After attending multiple Ultimate Jam Nights (UJN) in the past couple of months, I have come to the conclusion to expect and see the unexpected and to be blown away by the talent on display. This night was no different; even the opening act, the Whisky A Go Go’s very “own” 80’s regular’s London was unexpected, no really… They were asked to play a week early. The names that were printed for Paulie Z to read off would have made the pages of any music magazine melt.
London? Who’s London you say… Well not many bands can lay claim to being the jumping off point for some of rock’s biggest talent’s from MTV’s, KNAC, KMET, and KLOS’ hey day, but here they are 30 plus years later with a new album being produced over in Europe and even a video being shot for their first single. Oh… those bands… How about Guns n’ Roses, Mötley Crüe, WASP, and Cinderella, yeah “yuuuge!”
As Nadir D’Priest so eloquently repeated on stage, this was their house, they owned the place and for the length of their set and prior, they did. The music was loud, dirty, and certainly not double entendre free… After all this is a man who graced the screen singing “Russian Winter,” in the classic 1988 Sunset Strip tell all documentary “Decline of the Western Civilization Pt II.” Haven’t seen it? It’s a must watch if you are fan of the history of music.
Tonight was a tribute to the power trio… Bands like legendary 60’s superstars Cream, 70’s Emerson, Lake & Palmer, 80’s NWOBHM’s Motorhead, MTV darling’s The Police, and even contemporary’s like Muse & Wolfmother, and all names in between, were well represented tonight. Just moments before Paulie Z made reference to the fact that some of these power trio’s sounds were as massive as they were, because their time in the studio, I had so cleverly stated “It took many more musicians to produce their power and sound live.” Guess I was right, but not because of the reason stated. I’ll take what I can get.
The crowd this week was not the same as in weeks past; there was just an overall different vibe, which was cool. There was a lot of new blood in the crowd this evening, which, bodes well for the growth of the brand. That went for the talent on stage as well while there were the amazing staples of the UJN House Band members, Chris Ralles, Walter Ino, Mitch Perry, Ira Black, Matt Star, Dug Pinnick, Chuck Wright, and of course the house singers; Tuesday evening welcomed to the stage for the first time the amazing Marc Bonilla and fellow first timer’s Frankie’s World Famous House Band’s Joel McDonald and Bobby Poulton and a whole host of faces for whom I would probably have never seen play, if it were not for Chuck Wright’s UJM and Lisa Woodard bringing MAentGlobal on board.
Every UJN session is just that… a live session. Just like a studio musician, these talented instrumentalists, sometimes multi-instrumentalist, are expected to do their homework and be as prepared as possible without so much as a single rehearsal. Sometimes the songs are easy enough to groove through, after all we have all heard them hundreds, if not a thousand times… Then there are those magical songs… The one’s that not just any person can play, especially at this level. To witness these songs performed is… inspiring, magical, and downright amazing. Here are “some” high lights:
How about Robin Trower’s “Day of the Eagle,” performed by Keith England, Lenny Roberto, Dan McNay, and Mitch Perry.
Cream’s WHITE ROOM/SUNSHINE performed by the above-mentioned Bobby Poulton, Joel McDonald, and Lenny Roberto (on drums). Was it mentioned Bobby and Joel are from Australia, what a treat for everyone.
Muse’s SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE was KILLED by Adi Argelazi (on vocals), Stephen Haaker, Shannon Bizzy, Nazim Chambi, and David Yuter. I am pretty sure Paulie Z, the crowd and fellow band mates were equally as stupefied at the end of that song. Adding this track to my play list.
Z02’s AIN’T IT BEAUTIFUL performed by Paulie Z (guitar), Matt Starr, Koko Powell, and Walter Ino. Paulie really let his vocals shine on this track!
Rush’s YYZ performed by Jimmy Keegan, Koko Powell, Walter Ino, and David Yuter. I speak from experience on this one; you DO NOT have to be a Rush fan to appreciate a song like this. To see it played live… Check that off my “to see” list.
The Police Message in a Bottle performed by Marc Bonilla, Jimmy Keegan, Joe Puerta, Marc Bonilla, and Randy McStine. One of those magical moments where the band just let’s one of their own have their moment in spotlight… Randy ripped and Marc just looked smiled and played on.
King’s X LOOKING FOR LOVE performed by Dug Pinnick, Matt Kjorvestad, and Ben Lerner High light moment… “I dare ya to fight me on this one… You will lose.”
Jimi Hendrix’s VOODOO/FOXY MEDLEY Rafeal “Hafa” Moreira, Chaun Horton and Dug Pinnick The “Face Melting Fretboard Award” goes to “Hafa” tonight, according to Paulie Z, hard to argue that, he made the most of his time at UJN. There are drummers then there was Chaun, damn man… You owned.
“Finally,” there was Wolfmother’s JOKER AND THE THIEF performed by Rachel Lorin, Stephen Haaker, Chuck Wright, Mitch Perry, and Walter Ino. When a song is as unique as this one is covered, you better have a voice and musicianship to perform it… ‘Nuff said, it was slayed.
Finally, only because MAentGlobal had to make way out the door after eight solid hours of music related endeavors. Another amazing evening… 🤘🤘🤘🤘🤘 for sure! Until the next UJN…