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Bonnie Brae at Universal Bar & Grill – Live Review

Bonnie Brae at Universal Bar & Grill – Live Review

Bonnie Brae, Universal Bar & Grill, November 6, 2021

The Universal Bar & Grill is a tiny, yet very inviting venue located in the shadow of a famous movie-themed amusement park. As of late, they’ve been bringing some really compelling local acts to perform. Recently bar patrons witnessed a rare live performance from Greg Leon Invasion whose founder was once within the ranks of Quiet Riot and Dokken.  And in the beginning of November, Bonnie Brae brought their own auditory megawatt adventure onto the Universal Bar & Grill stage – and what an absolutely raging, mind blowing performance this one was! Bonnie Brae is certainly one of L.A.’s best kept secrets, featuring a cadre of massively talented musicians unleashing an explosive rock and roll experience.

Opening the show with charismatic vocalist Gwendolyn Casella beating the hell out of a drum placed at the front of the stage, Bonnie Brae burst into their set with a mesmerizing sense of conviction. UTA was a sparkling opener that shook the listener to the very core. One of the best and most provocative songs in the show was Slut, with its slinky lyrics and over the top sonic interludes sending this one into the stratosphere.

Ms. Casella exudes a wicked passion throughout the entire performance, at times channeling greats such as Janis Joplin and Grace Slick while exuding her own sense of creative identity with her tremendous vocals and fiery stage presence. David Coltrane Levin is truly the master of the axe, delivering guitar interludes that are vibrant and intensive. And Bonnie Brae definitely possesses a tight and wild rhythm section, featuring the talents of Darryn Sutton on bass and Scottie Carneghi on drums.

And the sonic assault continued on with selections such as their title anthem Bonnie Brae, World On Fire, and Like A Drug slamming us all deeper into the throes of a Universal City hard rock Saturday night. Closing out their set with the hot and heavy refrains of Lattiomi, Bonnie Brae left a final lasting impression on all friends and fans in attendance. Party with Bonnie Brae on New Years Eve as they open for the one and only L.A. Guns at the world-famous Whisky A Go Go on the Sunset Strip!

(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Dorothea T)

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