Bang Tango and Enuff Z’Nuff kick off the ‘80’s Invasion Tour’ – The Whisky 8/1/13
Written by Alison “MetalBabe” Cohen
Photos by Lori Lea Photography
Eighties rock was alive and kickin’ at The Whisky on Thursday night! Not only did Enuff Z’Nuff and Bang Tango kick off the Sunset Strip Music Fest, (SSMF) they also kicked off their nationwide ‘80’s Invasion Tour 2013.’ This tour is scheduled through August 26th, with an astonishing 25 shows in 28 days. Ted Poley (Danger Danger) is picking up the rest of the dates, starting on August 2nd in Las Vegas.
I arrived at the perfect time to secure the best spot in the house, front and center stage. I waited for Bang Tango to take the stage as the crowd filled in around me. Joe Leste was full of charm and personality, as usual, making jokes and interacting with fans throughout the set. They played a variety of Bang Tango songs, starting with ‘Dancin’ on Coals,’ and including several hits and new songs as well. Some Bang Tango highlights included ‘Soul 2 Soul,’ ‘Live Life,’ and the sexy and funky ‘Wrap My Wings.’
However, my favorite part of the set was when they played ‘1 AM’ (by the Beautiful Creatures) and ‘Dressed Up Vamp’ back-to-back. It turns out my ‘perfect spot’ was actually the ‘shoe’ spot, as Joe and guitarist Scott LaFlamme took turns putting their foot (or feet) right in front of me. This definitely made it an even more an up-close-and-personal experience!
A big surprise was Aerosmith’s ‘Back in the Saddle.’ I’d never seen Bang Tango do this song before, and it was amazing how much Joe Leste actually looked and sounded like Steven Tyler!
Their last song was one we all know and love, ‘Someone Like You.’ Joe Leste made a point of handing the microphone to fans in the crowd throughout the song, and I was the first one to get to sing ‘Someone like you’ into the mic. I was glad Joe gave me a seal of approval before heading on to his next ‘singer.’ At one point in the set, Joe Leste mentioned that Bang Tango actually got signed on that very stage! Sounds like they have definitely come full circle.
Enuff Z’Nuff took the stage within 15 minutes. At this point, Chip Z’Nuff is the only original member of the band, Donnie Vie is no longer with them, and Johnny Monaco has stepped up to vocals for the second time in EZN history. This seemed to shock many of the fans that night since this knowledge is still a bit obscure.
Johnny Monaco definitely has some big shoes to fill. However, he is off to a good start, and this dual guitar attack gives the band a harder edge at times. Johnny is giving his own twist to the songs, and interjected a medley of covers into ‘Baby Loves You,’ including ‘Kiss Me Deadly,’ ‘I Would Walk 500 Miles,’ ‘Surrender,’ and even a song from a local Chicago band called Off Broadway.
My favorite EZN songs were ‘Mary Anne Lost Her Baby’ from the “Animals With Human Intelligence” CD, ‘Fly High Michelle,’ and ‘Tears of the Clown’ (Smokey Robinson song they covered on their “1985” CD). However, I do have to admit, I missed not hearing ‘Right By Your Side.’
The bands were trying to talk me into coming to Vegas for the next night of the tour. I was tempted, especially since I’d get the chance to see Ted Poley, but work was calling my name. If the ‘80’s Invasion Tour 2013’ is coming to your town, I definitely recommend checking it out!