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The 5th Annual Rock Against MS Benefit Concert and Awards Show with Roadcase Royale at The Los Angeles Theater

Nancy Wilson and Liv Warfield of Roadcase Royale

The 5th Annual Rock Against MS Benefit Concert and Awards Show with Roadcase Royale, The Los Angeles Theater, March 25, 2017

The 5th Annual Rock Against MS Benefit Concert and Awards Show took place at the opulent Los Angeles Theater right in the heart of downtown on a Saturday night.   The all-star event featured the debut performance of Roadcase Royale -a brand new project featuring Nancy Wilson of Heart and Liv Warfield of Prince’s New Power Generation. Also in attendance working to make this event wondrously extraordinary were Stephen Adler and Gilby Clarke from Guns N’ Roses, Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains, Joel Hoekstra of Whitesnake and 13, Ace Von Johnson of Faster Pussycat and Neon Coven, Billy Sheehan of Mr. Big and The Winery Dogs, Robert Sarzo from Hurricane, Rudy Sarzo from Ozzy Osborne and Whitesnake, Matt Starr of Ace Frehley, Joe Lynn Turner, and Ultimate Jam Night, Patrick Stone of Budderside and a whole lot more! There were so many glorious moments to be found within the early part of the event, including an In Memory section featuring Dug Pinnick of Kings X and Joe Retta of Dio Disciples performing a stunning rendition of Earth Wind and Fire’s Shining Star in tribute of the late, great Maurice White. Liv Warfield paid tribute to her legendary collaborator Prince with an absolutely astounding rendition of Let’s Get Crazy.

One absorbing highlight was when Richard Pryor’s widow Jennifer Lee Pryor arrived onstage to accept The Platinum People Award from the Rock Against MS Foundation, celebrating the life of one of the greatest comedians of all time and how he bravely and humorously faced the disease of MS head on. Other well deserved recipients of this year’s Platinum People Awards went to Theresa Larivee (production), Dave Estey (crew), Howie Simon (Nelson, Alcatrazz), Gretchen Bonaduce, Gilby Clarke (Guns ‘N Roses), and The Maglieri Family/ Whisky A Go-Go.

Nancy Wilson of Roadcase Royale

The headliner for this year’s Rock Against MS concert was Roadcase Royale, making their world premiere debut within the hallowed walls of the Los Angeles Theater. Featuring Nancy Wilson of Heart and Prince collaborator Liv Warfield front and center, Roadcase Royale burst into their own exhilarating brand of impassioned classic rock. Possessing a good deal of soul and conviction, original songs such as Get Loud, Not Givin’ Up, and Hold On To My Hand enveloped and enraptured the cavernous auditorium. Ms. Warfield unleashed a good amount of the lead vocals, and what an absolutely stunning voice this superbly charismatic performer possesses. Combining a ton of passion with a mighty sense of ferocity, Liv Warfield is definitely one of the most underrated vocalists in the business today.

And those wondering the big question as to whether Roadcase Royale were going to play Heart numbers, the answer was certainly a resounding yes! When Nancy was handed an acoustic guitar and casually announced the next song would be These Dreams, the entire auditorium absolutely exploded with sheer bliss. What a wonderful rendition of the chart topping Heart song with Nancy on gorgeously radiant lead vocals and Liv supplying dazzling backing harmonics. The end of night had now arrived, and what a tremendous way to conclude everything with Liv Warfield talking on the lead vocals of the Heart rocker Crazy On You and sending it into the stratosphere! In addition to the thrilling performances of Roadcase Royale’s two dynamic front women, the first rate lineup consists of lead guitarist Ryan Waters and Heart members Chris Joyner (Keyboards), Dan Rothchild (Bass), and Ben Smith (Drums).

Sincere congrats to Rock Against MS founder Nancy B. Sayle and her team for putting together such a wildly successful event. Ms. Sayle is a true inspiration to not only the fight against MS but for our local music scene as well. The fight must continue on, so we hope to see you all next year for the 6th mighty edition of Rock Against MS!

(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)

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