The Last Vegas at The Talking Heads (15/05/14)

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With the recently announced demise of Motley Crüe leaving a large hole in the world of rock music, there’s been no shortage of contenders looking to fill it with sleazy glam metal goodness, on both sides of the Atlantic. One possible candidate to fill the Crüe’s sizeable boots has to be Chicago based hard rockers The Last Vegas. They got their big break opening for Motley Crüe back in 2008 and have continued to ply their wonderfully raw take on glam metal/sleaze rock ever since. Their recent show at the Talking Heads showed they might not have quite the following that they deserve in the UK yet, but they certainly have the musical ability to go far.

Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said for the night’s openers The Smokin’ Prophets. While they were technically proficient and had some decent songs, there was little charisma on display on stage and it didn’t make for the most engaging experience. That said, it may not have been entirely their fault, as they played to an audience of about ten people, most of whom seemed to be their friends. Even the greatest of bands would struggle under those circumstances.

Next up were Heartbreak Remedy, a bluesy- rocking outfit from the Lake District. They fared a bit better, despite dealing with an even smaller audience. The band had some great guitar work going on, as well as an absolute gem of a singer blessed with a classic strong rock voice and an amusing line in stage patter. If you like your rock music groove-led and laden with catchy hooks, I can thoroughly recommend Heartbreak Remedy, a band well worth catching next time they return to the South.

Of course the main event of the evening came in the form of The Last Vegas, and the boys from Chicago did not disappoint, despite having only touched down in the UK 24 hours before they got on stage. There was no sign of any tiredness from singer Chad Cherry, man who possessed a distinctive and powerful voice, along with all the confidence and swagger of a young Mick Jagger. In fact, the whole style of music that The Last Vegas play could best be described as music to swagger and strut to. It’s unashamedly cocky and brash and is heavy with indecently catchy guitar riffs and choruses that you simply have to sing along to. The band certainly knew how to put on a show as well, with the guitarists running around the stage, sometimes stopping mere inches from crashing into one another  and other times leaving the stage entirely jumping out into the audience. This hyperactive style of play certainly suited the songs themselves, each one a fast paced anthem to the wilder side of life. Highlights of the set included ‘ I’m Bad’ and ‘Whatever Gets You Off’, but the slower number ‘Apologize’ showed that the band were just as able to pull off an excellent, heartfelt ballad. Overall, despite a smaller turn out than they would have liked, The Last Vegas put on a performance to be proud of, and brought some all-American rock n’ roll fun to The Talking Heads. So, if you happen to be anywhere near a venue where The Last Vegas are performing, get yourself down there for a thoroughly good evening’s entertainment. You won’t regret it!

Photograph courtesy of  Renegadewolf Photography.

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