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Tommy Stinson and Bash and Pop Promote ‘Anything Could Happen’ With Packed Show at The Troubadour

The Yawpers Open for Bash and Pop

By DONNA BALANCIA

Tommy Stinson and his band Bash and Pop are sittin’ on top of the world.

They wear high-class suits, play gigs at places like The Troubadour, and they even have the fans buying them “Bullet” drinks.

Tommy Stinson and Bash and Pop promote Anything Could Happen at Troubadour - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Tommy Stinson and Bash and Pop promote Anything Could Happen at Troubadour – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Tommy did a couple of appearances on the late night show circuit as well, all in support of the new Bash and Pop album, Anything Could Happen. Anything Could Happen is the first album from Bash and Pop in 24 years.

And Stinson is happy with the attention. After all these years, it’s probably something the guy’s entitled to, after all, he is the founder of The Replacements, arguably one of the best power-pop/ new wave bands around, and he’s definitely paid his dues.

And so have the fans.

Bash and Pop – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The packed house at The Troubadour was the embodiment of fan love, as the over-35 crowd came from near and far to make like sardines in the can. Even up in the rafters. They came to see Stinson perform new tunes as well as old, and even some Stones and The Who covers.

On the set list were “Friday Night is Killing Me,” “Tiny Pieces,” “Anybody Else,” “On the Rocks,” “Bad News,” set closer “Unfuck You” and covers like “The Kids Are All Right,” “You’re My Favorite Waste of Time,” by Marshall Crenshaw and the Stones’ “Midnight Rambler,” as well as “Anything Could Happen.”

Bash and Pop at The Troubadour in West Hollywood - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Bash and Pop at The Troubadour in West Hollywood – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Stinson looks good and interacts with the audience in an affable way. His punk-style haircut is grey now, but other than that, he’s still got the moves and the sense of humor to boot.

“Don’t forget to visit the merch table,” he reminded after the show. “We have T-shirts, albums and ‘Depends.'”

Bash and Pop - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Bash and Pop – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

C’mon Tommy, the crowd wasn’t all THAT old and in fact there were at least a good 50 people or so who were in the under-35 category. Either way, it’s OK. After all, Classic Rock is in again and on an evening like this, with Stinson on stage and fans showing the love, anything really could happen.

The Yawpers opened the evening and put on a great set, with surprise verve and energy that could launch a rocket. The Rockabilly alt-punk trio do a great job of keeping the audience on their toes, with them telling the audience to shut the F up even though nobody was hassling them.  The guitar work and drums were incredible, and these guys can make an average song sound like a hit.

Bash and Pop - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Bash and Pop – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

 

The Yawpers - Photo 2017 Donna Balancia

The Yawpers – Photo 2017 Donna Balancia

 

The Yawpers hassle the audience but play great music - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The Yawpers hassle the audience but play great music – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

 

This Time, Legendary Troubadour Club Takes Center Stage at Kennedy Center Honors on CBS

The Eagles, James Taylor, Mavis Staples, Al Pacino and pianist Martha Argerich Honored

By JOHN DALY

The Troubadour on Santa Monica Boulevard was as much in the spotlight at the Kennedy Center Honors broadcast last night as the performers the famous LA club has hosted over the years.

Among the many performers were Sheryl Crow, who honored James Taylor at the Kennedy Center Honors show which aired on CBS.

During the 39th Annual Kennedy Center Honors, Crow paid tribute to honoree Taylor with a moving rendition of his famous song, “Fire and Rain.”

The Troubadour also took center stage, mainly because it was the club where a lot of the legends of the evening got their start. In addition to Taylor, The Eagles and Linda Ronstadt, who introduced the famous California band via video, all had a legendary presence at the LA club.

Video courtesy of CBS

The Eagles, who were originally set to be honored in 2015 made their presence known, despite the death this year of Glenn Frey. Mavis Staples who has been honored by The GRAMMY Museum, was also given tribute during the  Kennedy Center Honors.

