Stonebreed Concert Review Starlite Lounge Phoenix AZ 04-07-23
Concert Review and Photos By Roc Boyum
Friday Night exploded in Phoenix, Arizona on April 7, 2023, as Hollywood heroes Stonebreed landed at the Starlight Lounge and hosted a full night of kick-ass Hard Rock with support from two great bands; Ten Cent Revenge and American Headtrip.
Stonebreed‘s kick ass hard rock, blend a little bit of Guns N Roses with some Telsa and their own brand of southern kick which makes their show a non-stop full tilt rocking show; no ballads or emo music here! The night had an explosive start with opening sets from Ten Cent Revenge and American Headtrip.
American Headtrip are a four piece Hard Rock band who opened this night’s festivities with their straight-up, no non-sense rock attitude and an eleven song set that fired up the Starlite Lounge audience! In January 2023, the band’s singer, known as Roland, made a full lineup change that started by recruiting hard rockin’ drummer Joe Ramirez. In Februrary of 2023, rock solid guitarist Darius Tonachio came on board and finaly to complete the line-up came the addition of bassist Greg Tuner. Bassist Turner may be on loan from the Hard Rocking band Ten Cent Revenge as he is listed on the AHT website as being on board for their Spring and Summer shows. Having never caught AHT live before, I had no reference of the band’s sound until this show and was really impressed with their rock solid performance. The rhythm section of Turner and Ramirez work well together as they lay down thick and heavy grooves that give guitarist Tonachio a solid foundation for his rhythm playing and the freedom to rip it up on the lead guitar solos. This solid line-up gives singer Roland the ability to do what his does best which is; moving about the stage, interacting with the audience and jamimg out on rhythm guitar.
Get into American Headtrip here!
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Ten Cent Revenge:
Next up, were the Phoenix Hometown Heroes Ten Cent Revenge, who tore through the Starlite Lounge with an impressive set of ten 70’s style hard rock songs that ripped up the Starlite Crowd.
TCR, are rising fast here in Phoenix AZ with their hard rock style that also has a progressive edge. I have been hearing a lot about these guys for the past year or so but never had the opportunity to catch them live until this show; glad I didn’t miss this one! The band is fronted by the dynamic vocalist/guitarist Josh Decker who visually and vocally reminded me of Sebastian Bach with his flowing hair and ripping vocals, that are both clean and raspy. Decker is also an accomplished guitar player who grinds out a ton of heavy rhythms and some blistering lead solos that takes the whole Sebastian Bach thing to a new kick-ass level.
Guitarist Steve Favela is a renowned and respected guitarist on the scene, with his scorching solos and heavy rhythm playing that so many of you may be familiar with from the band Color Of Chaos. The rhythm section of Greg Turner, (who is also a co-founding member of TCR) and drummer Jake Victor are a real solid unit that are continually pushing the TCR machine forward. Bassist Turner thumps out the heavy rhythms that are punctuated with laser precision runs, while his is inter-playing with the intricate drumming of Victor.
Victor would lay down some sexy grooves à la J.H.Bonham – and then fire into some ferocious fills that are complex and lightning fast like Nicko McBrain; just to keep things fun!
TCR‘s set was an impressive and fast paced set of ten songs that had the entire audience engaged throughout their show. Having heard their music on disc, like I said earlier, I’ve really wanted to catch these guys live and definitely wanted to see and hear if they are as good live as they are on disc. Now – I can scratch that off my list! I can tell you that their live shows far surpass their recorded works to date. The band is definitely heavier live and you can really feel the progressive power of their music while singer Decker is a powerhouse vocalist and great front man that is always engaging.
Get out to see TCR when you can and sit back and enjoy the ride.
Get into Ten Cent Revenge here!
Ten Cent Revenge Photo Gallery:
Carlos Cruz is the mastermind behind Stonebreed – and he is not only one hell of a ring leader but a great person as well. As a front-man, Cruz is the one of the most engaging and entertaining frontmen out on the rock scene today – on any stage! He can effortlessly grind out some great vocals while interacting with the band and always has a crazy amount of energy – constantly on the move running around the stage and engaging the audience with just enough attitude to really sell what he’s singing. In a smaller venue like the Starlite Lounge, he just might single you out in the audience to make sure that Stonebreed is musically kicking your butt; and that’s a good thing!!
Stonebreed, like most R&R bands, has had its fair share of line-up changes with some incarnations proving to be better than others. Such is the case with Stonebreed’s current cast of characters who are most definitely in my opinion, the best version of of this band musically thus far. Cruz’s decision to slim things down to a four piece unit, really kicks serious ass and suites their musical style much better.The band has a more punchy sound with raw energy than the five and six man versions I’ve previously caught live. The band now consists of Carlos Cruz-vocals, Paul Hudosn-guitar, Orion Rainz-drums and Dano Sauceda-bass – who together embody the essence of what Stonebreed are musically; a wicked-ass hard rock band with a dash of “cayenne pepper” for that extra sizzle that makes these guys stand out. Everyone in this band puts out 110% throughout the whole show and you will get a show and a night of great rockin’ music that will not be soon forgotten.
Stonebreed gave the Starlite a crushing eleven song set with Cruz firing up the audience between songs with his banter about the nature of a given song or just simply chatting it up to get people tuned into their vibe. Guitarist Hudson is a master craftsman who can grind out the nasty guitar rhythms, as well as pull off blistering runs up and down the guitar neck with complete ease all the while maintaining a super cool vibe without being overly flashy.
Bassist Sauceda is like a punk rock biker with a boatload of attitude; in a good way! He stomps about on stage while slamming down the heavy bass lines with the kind of bottom end you feel in your chest and – he keeps you entertained non-stop. By the way, he is also the cornerstone foundation that musically keeps everything together and just so happens to be the perfect support for guitarist Hudson to do what he does with ease.
Drummer Rainz is not just a flashy showman; he is also one hell of a beast of a drummer. Sure, he’ll give the audience a ton of crazy antics, like stick twirling, stick tossing and big arm movements that keep you entertained throughout his performance – but what really stands out with Rainz is his real drumming abilities. This guy can give you a deep groove or a thrashing attack when needed and then throw out some rapid-fire fills across his kit along with a blistering double bass drum run! Oh yeah, heavy grooves, crazy technique and all the while he’s executing crazy antics – this is a pretty killer combination of everything drums and then some!!!
Stonebreed finished their set with a tribute to the famed Hollywood venue, the Whisky A-Go-Go with the appropriately titled song; “Whisky” with the song title purposely leaving out the “e” in “Whisky” as it’s about the venue not alcohol. That didn’t stop may patrons from raising their glasses with a shot of Whiskey in support of this song because why the hell not!!! For those of us who are familiar with the Whisky A-Go-Go and who grew up going to concerts at The Whisky this song really captured the the whole Sunset Strip vibe and was a great tribute to this monumental and iconic venue.
Stonebreed gives you a show that you’ll be talking about for days and days after the show. Be sure to get out and see these guys live!
Get into Stonebreed here!!
Stonebreed Photo Gallery:
Stonebreed Set List: