The Forest Rangers Take Audience Beyond Motorcycles




The Forest Rangers Rock The Troubadour
The Forest Rangers rock The Troubadour - Photo by Donna Balancia
Billy Valentine and Forest Rangers by Donna Balancia
Billy Valentine and Forest Rangers rev up the audience – VIDEO HERE Photo and Videos by Donna Balancia

By DONNA BALANCIA in WEST HOLLYWOOD — For a bunch of tough motorcycle guys, the Sons of Anarchy house band, the Forest Rangers, really know how to make some beautiful music.

And music that people from all walks of life who came to The Troubadour Sunday night really enjoyed.

VIDEO: BILLY VALENTINE FRONTS FOREST RANGERS ON ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER

Not only did the multitudes of Sons of Anarchy fans who were on hand enjoy the show — about 80 percent of the audience knew all the SOA characters by heart — but it was an exciting performance for those who don’t own a motorcycle or love the Sons crew.

“I’ve only watched about one episode of the show,” one concert-goer said. “But I know the music is amazing and the guys in the band are great.”

Franky Perez and the Forest Rangers photo and video by Donna Balancia
Franky Perez and the Forest Rangers – Photo and Video by Donna Balancia

The musical director for the record-breaking FX TV show, Bob Thiele, worked with his partners on Sons of Anarchy to create the Forest Rangers, comprised of some very talented musicians.

VIDEO: FRANKY PEREZ SINGS #SOA THIS LIFE WITH FOREST RANGERS AT TROUBADOUR

While Sons of Anarchy just concluded its 7-year run for FX, judging by the number of die-hard SOA fans on hand at the Troubadour Sunday night, the legacy will definitely live on.

Until the wildly anticipated and long-rumored “prequel” series hits the small screens, SOA fans will be able to live vicariously through the music.  And The Forest Rangers band has captured that audience — plus more.

The group gave a good idea as to what we can expect on its new album due in February: A mix of new songs and some well-loved and well-known tunes, including everything from crooning ballads to screaming funk by some heavy-hitter names.

VIDEO: BILLY VALENTINE SINGS BLUE ANGEL WITH #FORESTRANGERS AT TROUBADOUR

Franky Perez sings This Life
Franky Perez listens as the audience sings #SOA theme song This Life – Photos and Videos by Donna Balancia

On Sunday night, Billy Valentine and Franky Perez shared lead singer duties at the Troubadour show, calling up soulful renditions of the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter,” Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower,” and new tunes including “Blue Angel,” that had the packed house jamming right along.

The band even awarded Bob Thiele a leather vest (?) with the name of the band emblazoned, along with signatures of the show’s cast and crew.

In the audience were some of SOA’s most beloved actors, including Emilio Rivera and Charlie Hunnam, who were swamped by screaming fans, mostly in their late-20s to mid-40s.

The Forest Rangers at The Troubadour
The Forest Rangers at The Troubadour – Photos and videos by Donna Balancia

Clearly the music on the hit show was one of the most attractive qualities of the production.  The other attractive qualities were all on hand — girls and guys — actors; fellow musicians, friends of the band, and longtime fans of the longest-running show on FX.

“We came to cheer them on,” said Tina, an actress on the show. “They’re doing a great job and we came to see them play.”

READ ABOUT EMILIO RIVERA’S RIDE FOR THE KIDS HERE

The Forest Rangers have what it takes to collect a wider audience than solely the fans of the TV show.  The appeal of the band is the diversity in the tunes, strong and unique performances of cover songs, and a great camaraderie that looks like it will last for the long run.

— Photos, videos and story by Donna Balancia