Mavis Staples Photo © Donna Balancia

Mavis Staples is honored – Photo © Donna Balancia

 

Guns N Roses Makes it Through The ‘Suprise’ Troubadour Show – Now On With the Tour

Guns N Roses reunion tour launched at the Troubadour - Screengrab courtesy Ross The Bassist

Guns N Roses reunion tour launched at The Troubadour – Screengrab courtesy Ross The Bassist

By JOHN DALY – Guns N Roses kicked off their “Not In This Lifetime” reunion tour with a rockin’ show at The Troubadour, the place where it all began.

Guns N Roses will play 24 cities over four months for a tour dubbed the “Not In This Lifetime” tour — mainly because it was believed the band would never get together again — Guns N Roses had barely  endured many rifts all along.

Tickets and Tour information are available here.

But diehard fans — who have been “bandless” since 1993 when GNR broke up — finally got a chance to see the group together.  Well almost.

GNR was missing a few players, notably Izzy Stradlin and Steve Adler, but it didn’t seem to make a a lot difference to fans who sardine-packed West Hollywood’s Troubadour, the place where the guys got their first break so long ago.

GNR Donna Balancia

The “Not In This Lifetime” Tour

Those who attended said the show was an amazing feat, just the fact that Axl and Slash were back together again was good enough for most.  Axl may look a little heavier and his trademark long red locks are gone, but he still has the vocal power as evidenced by the videos posted.

There’s plenty of opportunity to see Guns N Roses on their upcoming tour.  The band stops in 20 cities over the next two months and there’s plenty of merch to go around.

Gibson Brands Tower Records

While it may have been “once-in-a-lifetime experience” even to stand in line at Gibson Brand’s Tower Records on Sunset to try your hand at getting a ticket, it was a relatively joyless experience for most, except for a limited few.

Those who put in the efforts, getting to the Gibson Brands Tower Records building by midnight or earlier the night before and staying overnight til 10 am the next morning, were rewarded with a place in the audience at the Troubadour. But for every person who did get in, there were at least nine who did not, according to rough calculations on the scene among those waiting in line.

Carla gets her Guns N Roses ticket - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Carla, finally gets her Guns N Roses ticket – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

“The line is up the hill and almost around the block, I just don’t think I’m going to get in,” said John Blalock, who was about halfway up Horn Ave.  “I really wanted to go but found out too late.”

Carla, though, who arrived the night before to wait in line, was one of the lucky ones — she was admitted to buy the sought-after green wristband that would lead to a ticket to the show.

“I can’t believe it,” she said. “This is unbelievable!  I can’t believe it!  I’ve been a fan since the beginning,” she said.  Her friend echoed the sentiment. “She can’t believe she’s really going and either do I!”

After the tickets were sold out — word of which took about 30 minutes to reach the end of the line up Horn Ave. — about half of the estimated 1200 or so people in line dispersed.  Others remained to buy commemorative merch. But as promised, free food was on hand provided by Dogtown Dogs and Border Grill.

Fans including Paul, Agatha and Andrew (c) said it was worth a try to wait in line to see Guns N Roses - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Fans including Paul, Agatha and Andrew (c) said it was worth a try to wait in line to see Guns N Roses – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

It was a challenge to even buy a T-shirt or a poster in the parking lot, the crowds were four and five-people deep surrounding the merch tent set up in the Gibson Brand’s Tower Records parking lot.  Free food on hand, provided by Dogtown Dogs and Border Grill made the bad news more tolerable.

Fans had been kicked to the curb but got satisfaction April 1 when their broken hearts were mended. Since Guns N Roses broke up in 1993, not much had been heard about the band, though Slash has been active, playing gigs around Los Angeles.

But not all the fans who were ready to go to the show were so optimistic.

“I’ll believe it when I see it tonight,” said Eddie, who was lucky enough to get a ticket to the Troubadour. “Axl tends to walk off stage when he’s pissed so we’ll see how much of tonight — or the rest of the tour — he can put up with.”

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Video courtesy of Ross the bassist:

‘Say It Loud!’ at The Troubadour: Halo Circus Headlines A Night of Unity, Humor and Great Music

Allison-Iraheta-2-reducedsize-

Allison Iraheta Brings Friends and a Mission to Troubadour Crowd

By DONNA BALANCIA – The ‘Say It Loud!’ concert at The Troubadour was a diverse mix of musicians that brought a sense of unity among a lucky audience Monday night.

