Thursday September 27th was another live music filled night at Count's Vamp'd, and on the bill for this one was LA Story, 9 Electric, and Drowning Pool. LA Story had first honors on this night, a 5-piece rock band from Los Angeles, consisting of Erik Hatchett on Vocals, Carmine D'Amico and Beau Ashley on Guitars, Carlos Pagan on Bass, and Jamie Moreno on Drums. While they call their home LA, they could just as easily call themselves a Las Vegas band. They not only perform here on a fairly regular basis, but they can also be seen in a less formal supporting role, hanging out in the crowd at many of our local bands' shows. They have a very large, very loyal Las Vegas fan base and, once you've seen them live, you will soon understand why - they are not only a very musically talented band, but they are a visually enticing group as well, and one that I have had the opportunity to see and photograph on several occasions. This performance was no exception, although they did experience some brief technical issues when guitarist Carmine got caught up in drummer Jamie's cables and unplugged his laptop (used for audio intros). It was no surprise, as the stage was jammed with equipment from all three bands, and there was very little room to move, especially for a 5-piece band who tend to be very active on stage! They all handled it like true pros (with a few jokes and middle fingers sent Carmine's way) and got the ball rolling once again. LA Story plays mostly original music but do like to throw in a single cover song during each performance, and generally that tends to be Iron Maiden's "Trooper", which they handle quite well, but on this night they had a little surprise for the crowd. For their final song of the evening they enlisted the help of local artist Joel Floyd West (Hidden Scars), to perform Ghost's "Square Hammer". It was an outstanding finish to their power-packed set!
LA Story Set List:
Nowhere To Breathe
Fear Of The Same
Square Hammer (Ghost cover w/Joel)
LA Story Photos by Randy Udell / R U Rocking' Photos
Next to take stage was 9Electric, another LA based band that is familiar with the Las Vegas music scene. They have been around since 2011 and have one EP and on full-length studio album to date, with their second full-length album due out early 2019. It has been about a year since they have played Las Vegas and in that time they have experienced a couple of lineup changes, adding a new drummer and bassist. 9Electric is Ron Underwood on vocals, Mikey Lopez on guitar, Ginny Eck on bass, and Nick Ramirez on drums (no, that's not Rikki Rockett back there, although I did do a double-take)! On this night the performance was all about their upcoming release, Megalith, with all but two tracks of their 11-song set being debuted. Judging by their performance, Megalith should be a solid production of modern rock music.
9Electric Set List:
I Don't Want To Be*
The Damaged Ones
God And Man*
Stand In The Fire*
*Live debut of songs from upcoming album, Megalith (2019)
9Electric Photos by Randy Udell / R U Rocking' Photos
Drowning Pool was the headliner for this event, and they are an American rock band, originally formed in Dallas, Texas in 1996. Drowning Pool's debut album, Sinner (2001), went platinum in only six weeks, with hit songs like "Tear Away" and the monster single "Bodies". Shortly after the release of their debut album, singer Dave Williams passed away from an undiagnosed heart condition. Since then they have undergone a few more changes at vocals, with Jason Moreno being their current singer, after joining in 2012. The backbone of the band has remained the same with CJ Pierce on guitar, Stevie Benton on bass, and Mike Luce on drums.
Their set began with a pitch black stage and a shadowy figure standing front-and-center, when Jason begins speaking to the crowd and a spotlight finally picks him up, a big smile on his face to greet us. He lets everyone know that they are there to rock hard and he wants everyone in the crowd to join in. Drummer Mike Luce begins pounding his cymbals, the unmistakable intro for the title-track of DP's debut album "Sinner" is underway as Moreno lets out an ear-piercing scream. Immediately the crowd is on their feet and filling in whatever empty space there was in front of the stage. The showroom was packed as patrons from the bar and patio flood in.
The show rolled right on through with Moreno talking between songs, keeping the crowd involved and introducing each song. He is a charasmatic frontman and very engaging, with a powerful voice that carries loud and clear over DP's hard-hitting metal sound. The only variation from their format was where Moreno claims that they tend to get 'stupider' - and they began a bit of an old-school medley, using the choruses for "The Roof Is On Fire" and "We Want Some Pussy", before rolling into "Told You So". An interesting little throwback that seems to becoming a popular trend in a lot of live performances these days.
Drowning Pool is always a great live band and this night was no exception. After nearly two decades of playing together they are a well-oiled machine and always enjoyable. They sounded incredible, and were engaging and energetic. I have seen them many times over and they have never disappointed.
Drowning Pool Set List:
We Are The Devil
By The Blood
Feel Like I Do
The Roof Is On Fire - chorus (Rock Master Scott & The Dynamic Three)
We Want Some Pussy - chorus (2 Live Crew)
Told You So
Drowning Pool Photos by Randy Udell / R U Rocking' Photos