By Andrew Bansal
August 27th 2015, The Viper Room, West Hollywood CA: Following the release of their sophomore full-length ‘Electric Blood’ via Earache Records in August 2015, Atlanta, Georgia rock ‘n roll quartet Biters began a four-week US headline tour and descended upon West Hollywood for a gig at the Viper Room last Thursday August 27, sharing the stage with local novelty tribute act GayC/DC, and a special guest or two. In the six years of their existence, Biters have gained recognition and acclaim amongst media critics and veteran musicians that have touted the band as one of the best new rock ‘n roll bands on the planet. In front of an audience tailormade for them, they were about to show the Sunset Strip what they were made of, with a performance that will be remembered for a long time.
Doors opened at 8, the show began at 8:30, and after two opening acts, Biters took the stage at 10:30 for a set that lasted almost an hour, unusually long by Viper Room standards, as a result of a much-demanded encore. Vocalist/guitarist Tuk Smith gave his 100 per cent and more to front the band, as did his band mates, and these dudes were absolutely in the zone, rocking as hard as anyone has ever done on this Viper Room stage. It is hilariously ironic to note that through their music, lyrics and live show, Biters, a band from Atlanta, salute a lot of the music that originated on this very Sunset Strip, but do it far, far better than any and every current LA/Hollywood band. But aside from the clear glam rock influence, Biters’ tunes are dominated by Thin Lizzy-esque guitar/vocal melodies which stand out more than anything else in their musicianship. When it came to the encore, by the time everyone in the audience was convinced that Biters wear Thin Lizzy on their sleeves, it was perhaps no surprise that they brought out Black Star Riders / ex-Thin Lizzy frontman Ricky Warwick to perform ‘Cowboy Song’. Throughout the set, the Viper Room was packed and truly rocking with Biters, and the venue’s lighting patterns and sound system were also at their very best. Biters’ retro rock ‘n roll ruled the Strip and turned up the heat on this searing Thursday evening. If this tour is visiting your town, do not miss it.
Remaining Tour Dates:
8/29 – San Jose, CA @ Rockbar Theater
8/30 – Portland, OR @ Star Bar
9/01 – Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
9/02 – Spokane, WA @ The Pin
9/03 – Boise, ID @ The Shredder
9/05 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Triple Nickel Tavern
9/07 – Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville News
9/09 – Chicago, IL @ Double Door
9/10 – St. Louis, MO @ Fubar
9/11 – Indianapolis, IN @ White Rabbit Cabaret
The closing act of the show was Los Angeles-based gay AC/DC tribute band GayC/DC, bringing their unique brand of AC/DC tunes with modified lyrics and putting forth a highly entertaining show for those that have the sense of humor to appreciate it and the balls to admit that they do. Before GayC/DC began their set at midnight, Sebastian Bach was seen in the audience, getting bombarded by fangirls and paparazzi, but little did anyone know that he would actually jump up on stage to sing ‘T.N.T.’ with GayC/DC. Playing the guitar, bass and drum parts of AC/DC songs may be a cakewalk for most professional musicians but singing is a whole another animal, and Bach was up to the challenge as he did full justice to the song, injecting his unimitable style and energy level into it. This was early on in the set and Bach quickly exited the scene, but his appearance certainly established the audience’s interest in GayC/DC, some of whom might not have stayed to watch the band considering the fact that the headline act was already done playing. Led by singer Chris Freeman’s excellently portrayed facial expressions and stage props and backed by the flawless AC/DC song renditions by his appropriately dressed band mates, GayC/DC once again treated the Viper Room to a welcomed blend of rock and comic relief.
Thursday nights aren’t usually the most well-attended at the Viper Room, but the success of this show indicates that good national/international touring headline acts supported by strong local acts can pack the house on any given night of the week, and as much as humanly possible, should always be the game plan for the venue on a nightly basis.