RELATED UPDATE: Allison Releases new album Bunny

Featuring Allison Iraheta and Halo Circus, K.C. Porter and co, Project N-Fidelikah, David Garza, and Victory Mori, the evening was a collection of the experimental and the traditional, in an inclusive environment at The Troubadour.

“It was an amazing show with a lot of different sounds and styles,” said one concert-goer. “I never expected to see Latino, metal, ska, funk and violin all in one night.  Maybe that’s what true Rock n Roll is all about.”

Allison-Iraheta4-SAY-IT-wtmkAcross the board, ‘Say It Loud!’ was a winning evening with more than one person commenting on the satisfaction the musicians felt in assembling the diverse styles.

Allison Iraheta, perhaps best known for her finalist finish on American Idol a few years back, showed a wild side, singing empassioned tunes and showing her cool alternative side.  The pink-haired Latina who grew up in East L.A. is a terrific talent with a warm personality to boot.

Allison's performance: Funky, passionate to innocent - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Allison’s performance: Funky, passionate to innocent – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Halo Circus set List

He Promises The Moon
Nothing At All
All I Have
Desire
Guns In Our Hands
Yo Me Voy
Verdad
Do You Believe In Shame
Out Of Love
Can’t Take You Away From Me
Band Aid

————-

Iraheta’s band is comprised of Matthew Hager on Bass, Veronica Bellino on drums and guitarist Brian Stead.  The musicians each have a rich history and combine for big sound.  With several videos under their belt and new releases on the way, the band will likely break out far beyond a loyal LA following. Expect more from this group.

A War reunion with JB Eckl and Pancho Tomaselli - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

A War reunion with JB Eckl and Pancho Tomaselli – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

UPDATE: See Halo Circus Record Release Party

The evening launched with overwhelming guitar work of Victory Mori and was followed by renowned producer K.C. Porter who got the audience up and dancing.

Project N-Fidelikah proved to be a wild ride with George Lynch (Dokken), Chris Moore on drums, Pancho Tomaselli (War) and Angelo Moore (Fishbone).   It was a surprisingly cohesive unit and we look forward to more offerings from this unique band.

The emcee for the evening was Sharlotte Gibson, a singer who has performed with everyone from Whitney Houston to Nine Inch Nails.  She did a nice job keeping the evening moving along at a brisk pace.

David Garza wrapped the evening in a notable trio with Hager and Bellino.

 

Halo Circus featuring Allison Iraheta to Headline ‘Say It Loud’ Concert at Troubadour on Dec. 14

SayItLoudNEWLoRezThe Halo Circus Debut Album is Expected to be Released in 2016

Halo Circus, powered by “American Idol” Season 8 fan favorite Allison Iraheta, will headline the Troubadour on Monday, Dec. 14.

The show called “Say it Loud! A Night of Cultural Disruption,” is expected to spotlight multicultural music influenced by Iraheta’s childhood growing up in South Central.

Halo Circus is comprised of singer Iraheta, bassist-producer Matthew Hager (Duran Duran, Scott Weiland, Simply Red), drummer Veronica Bellino (Jeff Beck, DMC of Run DMC) and guitarist Brian Stead.

Halo Circus has played with Heart, Adam Lambert, Emmylou Harris, Orianthi and others.

See related story on ‘Bunny’ record release updated June 25

Tickets to Halo Circus at Troubadour Available Now

Halo Circus is a bilingual alternative rock band with powerhouse vocals.  The group is releasing a new album in 2016.

“It’s a bilingual concept album about life seen through the eyes of a girl who was raised by El Salvadorian immigrants,” said Iraheta. “She achieved the impossible to become a witness to a world that she didn’t know existed (from) where she grew up.”

The record was produced by Hager and mixed by Craig Bauer (Kanye West, Ed Sheeran, Smashing Pumpkins).

