Franky Perez, fresh off of a tour stint fronting the supergroup Deadland Ritual, performed with two of his numerous music projects at Count’s Vamp’d and, as usual, he packed the house! First on the bill was Two Man Riot, where Franky played the drums as well as handled the vocals, and introduced two brothers (Shawn and Stacey Gearing) on guitars. Now, you might be a little confused considering that the band has three people in it but is called “Two” Man Riot, but there’s a simple explanation… Years ago, Franky and Stacey were putting together a band and were having troubles finding a reliable bass player, so they opted to keep it simple and form a two-man band. Franky explains, “We pooled our money, bought an A/B switch, (allows you to use two amps at once) plugged a Jerry Jones baritone guitar into a Marshall half stack and an SVT classic bass amp, put a mic behind my drum kit, and started a dirty, stone cold, Rock-n-Roll band called Two Man Riot.” On down the road a bit they added Shawn but kept the name. Two Man Riot has a very funky and soulful sound, which seems to be Franky’s preferred style.
If you’ve ever heard Franky Perez perform with any of his other projects (The Dirty, The Truth, his Sons of Anarchy songs with The Forest Rangers, etc.) he leans toward a heavy jazz/rock fusion. When he performs with FXP, which is basically a rock/metal cover band mixed in with his original music from Franky Perez and The Truth, he puts his funk into every song. With FXP Franky sticks mainly to the front-man role and shows what an amazing vocal talent he is, and has assembled an all-star group of local talent enlisting Michael “Doc” Ellis on bass guitar, Corky Gainsford (former Otherwise, current Code Red Riot and Blue Man Group) on drums, and Christian Brady (Hellyeah and long time FXP/Truth Guitarist extraordinaire) on guitar. FXP blasts through covers of songs by Van Halen, Led Zeppelin and Nugent, Mblending in original music such as "Driving Rain", "The Level", and "Damn the Weatherman". He also adds in a couple of songs which he does a capella, one of them an old blues/gospel song originally written and performed by the legendary Blind Willie Johnson and covered on the Sons of Anarchy Soundtrack called "John the Revelator", and he uses that to segue into a "Stinkfist/Sober" (Tool) medley which he absolutely crushes! One of the highlights was a cover of Nine Inch Nail’s song "Closer" that they slowed down a lot and really punched up the bass guitar, making it their own. A soulful, bluesy, funk-filled jam to one of the greatest songs of the 90’s. The performance is quite the eclectic one and truly a great display of talent from some of Vegas’ top musicians.
Sandwiched in between Franky Perez's dual performances was Corky Gainsford’s own double-duty shift and the final 2019 performance of his popular local band, Code Red Riot. CRR will be taking almost a year hiatus from live performances while front man Corky goes out on tour with The Blue Man Group, so this was a great chance for the local fans to come out and get behind the band until they come back live in 2020 - and their live performances are always a blast and they never disappoint!! For this night’s show Jon Wozniak (bass) was absent so Mike Elersic filled in for him, and as usual Adam Fisher was back on the drum kit and (for local shows), and Chris Iorio handled guitar duties. CRR is a high-energy American rock band with some catchy tunes and punching videos out, and their debut album, Mask, was just released in July of last year and has been very well-received. Corky has been hard at work putting together new music and promises that, although the band will not be doing any live performances for a while, they will continue to release new music regularly. That’s great news for fans like myself who have just gotten hooked.
Franky Perez FXP photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos
Code Red Riot photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos
Two Man Riot photos from Randy Udell / R U Rockin' Photos