Dead Daisies, being a fan-based band, meaning they don’t get a lot of radio play, rely on word of mouth, social media and being very appreciative to their fans. During their pre-show Meet and Greet, each and every member of the group bears this out with their genuinely gracious and friendly interactions with the Meet and Greet participants. Screamer Magazine and The Dead Daisies ticket winner, Andrew Reinjohn and his guest Tami Tomlinson got to experience the Meet and Greet first hand. Andrew, a guitar player himself, in the Los Angeles band Evernow, wanted to meet Doug Aldrich. Reinjohn’s impression of Aldrich was that “He was very nice, didn’t have a “rock star attitude” at all.” Andrew send his thanks to Screamer Magazine, to which he was turned on by his band’s lead singer.
When The Daisies hit the stage, it’s 10:15 p.m.. They tear through a 90 minute regimen of hard-rocking tunes, mixed with original numbers and heavily laden rock classic covers. This ensemble and its pedigree of classic rock lineage creates an undeniably powerful sound. Vocalist John Corabi, one time Motley Crue vocalist, is a seasoned rock veteran and knows how to deliver the lyrics, as well as charm a crowd. Aldrich, who has seen stints with Whitesnake, Dio, Glenn Hughes and others, certainly has honed his craft and looks and plays like a 40-year-old on the stage. Bassist and backing vocalist Marco Mendoza whose genealogy includes Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake, Lynch Mob and Ted Nugent, provides thunder and flicks guitar picks to audience members throughout the set. Brian Tichy, another Whitesnake alum, has too many to list. Tichy, provides the playful and fun side of the outfit. His drum solo, during which he plays with his fists also is highlighted by launching his stick repeatedly high into the air and catching it, and by this writer’s recollection, missing only once. The last member of the band, the only original member and founder, David Lowy, plays rhythm guitar. Lowy, a well established business man, presumably is not doing this for the money.
All of this rock n’ roll heritage makes the members of the Dead Daisies a perfect bunch of musicians to be what could be considered the world’s greatest cover band. But they are so much more than that. Although it’s clear that they enjoy playing the covers, the original tunes are also worthy of one’s ear. They are also a group of friends having fun playing music together. This is evidenced by Tichy and Aldrich rolling around on the stage and Aldrich playfully strangling him. Not necessarily the typical thing you might see at a rock concert, but then again, the Dead Daisies are not a typical band.
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