Classless Act Concert Review Valley Bar 05-07-23
Review and Photos by Roc Boyum
L.A. Rockers Classless Act hit the road for a short headline tour dubbed, West Side Fun Run 23, with a stop at Valley Bar in Phoenix AZ on 05-07-23, with special guests Color Of Chaos and Dead West. The last time LA Metal Media Magazine caught up with Classless Act live, they were on the The Stadium Tour in 2022 as the opening band for music giants Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe, Poison and Joan Jett. It was truly great to see the band in this more intimate setting as a headline act with a full set of music on their own terms, in a packed house of fans who were there specifically for them.
I had not previously had the pleasure of catching live music at Valley Bar in downtown Phoenix, AZ – and for those of you who are not yet familiar with this local haunt, it might be a little hard to find as it was for me. The problem isn’t in finding the address, no – it’s clearly marked on the front of the buildings facing N. Central Avenue that’s easy enough, right? The problem/interesting thing is, that once you walk up to the address, there’s no sign, literally no indicator what-so-ever that Valley Bar is at this address; perplexing! So, the way I found this place was to stand out in front of the address and ask the first heavy rocker who walked by if they knew the whereabouts of this venue; and to my luck it was the bass player for Dead West who immediately pointed me in the right direction. Following his directions, I went down the alley between the large buildings and then made a right into the adjacent alley, and Voilà – there’s someone at a doorway to collect tickets. From there, you go downstairs to an underground basement that is in fact the club; pretty damn cool actually! Also worth noting, unlike most bars where you can’t hear the bartender to place an order due to the blasting music, (live or otherwise), you can go through a set of doors into the adjacent bar, which is almost completely soundproofed from the venue; so you won’t end up loosing your voice trying to order a drink.
Color Of Chaos:
The night started off with the hometown heroes Color Of Chaos who always put on a great show and who had this audience rocking from their first note. The band gave these underground rockers a seven song set that pretty much blew the minds of most everyone who was in attendance. Before the show began, I spoke to a number of people in the audience who were not yet familiar with COC and who were there, of course, for Classless Act. Once the band started, singer Steve Carlson grabbed the audience by the throat and reeled them into the COC vibe which rocked the hell out of the Valley Bar crowd. When Carlson wanted everyone to yell, Hey!, Hey! Hey! the crowd joined in, and when Carlson wanted everyone to pump their fists, everyone was right there, pumping fists and joining in on the fun. When the COC set ended, guitarist Steve Favela was throwing out picks to the crowd from the stage while everyone else in the band was on stage shaking hands and bumping fists with the audience. As I listened to the chatter around me, I could hear things like, “what a great show – that was great fun and holy shit, these guys kicked ass!’
So there you have it! If you want a kick ass show that’s a ton of fun with some brilliant 80’s style hard rock, get out to see Color Of Chaos aka COC and party like this is the ONLY night your going to party; this week!
Get into Color Of Chaos Here!
Dead West were up next and they definitely had their work cut out for them as a follow-up to the crazy set by COC. The Dead West band and their singer Vinny Sky are no strangers to the stage having opened for such notables as the Tom Keifer Band, Lita Ford and Slaughter, just to name a few. Sky wasted no time in firing up the crowd with his powerhouse gravel voice and masterful command of the stage that whipped this crowd into a feverish frenzy that didn’t settle until their set finished. The band’s musical style is what they call, whiskey soaked rock and roll, which pretty much nails it! Their song Crossroads, off their Long Hard Road LP, immediately hearkens the grinding sound of Bon Jovi’s “Dead Or Alive” that had everyone in the venue raising their drinks and partying like there was no tomorrow!
Get out and catch Dead West Live and be ready to party because these guys will bring out the party animal in you!
Get into Dead West here!
Classless Act, the band everyone had been waiting for, stormed the Valley Bar stage and ignited the audience with an incendiary set of 15 songs from their debut LP, Welcome To The Show; which included a couple of crazy covers as well. In this darkened grotto known as Valley Bar, the show started with loud cheering from the crowd as the band entered the stage to kick off their wild show. You better be ready to bring it because these guys will rock the house with an energy level that is way over the top. So, If you want to see a band just standing in one place singing, go see The Eagles, because these guys run around like they’re on fire. From the start, the band attacked this small stage as if they were playing the 60,000 seat State Farm Arena here in Phoenix AZ ; which, by the way; they did last year with Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe on the Stadium Tour.
Singer, ringleader and flamboyant entertainer Derek Day commands the audience with his expressions, gyrations and an incredibly versatle and powerful voice that captivates the onlooker throughout his performance. Guitarists Griffin Tucker and Dane Pieper are a tornadic force in constant motion as they flank either side of the stage, all the while wielding their guitars. The rhythm section of drummer Chuck McKissock and bassist Franco Gravante are a dynamism duo that punches you in the gut with a simultaneous slap on the cheek; in a good way!
The band kicked off their Westside Fun Run Tour 23 at Valley Bar with so much energy, that it’s a wonder how they can sustain that level of output for a whole show much less an entire tour; but don’t worry, these guys will always give you 110%.
The band ripped through a fifteen song set of their 70’s influenced rock at a frantic pace that had the audience transfixed on the stage and pumping their fists throughout the band’s entire show. Aside from all their crazy antics and running around on stage, the band are all well accomplished multi talented musicians who keep things real interesting. At different points in the show, you get the opportunity to see another side to each musician as they switch off to a different instrument during certain songs in the set. In the classic rocker by Zeppelin, “Rock and Roll”, we find guitarist Tucker playing drums (pretty crazy), drummer McKissock moves over to the bass guitar, (he keeps things grooving) – bassist and keyboardist Gravante grabs the rhythm guitar and rhythm guitarist Pieper hits the keyboards, ( a percussionist at heart), and yes, singer Day gets in on the action by busting out the lead guitar solo in this raucous rocker; who knew these guys were so multi talented? Classless Act are always having a ton of fun and don’t take themselves too seriously which translates into great fun for everyone.
Classless Act are bringing back the glory days of Rock in a big way and will always leave you wanting more. So, get out there, join in on the fun and catch these guys live whenever you can. If you miss them live, get their debut LP, Welcome To The Show, turn it up and enjoy the ride!
Get Into Classless Act Here!
Set list from the stage: