Falling Higher: The Story Of Ampage at The Last Call – Movie and Live Review
Falling Higher: The Story Of Ampage, The Last Call, Tarzana, CA., January 27, 2023
The Los Angeles premiere of Falling Higher: The Story Of Ampage took place at The Last Call in Tarzana, featuring a screening of the movie and a live show by the one and only Ampage. Amongst those in attendance were director/producer Colin J. Felger, narrator Jake Busey, and Mark Mason, the charismatic lead singer of the Ampage. All of the tables in the club were filled, waiting to experience the like of music, excess, and ultimate inspiration all within the massive story of this epically underrated band. Rare footage from their early days of Hollywood as well as interviews with Mark Mason and his Ampage co- conspirators made this film really stand out. And what a life Mark Mason has led, with extremes going as far a drug fueled homelessness, signing a major record deal, touring across the country – and then later on completing in an Iron Man World Championship triathlon and coaching a high school triathlon team.
Another tremendously poignant part of the movie was a tribute to co-founding member and longtime drummer Michael Kroeger, who passed away in 2016 due to leukemia. The supporting cast includes members of esteemed acts such as the Jimi Hendrix Band, Def Leppard and Krokus, actor Gary Busey, legendary guitarist Earl Slick, Jeff Conaway from Grease and a whole lot more – all leaving quite an impact on the Ampage legacy. The story starts in 1978 and concludes in the present day, with Mark Mason and Ampage as alive as ever. And further proof of all this would be the dynamic live performance Ampage presented to The Last Call attendees immediately after the closing credits of the movie.
40 years of Ampage was on fill display sonically, featuring selections from a vast career in music. Included within the set were absolutely riveting songs from their recently issued album Season In Hell. Other selections that left a definitive impact included crowd favorites (and should-be hit singles) Plain White Rapper and 100 Years All New People. Mark Mason performs with an inspiring amount of passion and conviction on vocals and guitar. Mark Pearce delivered tantalizing leads with his axe work while bassist Bill Stokem and drummer Jason Fish brought on the rhythms with a skilled precision. This film is nothing short of epic in scope, the band was delivering an absolutely blistering show, and what a treat it was to see it all in at the very intimate Last Call with a very present packed house. This celebration was a night to remember for the ages.
Falling Higher: The Story Of Ampage is now available to rent and own on North American global digital HD internet and satellite platforms through Freestyle Digital Media. And be sure to check out Season In Hell, the latest magnum opus from Ampage!
(Review by Ken Morton – Live Photos by Vivian Ortega)