CHECK OUT ALBUM TEASER

“Say It Loud!”  kicks off at 7 p.m.  Bands on the bill include:

— Project N-Fidelikah (featuring Angelo Moore of Fishbone, George Lynch, members of WAR)

— David Garza (famed storyteller and Austin favorite)

— Heliotriope (featuring members of Ozomatli, WAR)

— KC Porter’s Cruzanderos (featuring multi Grammy-award winning producer-songwriter Porter)

Sentimental Show at The Troubadour

Iraheta, whose claim to fame has been “American Idol,” says she feels a bit sentimental to play at The Troubadour.

“Halo Circus played our very first show three years ago at the Troubadour, so it’s a dream come true to have our own night there now,” she said. “In our search to fill out the bill with artists that inspire us, we were humbled by the level of talent that wanted to be included. We discovered that there are geniuses living among us.”

Iraheta said she has noticed a trend in the industry to return to cause-based songwriting.

“Artists are desperate for a return to meaningful lyrics and songs with purpose,” she said. “We’re excited to be a part of ‘Say It Loud!'”

The Dead Milkmen: Definitely Not ‘Mellow’ at The Troubadour

Dead Milkmen photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Dead Milkmen photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

It’s amazing what happens with the passage of time.

People get a bit slower, a little wiser and mellow.

Well none of that was true at the Dead Milkmen show at The Troubadour Saturday night.

The audience was still slam dancing, the sound was still deafening and the Dead Milkmen were still wild and crazy, playing old favorites like “Punk Rock Girl” and “Bitchin’ Camaro.”

The band that came to prominence through the Philadelphia pipeline in the ’80s proved they’ve still got what it takes to draw a crowd and whip them into a frenzy.

SEE LIVE VIDEO: SMOKIN’ BANANA PEELS and BIG WORDS MAKE THE BABY JESUS CRY

 

Dead Milkmen - photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Dead Milkmen – photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

“We followed them from San Francisco,” said Justin and his wife LeAnne who came all the way from Melbourne, Australia, to catch a few Dead Milkmen shows.

“We think they’re radical,” Justin said.

And like the rest of the crowd, Justin also enjoyed the supporting band, Johnny Madcap and The Distractions, who were airborne for much of their performance.

Meanwhile, Gary from Philadelphia, a die-hard Dead Milkmen fan, said he had been looking forward to actually meeting the band members in person. He got his chance.

“I can’t believe how cool they are,” he said.

Gary purchased a limited edition poster and then had Dean Clean and the rest of the gang sign it for him outside The Troubadour. The band toured to promote Pretty Music for Pretty People.

Dead Milkmen - photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Dead Milkmen – photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

The West Hollywood club has had its share over the years of wild acts, but the guys at the door still were not taking any chances with this particular audience.

“These are the kind of people who really like to have a great time in the pit,” said one of the doormen. “We don’t like to take any chances — we make sure there’s no chains – no wallets on a chain — and other things aren’t allowed inside.”

It’s not that the guys at The Troubadour expect any problems, it’s just that things can get carried away when you’ve got big guys, leaner guys — and a few gals thrown in — all moshing around in the pit.

And of course when you have a guy like frontman Rodney Anonymous coaxing the audience to go crazy on command, it’s one pretty funny scene.

After the show, a sweat-soaked guy known only as Kevin, said he really enjoyed the evening after getting his fill of shoving, pushing, dancing, screaming and running around.

Dead Milkmen - photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Dead Milkmen – photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

“Hey look I’m 42,” Kevin said. “You know, you gotta conserve your energy for a night like this. It was good clean fun. You know what I mean. I don’t think I’m gonna be waking up early tomorrow, let’s put it that way.”

Kevin did say however that he appreciated the great interference work The Troubadour staffers performed during the night.

“You know there’s always some big fat guy running around with no shirt,” Kevin said.”Then you got the guy who wants to start something. There’s always one or two. I really have to thank The Troubadour people for keeping it fun out there. Because that’s what it’s all about.”

Madcap Johnny and The Distractions were an appropriate opener and we look forward to good things from this LA-based band.  Madcap and his crew will play Punk Rock Bowling in Vegas May 22-25.

The Forest Rangers Take Audience Beyond Motorcycles

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

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