Artist: Vains Of Jenna
Venue: Santo’s Party House (New York, NY)
Opener: Dirty Penny, Wild Street, Natasha Komis
Label: RLS Records
Having been to many of the super powered Heavy Metal shows hitting the region of late I found myself being caught up in the overall seriousness that the genre often brings to the table. You might find this strange but how could it be anything less than the case when one catches bands like Type-O-Negative, Satyricon, Chthonic, God Dethroned, Moonspell and Gwynbleidd all in the span of two and one half weeks. I slid in a little Gothic Hard Rock and Melancholy with The 69 Eyes for their tour but the need for some fun stuff was becoming a necessity and that was when the call came for me to attend an event hosted by Sammy Valentine that was being held at Santo’s Party House. Sammy was calling this event “Big City Rebels 2” and my guess it was the follow up to another fun event that he moderated and when I saw the roster of bands performing I knew that I was in for a good time. Headlining the show would be Vains Of Jenna who I had seen before, Dirty Penny who while new to me in concert I had some familiarity with the name and w little bit of the sound and kicking it into gear would be native residents of the NYC Nighttime Rock and Roll world Wild Street and Natasha Komis. Combine all the hot talent into an equally hot club and it was a win, win situation for all who attended. I got there early enough to catch the first group which was Natasha Komis. Here is how the night played out if you didn’t manage to attend.
Natasha Komis: This four piece Rock/Power Pop/Glam group is fronted by the lead singer who bears the same name. Research found me discovering that she also sometimes goes by Nikki Slik, which to me is very Rock & Roll, but using her own name for this project worked as well. They delivered what seemed to be some very tasty Rock/Pop with a slightly Glam edge to it and it was old school vibe when it came down to it. It was enjoyable and she looks like a Rock model up there with her stunning style and sexiness. At points during the set she would play a small keyboard that was set up and this added a little more to some of the songs performed. They have an EP available and some of the musical highlights would be the song “Party Of The Year” and “Kids In America”. The latter number being a Kim Wilde classic from the eighties which I have always been a fan of. Some readers might find it interesting to learn that Komis was once a contestant on “Paris Hilton’s My New BFF”. Dirty Penny was up next and that surprised me since this was a co-headlining tour with them and the guys in VoJ.
Dirty Penny: I was certain that I had heard the guys once or twice in the recent past but then again I might not have and that would make their set this evening a lot more fun. They were essentially the co-headliners on this short tour, but since the guys from Wild Street were locals and have a nice following of their own they kindly swapped the spot with them to let them rock just a little bit harder. I felt that this was a supremely cool thing to do and not something you find happening often. Remember how Slayer “co-headlined” with Marilyn Manson and yet for some reason always went on first? Anyways, the guys in Dirty Penny hit the stage running and there was a lot of the classic style of Glam Rock in their sound but also the Sleaze Rock vibe that we got from the days of L.A. Guns and old Motley Crue. Tight and obnoxious with loads of energy up on the stage and they had the room rocking from the beginning until the end. Dirty Penny is fronted by Binge Daniels who does a great job of getting you into it, while bass comes care of Tyno Vincent and pounding drums by the ever smiling Spanky Savage. The bands guitar wizardry comes care of Jonny Prynce who knows how to please during the show with his theatrics. At one point the musician would get rid of his shirt and you know the ladies in the front just loved that. Perhaps even a couple of the guys did as well, but I digress. After the show I would need to refer to album tracks against the set list that I witnessed and I found it rather interesting to see that while their new album “Young & Reckless” was available for several weeks, that the band seemed to focus more on the album before that which was “Take It Sleazy”. To say that they played more than half of that album would be an understatement, but I guess the guys wanted to rely on more tunes that the fans knew as opposed to over exposing something that was still very, very fresh to their musical palates. A smart move if you ask me.
Wild Street: Tonight would be my first chance at catching these local boys even though I have run into them at quite a few area shows and events. Fronted by Eric Jayk, the band delivers a no-nonsense Glam Rock that takes you back to the appropriate decade. It was all attitude and glitz with their set this evening and continuing the vibe from the bands before them, you could see that all were enjoying being up on the stage. I had to say that Jayk was perhaps a little more dramatic than his predecessor in Dirty Penny up there, but he had the looks of being the possible son of Hanoi Rocks great Mike Monroe when it came down to it. The band also features Ali Hassan who crunches the bass and Keith Robert who was playing some cool riffs on the guitar and moving like he studied from the Ace Frehley playbook. Second guitar comes care of Jimmy Marlowe and drums are by Beck. They had a nice response from the crowd and a terrific show of support from the area. I also think that this band attracted the most hot rocker girls in the club tonight, so those who like to be surrounded by lovelies would do good to remember this bands name for not only the music but for the upgrading to the surroundings. I know that they have an album coming or already available on Retrospect Records, but I have not heard the CD yet and was taking all of what they delivered this evening as my education. Good stuff and if you lean to the Glam years then Wild Street does not disappoint. Now it was time for Vains Of Jenna and I had to say that thus far no part of the night was finding me bored.
