To many, the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood has lost its luster from the 80’s and while it continues to thrive with live music, the true element that keeps the nostalgia alive is the love of rock n’ roll which will never die. Contrary to what some people think, it never has died and rock n’ roll is here to stay whether the Beliebers or Auto-Tuners like it or not.
Friday night at the legendary Whisky A Go Go was a clear reminder of just how much rock n’ roll has been handed down from generation to generation as Faith & Bullets and Black Valentine opened the vault to the music of Juan Croucier, formerly of RATT. Having first seen Faith & Bullets when they competed in the Battle Of The Bands for a spot in Riki Rachtman’s Cathouse Live event last year and interviewing them at The NAMM Show a few months ago. It seems as though the vintage rock n’ roll torch has been appropriately passed on to a band who is fueled by the passion of bringing back the old days or as us Sunset Strip veterans like to call it the good “ole” days. As they hit the stage, Stevie Mayhem experienced a faulty microphone as the chord literally broke off in his hand as he was singing into it but like a true professional, he handled it and kept going without a hitch. With Mayhem’s raw vocals, Rikki Bullets on lead guitar/backing vocals, Cody Sparkz on bass guitar and Anthony Riso on drums, Faith & Bullets pulled out all the stops as they started their set with a song called Revolution. And while the guitar solo was a jaw dropper in this song, this same theme continued with every song they did. From Better Off Alone to brand new song Fight followed by Darker Side Of Me and ended the set with a song dedicated to our Vets called No Fear. Faith & Bullets is a band that has gone from good to great in the time frame of performances we have been in attendance of.
After the opening acts which included Black Valentine and a few others, it was time for Juan Croucier and his band to take over the Whisky. At this point, the crowd was at a boiling level of excitement and the house was packed. Dangerous But Worth The Risk, Scene Of The Crime and In Your Direction were a jolting force to get the party started. Everyone was on their feet and feeling the resurgence of true rock n’ roll as Croucier exhibited some powerful vocals and endless energy throughout his 16 song set. Croucier’s Wanted Man, Lay It Down, Way Cool Junior, Nobody Rides For Free and Back For More were exactly what the crowd wanted. With some classic guitar solos and took everyone on a journey of a juxtaposition of Body Talk and ending with RATT’s mega-hit Round and Round commencing the perfect ending to a great night of rock n’ roll. Croucier has not aged in style, appearance or in his music. Just as fresh and hard as it ever was. As the crowd danced their way through the last song, it was well known that Croucier is back and he is ready to stay. We hope to see him soon, it was a great show.
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