POKER IN THE FRONT AND LIQUOR IN THE BACK
A big weekend of rock in Las Vegas, and Sludge was there for the juicy details
By Gerry Gittelson
Metal Sludge Editor at Large
LAS VEGAS – What a great weekend of rock in Las Vegas culminating Sunday, Aug. 25 with the fouth annual Vegas Rocks Awards at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel, where such luminaries as Guns N’ Roses guitarist D.J. Ashba, Yes singer Jon Anderson, ex-Ozzy guitarist Zakk Wylde, Scorpions drummer James Kottak, Queensryche singer Geoff Tate and legendary bassist Rudy Sarzo all lent their support by either performing on stage, or by accepting awards or like Metal Sludge’s humble correspondent by simply hanging out and being cool.
Quite a crowd showed up at the expansive arena-sized venue, and the event was a rousing success.
Vegas Rock publisher/editor Sally Steele was the grand mistress of the proceedings, wearing an all-white leather outfit that made the blonde bombshell look like she might have been a member of classic rock legends Angel back in the day.
Beforehand, there was a red-carpet arrival, and flashbulbs were popping like a glitzy press conference for the Beatles.
“I love the way the stars came out. It’s a great event,” Steele said. “I’m really proud of James Kottak. He’s done a great job of being the co-host with me, and Geoff Tate was amazing. Oh, and also, I’ve been a Metal Sludge fan forever, since the very beginning.”
The fun started on Friday at Las Vegas Country Saloon in downtown Vegas on Fremont Street, where up-and-comers Prophets of Addiction from Seattle performed a mesmerizing glam-tinged set that saw a near-capacity crowd going wild. The band is led by singer/bassist Lesli Sanders, formerly of Pretty Boy Floyd and Queeny Blast Pop, and the lanky glitter legend with a permanent smile was really on his game.
It’s amazing and shocking that Prophets of Addiction has not broken on a big scale, but if there is god in this world then POA’s time will come soon.
Once Prophets of Addiction finished, it was off to Count Vamp’d just West of the Strip, where Angel singer Frank Dimino and his new cover band Vinyl Tattoo tore through a set of classics that included an awe-inspiring version of the great Angel song “The Tower” that saw everyone in the packed club going crazy.
Guitarist Shawn Duncan and keyboardist Michael T. Ross were among the backing musicians.
“I still love it, and that’s why I keep doing it,” Dimino said. “I really love to still play the old Angel songs, and I have good musicians to play them with. I still talk to all the other Angel guys all the time.”
The next evening found us back at Vamp’d for the second annual KISS night, a fundraiser that saw a slew of bands and all-stars – again including Dimino – perform KISS covers. The crowd was really into it, and a lot of them wore KISS makeup.
On Monday, it was time to visit the new Aces & Ales bar and restaurant, co-owned by the great guitar player Keri Kelli, who just celebrated the four-year anniversary of the first one. The new location is at 2801 N. Tenaya Way, and there are 50 draft beers and more than 200 brands of bottled beer – very impressive.
“If they make it, we serve it,” bartender Adam Metcalf said.
In all, a fun weekend of rock. There were things that happened after the stage lights went down, but you know how it is – what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!
Gerry Gittelson can be reached at [email protected]