This was my first time visiting the Whisky A Go Go, as well as my trip to California, as I live on the east coast in Connecticut. This is where Broken Road also hail from, a band that features MetalTalk’s very own Shannon Wilk. Tonight’s show was part of the many celebrations leading up to NAMM 2024.
Whisky A Go Go, West Hollywood, CA – 24 January 2024
Words and Photography: Jody Wilk
Guitarist Damiano Christian and bassist Shannon Wilk started the band in 2023 and quickly recruited drummer Sam Wall from New York. In their search for a singer, after many failed auditions, they went to social media and found singer, composer, and songwriter Kim Melville from France to fill the spot.
Kim has been singing from a young age and has a busy solo career. Kim says her influences are Jack White, Bowie, Kiss, and Yungblud.
Shannon Wilk is a 17-year-old bassist and guitarist who is also a fellow MetalTalk writer and photographer. Damiano was brought up in classical music playing the piano and just about any other instrument and currently plays in several rock tribute bands and is a full-time teacher at The Rockhouse School of Music.
Sam Wall is a self-taught drummer who also plays bass and guitar and fills in as a stage tech for several bands. The band met with Kim earlier in the day in person at Amp Studios North Hollywood on Lankershim for the first time. I got to see first what everyone else would get to witness later that evening. Broken Road is a rock band that will make their mark on the industry.
There was a decent-sized line of people outside The Whisky for about an hour before the doors opened at 7:30 pm. I could hear the excitement of everyone talking about this East Coast band that has created much buzz amongst their fellow industry peers and music fans alike.
Broken Road hit the stage and set the place on fire with their first original song of the night, Who Do You Wanna Be. The song starts off slow, leading into a catchy riff and lyrics that make you want to sing along.
Sam Wall slays it on the drums and is wearing a nostalgic Pastamania shirt. This was Hulk Hogan’s restaurant that was open at The Mall of America in 1995 for only a few short months. Shannon has an amazing stage presence with moves as good as those of many bass guitar legends.
After a loud applause welcoming them to California, they went right into a cover of Kiss’ Parasite without any delay. The sound was on point, with the bass hitting hard and the guitar clean and heavy.
A few more original songs were introduced to the crowd. First was Nobody’s Fool. Not to be confused with the Cinderella song, this song starts off with a very ’70s feel with great harmonies, then picks up the pace with a guitar solo in the middle of the song.
The final original of the set was Back for More. This song had a more current and fresher feel to it and features an awesome bass solo in the middle. Kim said that she wrote the lyrics about Shannon.
After a brief introduction of the band members, Broken Road gave a nod to Ronnie Montrose and played a cover of Rock Candy. The fans were excited to hear this because many of them would be in attendance at The Ronnie Montrose Remembered show that we will be covering on 26 January 2024 in The Grand Theater at the 2024 NAMM Convention.
Finally, the last song of the night was a cover of Foreigner’s Jukebox Hero. Kim’s vocals really stood out throughout the night, and Shannon and Damiano also sang backup on this song. During the guitar solo, Kim went back to the drum riser and was pounding on the cymbals along with the beat.
At the end of the song, they briefly started to play a teaser of Pantera’s Domination, with everyone banging their heads to the beat. Broken Road got a thunderous applause from the crowd.
Broken Road came from the other side of the country and also from ‘the other side of the pond’, to California’s iconic Whisky A Go Go and proved to everyone that rock is still alive and that the youth of today still gets their influences in music from the rock greats of the ’70s and ’80s.
Watch for these young rockers to see if they will be playing in your area. You wouldn’t want to miss out.
Broken Road Are:
Kim Melville on vocals
Damiano Christian on guitar
Shannon Wilk on bass
Sam Wall on drums
- Who Do You Wanna Be (Broken Road Original)
- Parasite (Kiss Cover)
- Nobody’s Fool (Broken Road Original)
- Back for More (Broken Road Original)
- Rock Candy (Montrose Cover)
- Jukebox Hero (Foreigner Cover) into Domination (Pantera Cover partial)
The National Association of Music Merchants, known as NAMM, hold the 2024 edition of their show from 25 January 2024 to 28 January 2024 in Anaheim, California.
This is a world-famous trade-only business show catering to domestic and international dealers and distributors restricted to owners, suppliers, journalists, employees, endorsed artists, and guests of NAMM member companies.
All MetalTalk NAMM 2024 coverage can be found at www.metaltalk.net/tag/namm-2024.