Thursday night was the kickoff for Buckcherry’s 3-night takeover of the legendary Viper Room on Sunset Blvd. The LA created hard rockers made it a homecoming show and looked very comfortable on the dark and dirty stage that helped launch their careers, as well as so many others. The band tore through a collection of hits and gave a live look at their new material, and somehow at the end Josh Todd’s voice was still standing. Words, music videos and more after the jump.
Buckcherry took the stage early in the night as people continued to filter in, packing closer and closer to the stage as the show went on. The band didn’t need any ceremony at the Viper Room, after all this is their home turf. Lead singer Josh Todd used to live above the Whiskey A Go Go on N. Clark St. located right across the street from the Viper Room. They decided to make the Viper Room the home for their record release shows, promoting their newest album Confessions which released Feb. 19.
The curtains stayed open as the band took the stage, reminding everyone that these are local guys. And then almost without warning lead guitarist Keith Nelson started the party with the adrenaline laced riff to “Ridin’” off their 2001 album Time Bomb. Their uncompromising combination of metal-based guitar riffs, rock/blues influence, and almost punk type tempos combine explosively with Todd’s vocal cord shredding screams. Unfortunately “Ridin’” was only one of two songs – along with the classic cocaine anthem “Lit Up” – that they played off their electric (and possibly destructive) first two albums, including 1999’s self-titled album.
It is understandable to focus the show on the new record, especially since this was a “record release party” and also Buckcherry’s first two albums were written with a different lineup of the band and in a different phase of Josh Todd’s life. That being said, their first two albums are quintessential Sunset Strip hard rock albums that don’t get dusted off live very often, or at least as often as they should be.
They still put on an amazing show, playing a great combination of their hits and changing tempos adeptly throughout the night. Todd has an amazing ability to scream warfare to incite a crowd in songs like “broken glass”, get a club dancing in songs like “All Night Long” and then drop the bottom out and express sincere emotion as he asks for forgiveness in songs like “Everything” and “Sorry.” There is an unadvertised depth to the band, and it was on display Thursday night.
They have the ability on one album, or even from one song to the next, to be both hell raisers and then beautiful and often tragic storytellers. Their debut album Buckcherry is known for tracks like “Lit Up” and “Crushed” but it also includes heartfelt ballads about tragedy and loss like “Check Your Head.” Then of course it never hurts to have a mega hit like “Crazy Bitch” to really get a crowd going, and they finished their pre-encore set with that ace in the hole.
Thursday was only night #1 of a three-night residency, so if you’re a Buckcherry fan go check them out for a night of dirty, sexy, tattooed rock and roll. Just the way the Sunset Strip likes it.
Check out the official music video for their new single “Gluttony”:
The current version of the band is comprised of original band members lead singer and illustrated man Josh Todd and Keith Nelson on lead guitar, with the addition of Xavier Muriel on drums, Stevie D. on guitar, and Jimmy “two fingers” Ashhurst on bass.