Vains Of Jenna: I had the pleasure of catching Sweden’s Vains Of Jenna back in 2007 when they were opening up for the one and only Poison. While I thought it was great for this rather new band to the states, I did find it a little odd that Poison would have a kickoff opener that had so much in common with their own vibe. At the end of the day it didn’t matter and the guys truly kicked some ass and really seemed to make a lot of new friends with this particular gig in my region and I am sure the same applied for the rest of the tour. Tonight the band would be back for the attack and supporting their latest release “The Art Of Telling Lies” and when they hit the stage I noticed a very visual difference in them. They seemed to have moved on from the super glossy look that I caught with Poison and were now more in the realms of middle era Aerosmith and classic GnR. It was the popular “trash” look when it came down to it and I was fine with the visual since for me I prefer to let the music do the talking. The guys definitely seemed glad to be in NYC and to be taking part in this cool show at Santo’s and it showed in how they performed. I had only just gotten a copy of the bands latest release so the material was still rather new to me, and I had to compile a couple of my thoughts with some surrounding nights gigs to get most of what they played, but its pretty close to accurate barring the exception or two. They delivered the goods tonight and were very engaging to the crowd which was pleasant. I hate when bands don’t even acknowledge their audience and just get up there and act like prima donnas.
With much of their stuff being new to my ears I just chose to enjoy it, but I did know full well their version of Tom Petty’s “Refugee” which they do some serious justice to. I liked what I recognized from “The Art Of Telling Lies” and I’m sure those around me did as well. The band while hailing from Sweden, have an incredible Los Angeles Sleaze Rock groove to them and it just goes to show how timeless and far reaching music is nowadays. Fronted by Lizzy DeVine, the singer also plays guitar and is one of the most animated players I have seen in awhile. Nikki Kin also plays guitar while JP White the bass and Jackie Stone the drums. As the band closed up shop for the night almost everyone from the other bands joined them onstage for a rousing closer. It just made the whole fun night a lot more interesting.
I had to say that this was a solid gig and one that found all bands working in unison in terms of the sound delivered to the ears of the audience. It was a call back to the vintage years with stylish Rock attire and plenty of beautiful girls and guys along with cans of hairspray. Thanks to Sammy Valentine and the “Big City Rebels” motif, I was able to step back in time and still make it home in time for the present day activity ahead. Tonight’s show would be my third gig in as many days and there were three more to go with Blackmore’s Night, Dethklok and The Misfts. Tomorrow I just might sleep in.
Dirty Penny Set List:
1. Midnight Ride
2. Push Comes To Shove
3. Take A Bite
5. Black ‘N Blue
7. If I Were You I’d Hate Me Too
8. Johnny Thunders
9. Runnin’ Wild
10. Scream & Shout
VOJ Set List: (partial)
1. No One’s Gonna Do It For You
2. Mind Pollution
3. Hard To Be Vain
5. One Last Pleasure
6. Get It On
7. The Art Of Telling Lies
8. Enemy In Me
9. Baby’s Got A Secret
10. Don’t Give A Damn
11. Hard To Be Vain
12. Everybody Loves You When Your Dead
13. Ceased Emotions
A tip of the hat to the evening’s host Mr. Samuel Valentine who readers can see introducing one of the main bands performing at the show in the photo below. I think this “Big City Rebels” idea was a sound one and hope you set some more up for the fans of this genre of Hard Rock & Roll.
Here’s a quick candid of Natasha Komis (from Natasha Komis if’n ya wasn’t paying attention) and Binge Daniels (Dirty Penny) and some friends. There was a lot of smoke in the room from the stage set and this made some of the candids a little hazy. We apologize for that, but there was nothing that could be done to avoid it.
I mentioned that the venue was loaded with Rock Lovelies for this show and here we find a couple of them with Dirty Penny’s Jonny Prynce. I’m sure it must be tough to be a guitarist in a Rock band but with the dedication and support from the fan base like these charming ladies, I am sure that it’s a whole lot easier.
I couldn’t resist complying with said lovelies request to get a photo of them and Wild Street’s Eric Jayk. It seems as though his was the band that they had primarily come to see so why not make someone’s night with the click of a little digital photography. Glad to be of service girls, you keep supporting the cause – we need more like you in its corner.
Here’s a quick shot of Natasha Komis and a couple of the guys in her band. The smoke machine made some of the candid chances hazy which sucked but we did what we could to bring you the maximum enjoyment.