The Starbreakers, Evol Walks, The Viper Room, March 11, 2017
Conceived by Nita Strauss, longtime guitarist for rock legend Alice Cooper, at a Lucky Strike Jam Night that she was curating, the genesis of The Starbreakers was launched. With an all-star all-female cast of wickedly talented musicians and an arsenal of cover tunes for fuel, The Starbreakers would play their glorious debut show at The Viper Room on a Saturday night – selling out the infamous nightclub and sending the temperature in the room into stratospheric heights. And what an impressive lineup there was converging on the tiny Viper Room stage – in addition to band coordinator Ms. Strauss (whose credits also include a stint in Africa with Jermaine Jackson), guitarist extraordinaire Courtney Cox of The Iron Maidens was up onstage – and together the axe work was nothing short of tremendous and inspiring! The rhythm section was tight as hell, featuring the mesmerizing talents of Emily Ruvidich of Misty Day and Lindsay Martin of The Aviators on drums. And there is no one on this planet fiercer that the rapturously bewitching Jill Janus of Huntress, whose lead vocals over a riches of cover material was stunning to behold.
Those who say Rock Is Roll is a dead scene on the Sunset Strip certainly were not in attendance for the mighty commencement of The Starbreakers. Opening with a powerhouse rendition of Ace Of Spades by Motorhead, The Starbreakers instantly had the capacity Viper Room crowd thoroughly captivated. The blasts of rock and metal classics kept on melting faces in the packed cavernous room, from Bark At The Moon by Ozzy Osbourne, Holy Diver by Dio, and The Number Of The Beast by Iron Maiden.
Alicia Vigil from Vigil Of War (as well as a Viper Room bartender) made an epic guest appearance on the G N’ R rager Welcome To The Jungle while Femme Fatale keyboardist Katt Scarlett contributed co-vocals to the Alice Cooper sonic ritual; Poison. Walk by Pantera was another all-out highlight, which The Starbreakers unleashed with a fevered intensity. Such a thunderously incredible show with a dynamic amount of energy, here’s hoping we see a lot more of The Starbreakers in future days. Judging by the live performance unveiled in the wild and sweltering atmosphere that ensued, The Starbreakers have ascended to supreme cover band royalty in just one single night on the Sunset Strip.
Earlier in the evening, Evol Walks took the stage and warmed up the early arrivals with a rock solid set of tunes. A Los Angeles based band via Australia, Evol Walks is one of the very best collectives on the local music scene today. Up front and center is the gloriously talented Leah Elizabeth, conveying each and every song with a stunning amount of passion and conviction. In the grand tradition of lead vocalists such as Lzzy Hale of Halestorm and Lacey Sturm of Flyleaf, Leah Elizabeth possesses extraordinary vocals that will haunt and then throttle your senses. Leah clearly kicks ass onstage, and together with a devastatingly talented band, Evol Walks are on a one-way trip into the mighty throes of the big leagues. Whether it’s the diabolical punch of Black and Blue or the wildly infectious should-be hit single Buzzed, Evol Walks is ready to break out of the Sunset Strip in a massive way. In addition to charismatic front woman Leah Elizabeth, the ferocious Evol Walks lineup consists of CJ Tywoniak on lead guitar, Dre DiMura on rhythm guitar, Mike Dwyer on bass, and Zac Morris on drums. Judging by the superbly enthusiastic audience reaction, expect Evol Walks to be headlining their own shows at The Viper Room and beyond by the time 2017 spins to its freaky and unpredictable conclusion.
(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)