Vixen, Femme Fatale, House of Blues – Anaheim, January 21, 2016
The first full day of The Namm Show 2016 was ending, which could only mean one thing – it was time to attend one of the many after-parties going on throughout the OC! And the place to be on a Thursday night behind the Orange Curtain was the House of Blues in Anaheim, where the dynamic double bill of Vixen and Femme Fatale would triumphantly set the night on the fire. The dream team to be sure, the legendary Vixen and the scandalously underrated Femme Fatale packed the Downtown Disney venue, proceeding to unveil a show that NAMM attendees from all over the planet would remember for a lifetime.
Kicking off the show on a wondrously fierce note was Femme Fatale, instantly enrapturing the crowd with a rollicking selection of rocking tunes. Femme Fatale released their Self-Titled album on MCA Records in 1988, which remains their only recording to date. On the comeback trail in a vast and epic way, Femme Fatale unleashes an all-female lineup of top notch musicians, fronted by charismatic founding member Lorraine Lewis – and they are ready to capture the crown once more! Ms. Lewis is absolutely in top form, raging all over the stage with towering vocals that clearly set the classic songs in flight. Courtney Cox and Nikki Stringfield from The Iron Maidens absolutely devastate the senses on dueling guitars, injecting a massive amount of shred into the proceedings. And if the presence of Ms, Lewis and the lovely Maidens are not enough to keep your attention (and it should be!), Janis Tanaka on bass, Athena on drums, and Katt Scarlett on keyboards thoroughly captivate the room with their glorious talents. Songs such as Back In My Arms Again and Waiting For The Big One had the House of Blues crowd singing along with fiendish glee. A new song Buried Alive shows Femme Fatale looking ahead to an exciting new chapter of a brilliant career. And absolutely nothing beats the passion and vibrancy Lorraine Lewis conveys when she sings the heartfelt I’m A Rebel – definitely a moment that will linger on joyously with past, present and future Femme Fatale devotees. A dazzling live show to be sure, Femme Fatale unleash a gorgeously dynamic rock and roll celebration that is not to be missed!
All this and Vixen too! And what a thrilling show the iconic all-female rock and roll band would present to the crowd at the House of Blues in Anaheim. Kicking off their set with the mighty refrains of Rev It Up, Vixen proceeded to rip the roof off the Downtown Disney venue. The legacy definitely lives on – as do their timeless songs such as How Much Love, Bad Reputation and Love Is A Killer. Vixen 2016 is a magnetic force of nature to be reckoned with, featuring the participation of Janet Gardner on vocals, Roxy Petrucci on drums, Share Ross on bass, and Gina Stile on guitar. One of the glorious moments of crowd participation was when Janet and the band quizzed the crowd on their knowledge of hair metal and hard rock, performing a classic riff and then having the members of the audience sing along to the chorus. The volume was amped up way past 10 throughout their entire set, and pulses were surely racing as Vixen showed they can still rock it hard and heavy! Unleashing their final song Edge Of A Broken Heart, band and audience became one and it was an electrifying moment in time! What a grand party it would be to see the ladies of Vixen and Femme Fatale do a full-on tour together! While we all wait for that wish to come true, lucky Canadians may see both collectives rock it out with Lita Ford at the River Cree Resort and Casino in Edmonton on February 20th!
(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)