Ultimate Jam Night 83 presents The Rocky Horror Picture Jam, The Whisky, October 25, 2016
Ultimate Jam Night at the iconic Whisky A Go-Go on the Sunset Strip is certainly the place to be on a Tuesday night, featuring some of the very best musicians in the business. On the 83rd edition, The Rocky Horror Picture Show soundtrack would be played in its entirety, featuring the vocalists dressed up in the parts and a live backup band providing the score. Doing a live production with minimal to no rehearsal is certainly a labor of love, and this would turn out to one wild and rambunctious ride though Dr. Frank N, Furter’s castle, featuring Ultimate Jam Night regulars and guest musicians doing The Time Warp in a vast and epic way.
Prior to The Rocky Horror Picture Jam, there were two opening acts that left a decided impression on the early arrivals. Marquis and The Rhythm Growlers unveiled their own unique genre of Pre-War Post Punk and Dark Wave Hot Jazz. And then next up was Nightmare, an Alice Cooper Tribute band who had the crowd singing along to all of the classics made famous by the legendary rock and roller.
After a short we break, a second set of opening acts emerged, all showcasing the memorable tunes of this Halloween season. Drummer Matt Starr arrived front and center to perform a wickedly wonderful rendition of the Monster Mash. Fast rising solo artist Derek Day then joined everyone on the stage, unleashing I Ain’t Superstitious with a star making vibrant energy. And then the captivating Debby Holiday took over the stage singing a wondrously bewitching rendition of I Put A Spell On You. Ira Black from Westfield Massacre performed lead vocals for the first time on the Rob Zombie song Dragula, placing a good deal of bite and ferocity into the proceedings. And then Julian Stefoni brought his visionary take on Prince to the UJN with a wicked version of Darlin’ Nikki, featuring the alluring Camille Denny on drums.
Once Debby Holiday arrived on the stage to sing her own ominous rendition of Science Fiction, Double Feature, you could feel the excitement and electricity in the room. Your host and criminologist for the night was Forrest McKinnon, who narrated the wicked and wonderful tale from high above the stage. Jesse Blaze Snider and Maureen Davis (Maureen & The Mercury Five) made up the perfect coupling a Brad Majors and Janet Weiss, whether they were at the announcement of their engagement or participating in the sexy oddity known as the Floor Show, these two amazing performers were right on target.
Patrick Stone from Budderside absolutely nailed it as Riff Raff, right down to the quirky vocal affectations and crazy spiked up pony tale hair at the end of the show. Militia as Magenta and Lucia Marco as Columbia were both sensational in their respective parts – bringing a grand deal of character and wide-eyed enthusiasm into the Jam. Kevin Robinson made for a wild and rocking Eddie, even when the music from the keyboard seemed to be playing a whole different melody, Robinson stayed admirably in character and was a lot of fun to watch.
If you ever wanted to know what the amazing Joe Retta from Dio Disciples looked like in high heels, then this was your chance as he dished out a terrific performance as the noted Dr. Everett V. Scott, arriving at the castle looking for his nephew Eddie. Richard Regna made for a totally game Rocky Horror, running around the entire venue in the classic tight gold shorts singing The Sword Of Damocles. And what a tremendous performance Paulie Z unveiled as the notorious Dr. Frank N. Furter, going to town and back from his first appearance warbling Sweet Transvestite and on. The crowd was singing along and participating with each and every song, bringing the Rocky Horror Picture Jam to ultra-vivid life on the Sunset Strip!
The Floor Show was absolutely dazzling and Paulie Z delivered a stunning, poignant rendition of I’m Going Home. A real treat within the show was the performance of songs that were not in the movie but included in the stage rendition – including Jesse Snider’s impactful vocals of Once In A While as well as Snider and Ms. Davis performing a brilliantly haunting version of Super Heroes.
All musicians, led by Ultimate Jam Night captain Chuck Wright were wonderful and imaginative, injecting the Rocky Horror score with fire and pizzazz! Costumes, makeup, and lighting was absolutely superb.
Another exceptionally memorable Tuesday evening at Ultimate Jam Night, presented by truly gifted musicians from the LA area and beyond. Always free and definitely unpredictable, be sure to check into what Ultimate Jam Night has to offer every week and become part of this infinitely amazing music scene and family!
(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)
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