Saturday, March 5, 2011

Saigon Hookers Concert Review & Lion Ride Updates!!

Hey guys, it's time for my first concert review in way too long! Last night, I returned to The Rockstar Bar for The Saigon Hookers' first ever local concert, and that's the bulk of this post, though I have some assorted Lion Ride-related news at the end. So let's kick off the review!

The openers last night were essentially a local supergroup, even if they didn't have a lot of time to sink into the public conciousness beforehand. They are Brad Example & The Role Models, a punk rock quartet fronted (obviously) by Inner City Surfers & Room 206 bassist Brad "Example" Lacell! Brad was joined by fellow Surfers/Room 206 bandmate Dave Bahun and Lion Ride's own Marco Pedalino on guitar, and drummer Phil Greco, who's sure to be familiar from numerous local bands. Their set comprised mostly of punk covers, including a couple Surfers tunes (I think) and yes, even some heavier tracks! Nice surprise to hear some Motorhead and Spinal Tap in there, too bad my timing sucked to get either on video! Brad's singing was gritty and not very rangy, but it suited the style they were going for, so don't judge too harshly if you're more used to Dustin Jones' singing with the Surfers. Dave Bahun impressed me the most of the band last night, to be honest. He's always had a clear metal edge, and his solos were always welcome in his older bands, and they shined last night for sure!

I do think Marco could have had some lead time as well, he's a skilled lead guitarist himself! The band didn't seem to have a lot of preparation for this show, especially given the large stack of lyrics on stage, but Brad and company pulled it off well, and their punk sounds seemed to win over the fans in attendance!

Headlining were The Saigon Hookers, of course, in their first ever local concert! First off, thanks to frontman Tommy Smokes for being so gracious to me and for giving me a free CD. He's a nice guy! With The Saigon Hookers' closeness to Lion Ride members from past concerts and so forth, it's surprising that they haven't played in town before, but they seemed like they fit right in last night! If you're familiar with Lion Ride's brand of punk influenced metal, The Saigon Hookers should be up your alley, but they seem to take more influence from classic rock and alcohol than Lion Ride typically do. Amongst a set of mostly originals like "Let It Slide", "Stray Dogs", and "Tell It Like It Is", they rocked hard and long last night with lots of energy, and even threw in some Thin Lizzy and Rolling Stones covers for good measure! Tommy Smokes stood out in height and talent, with an effective punk influenced rock voice and some solid guitar playing backed up well by fellow axeman Ron Cybulskie and (surprisingly) Marco Pedalino on one track! Lee Brook proved to be more than up to the task of replacing Carmine Romano (now in Lion Ride) on bass, and Tommy Guns was good on drums all night! The Saigon Hookers delivered a good fun night of hard rocking music, and though the crowd shoulda got closer, there was a good environment!

Overall, this was a fun and entertaining concert, and hopefully The Saigon Hookers come back to town one of these days! If you missed it, you missed out! Check out my photos from last night at this location or at the SMS' Facebook page! And yes, I did get a video, and luckily, this one involves members of both bands from last night, in a bit of a makeup for missing a Brad Example video from one of their metal covers! So here's The Saigon Hookers playing their song "Stray Dogs" featuring Marco Pedalino on guest guitar!

We'll close this post with some Lion Ride updates, fittingly so, given the links they share with last night's bands! Firstly, they've launched a new page on RoadRunner Records' popular music discovery website SignMeTo, which has attracted some local band attention in the past. The page features a basic band biography, their latest two studio songs ("Stick It In" & "Snail Trail"), one of their more recent videos, and an interesting show note that I'll elaborate more on in the near future. Kinda sparse at present, but check the above links to check out this new band page! Also, if you've been wondering what's been up with their upcoming full length album lately, their Facebook page has a couple updates! At present, it looks like they're in writing mode for new material, and have wrote at least two new songs. One written mid-February was apparently so good, you'll "poop your pants" when you hear it, while later last month, they created another one that will apparently "impregnate you". Interesting choices of words, hopefully the songs deliver a knockout punch when we hear them! Stay tuned to the above links for more on Lion Ride, and I'll have more on them to come very soon!

That's all for now, but stay tuned probably later tonight for weekend concert previews and more! I'm contemplating going to Docks to see That's Chester tonight as well, so look out for me tonight in case I do! Thanks everyone!

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