Artist: The Lizards Title: “4.2.11” Label: Hyperspace Records Release Date: 9/23/2008 Style: Hard Rock/Blues Rock Rating: 4/5
“4.2.11” is the title of the live concert DVD that captures one of the hardest working Rock acts that I have seen in a few years – New York’s own The Lizards. I’ve been fortunate enough to have caught the band in performance a number of times over the past three years and based on their gigs as opener for Cactus, Zebra and UFO, they have managed to build up an impressive following of their own with their tasty Hard Rock meets the Heavy Blues. Their sound is instantly gratifying to those who long for the more traditional style of Rock and Roll as opposed to what is packaged as it for today’s mainstream marketplace and with the four members being excellent at what they do, the entire performance will keep you interested from the moment it starts until it runs its course. If you don’t know about them, well The Lizards are indeed a New York area band whose membership features singer Mike DeMeo (formerly of Riot), guitarist Patrick Klein, bassist Randy Pratt (who also delivers some harp for Cactus) and drummer Bobby Rondinelli (Blue Oyster Cult, Black Sabbath and Rainbow). DeMeo has a super powered Blues voice with some solid range and while at moments he seems to easily hit the heights of someone like Robert Plant, there are moments where he is subtle and reserved like Paul Rodgers. During the set he also offers up some wonderful keyboards and this makes tunes like “Hyperspace” come to bigger and brighter life. Pratt by the same token makes sure to present some of his harmonica skills which bring the Blues aspect of this band to a much deeper level. The first seven numbers of the film come from the bands opening set for Cactus, and we appear to get the full performance from that night as well. Guitarist Klein impresses on every number with one of the purest and cleanest sounds I have heard from a Rock act at this same venue. Clearly he knows not only what he is doing on the guitar but also how to work best in a room like the venerated B.B. King Blues Club and Grill, which is where this part of the footage comes from. Between the sets we find casual band commentary that will enlighten their fans a little bit more about their own lives as musicians and how they have worked together for the benefit of Rock and Roll. The title of the film seems to be a slight nod to the band Spinal Tap, whose amps went to “11”, and my guess is that the “4” references the fact that we can enjoy four different setting of the band in action. Continue reading “4.2.11” by The Lizards→
In the annals of Blues-based Hard Rock, the name of Cactus is a well-respected one. They were often referred to as the American Led Zeppelin and their reunion shows are loaded with melody and groove. The band would be returning to B.B. King Blues Club with The Lizards in tow as their opener. Our own Joe Kaufman was on point to bring this show’s highlights to those who could not attend.
Artist: Cactus Venue: B. B. King Blues Club (New York, NY) Opener: the Lizards Date: 9/19/2006 Label: Escapi Music
My friend asked me what I was doing Tuesday night and I said I was going to see Cactus and the Lizards. He then said, “What are you going to the desert?” I replied, “No, I am going to BB Kings in NYC to catch some Rock with the bands The Lizards and Cactus”.
The night started with the Lizards, a rocking group we have covered at Piercing Metal numerous times. Once again, the Lizards deliver a solid, hard rocking set of original classic rock influenced songs. An expertly executed blend of elements from 70’s and 80’s Hard Rock and Metal. Drummer Bobby Rondinelli (Rainbow, Black Sabbath, BOC) along with bassist Randy Pratt get a great heavy dynamic groove going, while guitarist Patrick Klein lays down the riffs, and highly musical leads. Vocalist and Keyboardist Mike DiMeo also adds some excellent keyboard playing along with his strong vocals. Their set had a dynamic range of songs from riff rockers, funky bluesy rock to dark and moody. A solid rocking band with a classic, yet fresh style. The band is supporting their recently released album “Against All Odds”. It’s a CD that bears checking out. Continue reading Cactus @ B.B. King Blues Club (9/19/2006)→
Artist: Y&T Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY) Date: 7/30/2006 Opener: The Lizards Label:
After an absence of seventeen years in New York City, Y&T has returned to remind the Hard Rock world what made them so special in the first place. One of their last appearances here was at The Beacon Theatre where the band opened up for former KISS guitar slinger Ace Frehley. The festivities and fun would once again fall to the one and only B.B. King Blues Club where a close to 500 person crowd had assembled. Tonight I would the tables setup and I can never tell when this will be the case but I do know that when they are present it makes picture taking a bit of a pain. You see, since Y&T is not the kind of band that one normally sits down for made this aspect a little annoying tonight but I knew the fans in attendance would get past it very quickly. Opening the show would be the ever smoking Lizards who are becoming a regular set of faces on many of this venues Rock oriented shows. Having seen them a number of times I can only stress that if you have been paying attention you already know what you get when it comes to this group. If you are not then you best get with the program for this outfit cooks, and never strays from delivering a rock solid set of music to gear up the audience. For those hiding under the rock instead of rolling with it let me sum them up for you very quickly. If you are a fan of Classic Rock with a tasty Blues feel then the Lizards is possibly the kind of band that you have been looking for. Members Mike DiMeo and Bobby Rondinelli bring the experience gained from working with some of the hardest rockers around (Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, Rainbow and Riot) while Randy Pratt and Patrick Klein are entrenched in Blues Rock mixing this together into an incredible group. Smoke would be the best description of a live set, and the band is set to release their new album very soon. I’m always satisfied when I see a set of their material and I hope for bigger and better things for them going forward. Keep your eye out for them as they will quickly win you over with their fine brand of Rock. Continue reading Y&T @ B.B. King Blues Club (7/30/2006)→
Artist: Uli Jon Roth Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY) Opener: The Lizards Date: 5/16/2006 Label: SPV Records
ULI JON ROTH! Those in the know just took a deep breath and a step back as they recalled the guitar playing impact this man has had on Hard Rock and Metal music. Yes, the original guitarist of the one and only Scorpions would return to the States for the first time in almost two years and while that might not sound like much of a big deal you need to know that before this Uli had not played in the States for some 19 years (1985 at L’Amour’s). Based on this information it would be an incredible piece of news for fans of the rock guitarist and to see him at B.B. King Blues Club would be the icing on the cake. When he last performed he played at the now defunct “Downtown” in Farmingdale and the also shut doors of “The Wreck Room” in Wallington NJ. He was part of the Michael Schenker Group tour that was coming through town but to be honest these venues were far too difficult to reach and as a result attendance suffered. Tonight in The Big Apple the reception for this talented player would be a different story altogether. I arrived with writing colleagues from The Sea Of Tranquility and while I expected a sit down setting, I was happily surprised to see no tables on the main floor. These have proven to get in the way of quality shots in the past but with no photo pit as well, I would have to fend off the ardent guitarist admirers in the audience. It would not be an easy task to say the least. Continue reading Uli Jon Roth @ B.B. King Blues Club (5/16/2006)→
Artist: Ronnie Montrose Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY) Opener: The Lizards Date: 5/18/2006 Label:
It’s a rainy Thursday in NYC and I am off to B.B. King Blues Club for a night of Rock. Tonight it was going to be Ronnie Montrose (I had just been here two nights ago for Uli Jon Roth so the surroundings were more than familiar). The show started off with The Lizards who would lay down a tight set of original bluesy American Hard Rock. A well executed blend of elements from 70’s and 80’s Hard Rock and Metal, sounding vaguely familiar, yet still fresh. The group is powerfully driven by drummer Bobby Rondinelli (Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult) and along with bassist Randy Pratt, they laid down a tight, dynamic foundation. The Lizards are a solid band who could easily get a great groove going. Continue reading Ronnie Montrose @ B.B. King Blues Club (5/18/2006)→