Hollywood is no stranger to music venues. There are several iconic clubs that dot the Sunset Strip, like The Whisky A Go-Go, The Roxy and The Viper Room. In addition, there are a few theaters like The Palladium, The Pantages and The Fonda. All of these sites find themselves within the confines of West Hollywood. There is a relative newcomer to the Tinseltown music scene located in an area less known for its music scene, East Hollywood. The Vermont is an old, converted movie theater which now hosts musical acts of all types. A very apropos metaphor for the headlining act they presented on Sunday, September 18th, a band whose name elicits such a metaphor, The Dead Daisies.
The Daisies brought two noteworthy openers with them on this evening. First up is the late 80’s power pop act, Enuff Z’nuff. This quartet, led by bassist and lead vocalist, Chip Z’nuff, the only original member in the band, unleashed a 30-plus minute set of melodic tunes. Leading off, is Magical Mystery Tour, one of the numbers from their 2021 album of Beatles as well as a few Lennon and McCartney solo covers, Hardrock Nite. With the band are guitarists Tory Stoffregen and Tony Fennell, as well as drummer Daniel B. Hill. Chip and Company gratify the room with three offerings from Hardrock Nite as well as five originals, culminating with their classics, Fly High Michelle and New Thing.
Completing the warmup portion of the evening is Gilby Clarke. Clarke of course is the former Guns N’ Roses member who switches gears with his brand of gutty, blues guitar laden rock. With Clarke on the evening are Troy Patrick Farrell on drums, and E.J. Curse on bass. Clarke’s guitar is punchy enough and Farrell adds even more by beating his drums like they disobeyed. Curse provides the yin to Clarke’s yang. Clarke doing double duty on guitar and lead vocals must stay anchored near his microphone for most of the set. Curse roams about, striking some unique postures and using his body as an extension of his instrument. Highlighting the set is their rendition of Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, in the style of GNR of course, with Clarke’s pleading that the crowd sing the “hey, hey, hey, hey” part of the chorus, and they mostly oblige.
The headliners hit the stage at around 10:00 pm, a bit of a late set for a Sunday evening, but it doesn’t seem to dampen the enthusiasm of those in attendance. The Dead Daisies are a band with no set membership. Most of the members have other commitments and they tend to plod along with whoever is available at the time. On this evening, founder and guitarist David Lowy is joined by another long tenured member, Doug Aldrich on lead guitar. On drums is the recently returned Brian Tichy, who along with Aldrich has served tenures with Whitesnake. The band is rounded out for this evening as well as a few others by vocalist Dino Jelusic and bassist Jimi Jimmi. Jelusic, a Croatian born singer who also has a Whitesnake connection as well as worked with Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Both Jelusic and Jimmi are pinch-hitting for regular bassist and vocalist, rock legend Glenn Hughes. Hughes was reportedly suffering from a throat infection and was ordered to be on rest for an undetermined amount of time.
The band does not miss a beat, despite the last minute substitutions. Jelusic performs the vocal duties very handily. He makes himself no stranger to all areas of the stage. Jimmi nails the bottom end from his area of the stage right of the drum kit. Regulars Aldrich and Tichy more than uphold their part of the bargain, and Lowy is steady and solid on rhythm guitar. The band plows through a one-hour and forty minute set of originals mixed with covers. Tichy takes the lead vocals on their cover of Grand Funk Railroad’s We’re An American Band. And if that was not enough, he plays a seven plus minute solo, which features him bouncing one of his sticks off a floor tom, into the air, and grabbing another, only to repeat this on each fourth beat around ten to twelve times. This seemed to amuse Chad Smith, drummer of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, who feverishly filmed the solo on his cell phone.
The evening may have been disappointing for some, considering the absence of Hughes. But, as the old showbiz saying goes, “the show must go on.” And go on it did. The Daisies put forth a high energy, rock n’ roll show, that did not disappoint. The show was capped off by a seven minute version of Deep Purple’s Burn, which of course is the title track of the first Deep Purple album to feature Hughes. Being a standard finale for the set, the band literally scorched their way through the number. Aldrich nails the guitar lead and Jelusic is perfect on the vocals. It is a fitting summation to the evening. As The Dead Daisies move along on their tour, kudos go out to Jelusic and Jimmi and wishes for a speedy recovery go out to Hughes.
CLICK HERE to view THE DEAD DAISIES photo gallery.
CLICK HERE to view GILBY CLARKE photo gallery.
CLICK HERE to view ENUFF Z’NUFF photo gallery.