True rock n’ roll music is back and taking their rightful place in the front of the pack is Los Angeles-based, four-Piece, Dirty Honey.
After becoming the first unsigned band to top the Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs airplay chart in 2019 with When I’m Gone, Dirty Honey have embarked on what seems like a nonstop tour criss-crossing the U.S. Currently on their month-long Rolling 7’s Tour, the band made a pit stop at L.A.’s historic El Rey Theatre for an energetic hour and a half set. Opening the show with Scars and Break You, back to back, the final two tracks on their self-titled debut EP, the stage was immediately set for what was going to be an evening of pure soul and rock n’ roll. The set also included classic covers like Last Child by Aerosmith and the last segment of Whole Lotta’ Love by Led Zeppelin. There was not only a guitar solo, but a drum solo AND a bass solo? Who does that in 2020? Dirty Honey does.
The crowd was a mix of the older generation that grew up during the birth of the genre, those in between and all those just now discovering this type of music, but something important and gratifying to point out, there was barely a phone in site the entire night. An occasional picture or video here and there popping up, which is perfectly acceptable, but the focus was on the performance. A nice change from the current trend of watching a live show through the lens of an iPhone.
The stage set up was pleasingly simple and everyone knew the main focus should be on the four talented, young gentlemen in front of them. Marc Labelle’s impressively wide vocal range was a center point the entire night. It is rare when someone as young as he is can successfully pull of such a lucid and gritty in-your-face tone that is familiar but also completely unique, combined with the chemistry he and guitarist John Notto share and it’s as if the two were destined to play together. Notto is obviously a well-trained musician, who adds a unique flavor to a classic style guitar sound, the crisp tone he pulled out of his beautiful Cherry Sunburst Gibson Les Paul, held the audience’s attention throughout the night.
Justin Smolian on bass and Corey Coverstone in the back on the drums are an extraordinarily tight rhythm section, not only holding this four-piece together, but often setting the pace for the band’s impromptu jam sessions, which is a treat because essentially the audience is seeing them create new music live. Those in attendance were were fortunate enough to hear the debut of two new tracks, The Wire and Tied Up, both showing that these guys have no intention of slowing down anytime soon.
The final quarter of the set drove it all home. Ripping through When I’m Gone, a bass solo, and the instant classic and tour namesake Rolling 7’s to finish it all off, no encore was needed as the statement was made.
The raw energy Dirty Honey showcased was a spectacle to be seen, there’s little doubt these guys will be playing stadiums by the end of the year. They brought a vibe that was reminiscent and yet new at the same time, which is one of the rarest attributes a band can offer. Dirty Honey is on the right track when it comes to good, classic, soulful, rock n’ roll. This band has made an imprint in Los Angeles that is going to be tough to beat.
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Set List is attached.
- Break You
- Fire Away
- The Wire
- Down the Road
- Tied Up
- Last Child
- When I’m Gone
- Whole Lotta Love
- Rolling 7’s