It's the end of a very Metal and memorable 40th Birthday week in Vegas, where we've rocked til dawn with Priest, Thin Lizzy, Black Label Society and Steel Panther, as well as a few dodgy wigged tribute acts along the way!
We start our last night in Vegas in surreal fashion catching Metal Elvis and the Monsters Of Rock at the Riviera hotel. Brilliant stuff, but sadly we can't stay for the whole set.
After a drive out to Sunset Station Casino in Henderson, we settle in for our night's entertainment with resident band Sin City Sinners. Tonight starts with a tribute to loyal follower Ted, having made guest appearances in their webisodes (check out SCS on FaceBook/YouTube for their hilarious, lunatic series!)
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The band hit the stage in superhero masks rather than full Hallowe'en gear like much of the audience, although drummer Sister Mary Rob (Cournoyer, ex-Marky Ramone Band) is in a nun's habit. The first set contains one original number ('Turn It Up') that sets the standard for the night, followed by classic rock crowd pleasers.
The talent on show here is awesome, however, with bassist Dr Ellis struggling through with a broken hand whilst self-medicating with alcohol and sharing vocals with Todd Kerns (himself current bassist for Slash). They are both note perfect, handling a wide range of songs from Priest to Kim Wilde. Rob also plays a great one-armed version of Leppard's 'Pour Some Sugar...' in tribute to Rick Allen. Jolly japes abound as the band banter off each other, particularly when guitarist Brent Muscat (ex-Faster Pussycat) brings out a long grabber toy for tweaking various band appendages.
It may not be Sunset Strip, but these guys enjoy what they do. It's good-time party Metal all round, and a lot more real than Steel Panther (although we did enjoy their show earlier in the week).
The Sinners are renowned for hosting guest appearances (recently sharing stages with Seb Bach and Matt Sorum). Tonight, there are three sets of guests from lesser-known and local acts, but these all help with the Friday night party vibe.
The evening's second set contains more originals for the diehards, and standout tracks for me are 'Arianna Incomplete', 'It's Not You It's Me' and their anthemic 'Going To Vegas'. Todd's voice and stage presence is awesome. Muscat, on lead guitar, is a triumph of licks and signature riffs. Any fan of Faster Pussycat's 'Bathroom Wall' has to hear his opening to the final song, 'Viva Las Vegas'. This is what's missing from the current more industrial direction of his alma mater. It's all over far too quickly, and we all feel like staying in Vegas and 'never going back'
to quote the Sinners, but we have the reality of a flight home the next day.
This band deserves a residency on the Vegas Strip, but it is wigs and tributes and God-awful rave that rules this city rather than quality rock acts. Blue collar rock ain't paying!
If you're in Vegas, seek 'em out.