HEAVEN ISN’T TOO FAR AWAY
Legendary hair-metal band Warrant returns for a successful concert in Los Angeles, but alas no mention of the name Jani Lane
By Gerry Gittelson
Special to the Daily News
AGOURA HILLS, Calif. – Their legend all but washed away by the cruel sands of time and the dramatic final years of the late Jani Lane, hair-metal icon Warrant continues to plug away — albeit on a smaller scale for a band that once ruled the charts, headlined arenas and had their faces on MTV every day.
Born and bred on the Sunset Strip in the late 1980s, Warrant returned to Los Angeles on Saturday, Oct. 5 for a performance at Canyon Club about 40 miles northwest of the streets of Hollywood.
With four originals still in place, Warrant has more founding members than most of the classic-rock bands still competing for the cougar crowd, but alas no Jani, the band’s brilliant founding singer with a penchant for great songs and an ultra-charismatic delivery.
Erik, Jerry, Robert & Joey rocking the Canyon Club
Robert Mason, an Arizonian with similar features including long blonde hair, has been the singer for five years, and he proved in fine form at the Canyon Club fest, though like most folks in the world he lacks Lane’s showmanship skills. And thus Warrant is not as exciting as they used to be – but who is nowadays? – but still a good time for a audience still hungry for a hearty dose of glam rock.
Opening with “Down Boys,” Warrant steered its way through an hour-plus set that included most of the big hits including “Sometimes She Cries,” “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and “Heaven,” and by the time the fivesome got around to “Cherry Pie,” Mason was pretty much in control of the room.
Guitarists Erik Turner and Joey Allen both specialize in the catchy-riff department, and pin-up bassist Jerry Dixon still looks pretty much the same except for a no more uni-brow. And then there is drummer Steven Sweet, who was curiously ousted for a long period of Warrant’s history but has proved nothing short of spectacular since his return. His pounding on the drum kit is the heartbeat of the band, and Sweet’s terrific background vocals help a lot for a band that no longer uses backing tapes nor keyboards.
This was Warrant’s second Los Angeles show since Lane died alone two years ago in a nearby hotel room with an empty vodka bottle next to his body, and sadly his name was not mentioned throughout the proceedings.
Bobby Blotzer and Alan Krigger
Guitar Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer from KISS were among the VIPs hangin’ out and singing along to all the chorus-heavy classics, and Ratt drummer Bobby Blotzer was holding court with his own table filled with beautiful women.
Nadir D’Priest a Sunset Strip & Metal Years legend for sure fronting London
London opened, the legendary band that once included Nikki Sixx, and the long-lived group is still going strong with singer Nadir D’Priest and legendary drummer Alan Krigger from Giuffria. The band played a set of old-style metal songs, and by the end they were winning over the crowd to an impressive degree.
Contact Gerry Gittelson at [email protected]
No Name Sludge