Ultimate Jam Night 67 presents A Gift For Orlando with Butcher Babies, Hellion, Tantric and more, The Whisky, July 21, 2016
Ultimate Jam Night at The Whisky has been promoting a tremendous sense of community since their inception, and the 67th edition of the weekly rock and roll extravaganza would be A Gift For Orlando. Raising funds to benefit those effected by the tragedy at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, this wonderful night within the hallowed walls of the Whisky would be a celebration of life and music – where we could all come together as one and make an impact where it is needed.
On this night, Ultimate Jam Night host Paulie Z would mix wicked humor with thought provoking speech, speaking about the LGBT community both here and in Orlando – and his words definitely left an enlightened impression on the crowd. Paulie would point out that two of rock and roll’s greatest front men – Freddie Mercury and Rob Halford – are part of the LGBT community – and where would the world be without their fantastic contributions to the music we listen to and are greatly inspired by today?
There was a thunderous lineup of bands who participated in A Gift For Orlando, including Butcher Babies, Dio Disciples, Hellion, Tantric, Westfield Massacre and a whole lot more!
Before all Ultimate Jam Night shows, there are opening acts showcasing the very best of our local and national music scene. On this particular night, Los Angeles based collectives Madlife and The Chimpz proved that our local scene is alive and thriving! Madlife delivered the goods with a thrilling sense of urgency and conviction. And then The Chimpz would rap-rock the house in a vast and epic way with a glorious set that included a fiery rendition of their destined to be hit single California. Kudos to both bands for delivering such remarkable live performances, kicking off Ultimate Jam Night 67 with a blast!
And now it was time for the main attraction. As host Paulie Z would state, “Ultimate Jam Night is proud to present to you here at the famed Whisky A Go Go, and on our live broadcast around the world a program that we call “A Gift For Orlando”. Tonight, via Zinna.TV and Bravo Tip or Pay it’s our goal to raise funds for the Zebra Coalition– an organization that has long helped Central Florida’s LGBT youth.”
The house band then emerged, featuring the talents of Chuck Wright (Quiet Riot) on bass,, Matt Starr (Mr. Big, Ace Frehley) on drums, Walter Ino (Survivor) on keyboards, and Mitch Perry (Edgar Winter Group, MSG) on guitar. Together, Paulie and the band performed a tribute to LGBT musicians, including Tie Your Mother Down by Queen and You’ve Got Another Thing Coming by Judas Priest.
The always amazing Debbie Holiday would make her way to the stage for a passionate rendition of the Tina Turner classic We Don’t Need Another Hero. Then DUG Pinnick of Kings X, along with Mike Hansen of Hurricane and up-and-coming guitarist Tommy Baldwin, would perform a mesmerizing cover on Purple Haze.
Tantric’s live sets are always emotionally charged and magical, and their participation on this very special edition of Ultimate Jam Night was no exception. Hugo Ferreira is such a gifted performer, and his passion even within the confines of a short set was wondrous to behold. Alex Band from The Calling then joined the house band for a set that included his band’s hit “Wherever You Will Go,” as well as the Santana favorite he sang vocals on — “Why Don’t You & I.” Alex had been doing a lot of national press earlier in the day promoting his appearance at Ultimate Jam Night.
The most powerful moment of the night arrived when Paulie Z introduced Eric “The Tree” Roundtree, a Pulse Nightclub security guard who lost 17 friends in the shooting. “To celebrate peace, life, and joy we’d like to remind you that life is beautiful – with a song that is simple but meaningful,” Paulie Z would eloquently say, and then he and the award winning house band launched into a tremendously moving performance of Christina Aguilera’s massive hit “Beautiful.” Absolutely amazing!
How in the world do you follow such an emotionally charged performance like that? By inviting the Butcher Babies onstage of course, who really set the celebration of life in flight with a fun and ferocious set of tunes! Fronted by the dynamic duo of Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey, the Butcher Babies presented a grand slam of raging metal, clearly demonstrating why they are one of the most exciting new bands on the music scene today. Also featured in Butcher Babies was the thrilling musicianship of guitarist Henry Flury, bassist Jason Klein, and drummer Chris Warner, firmly placing the pedal to the metal with an all-out vengeance.
Next up was the return of the mighty Hellion, one of the very first heavy metal bands to feature a female lead vocalist. And Ann Boleyn was in absolutely top form, with a range and persona that was staggering to behold. Hellion bewitched the Whisky masses, unveiling Storm Rider off the Black Book album as well as a unveiling a stunning cover of Green Manalishi by Judas Priest. In addition to the always captivating Ann Boleyn, Hellion features some of the finest musicians within the worldwide heavy metal arena today – including guitar virtuoso Maxxxwell Carlisle, Ira Black of Attika 7 on guitar, Scott Warren of Heaven & Hell on keyboards, Bjorn Englen on bass, and the legendary Simon Wright of AC/DC, Dio, UFO and so many others on drums.
Several members of Hellion would regroup with Dio Disciples next. Featured within their set was the Dio classic Rainbow In The Dark, an already empowering song given new meaning in light of the recent tragic events in Orlando. Also featured within the Dio Disciples lineup were two stellar performances from longtime Dio member Craig Goldy on guitar and the amazing Joe Retta on lead vocals! Do not miss Dio Disciples if you ever have a chance to witness these fine musicians within a live setting!
The last band Highwire Daze Online caught at Ultimate Jam Night 67 was the almighty GayC/DC – and what a fabulous presentation it was! An all-gay tribute to AC/DC, GayC/DC features Chris Freeman of Pansy Division and a whole collection of festive, free-wheeling musicians ready to rock your world! They were more than prepared to shake it up all night long, albeit for two very delicious tunes! Not only did they throw beads and confetti into the crowd, GayC/DC also blew the rough off the Whisky with their wickedly sublime sonic entreaties. Definitely one of the most imaginative and inspiring tribute bands in LA and beyond, be sure to catch up with GayC/DC when they bring the rock and feather boas to your town!
See you all at Ultimate Jam Night 68 – eternally fabulous and always free – every Tuesday at the world famous Whisky a Go Go on the notorious Sunset Strip! And watch for our interviews with Ann Boleyn and Maxxxwell Carlisle on Hellion – coming soon to Highwire Daze Online!
(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)
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