SSMF 2011 ~ Buckcherry, Lady Sinatra, Purple Melon

Lady Sinatra, Purple Melon at The Viper Room
Buckcherry at The Roxy
August 19, 2011
By Victoria Joyce (SugarBuzz Hollywood)
Photos by Mila Reynaud

Was it genius or suicide to have Buckcherry play the Roxy on SSMF Eve? It was like saying, “OK, boys and girls, go get into your jammies and get ready for beddie-bye ‘cause here comes the big scary men who are here to rock the excrement out of you.” And the bar was set for all that comes after. Step up, everybody. Buckcherry has to be the Greenbay Packers of Rock. They have a bulletproof Quarterback in the person of Josh Todd and strong team of champions headed by a blood curdling Offensive Lineman, Keith Nelson. Boom. 

Backtracking, we started the evening at a hot, sweaty, and sold out Viper Room for Lady Sinatra & Purple Melon. Fronted by Joseph “Bunny” Holiday, who has mastered the controlled growl, holding it just this side of a scream, the music of Lady S is explosive. Like a full body slam. Very WWE, Raw. 

The Ladies get tighter with every performance. The anger of Rap and the power of Metal are fused by Gabe De Castro, Nic Nifoussi and Steven Friedlander who back up Joseph’s extreme vocals with precise power. Full metal jacket. Nothing is wasted, all business. Mr. Bunny strides up to the edge of the stage and backs off like testing the waves of a dark sea, bending at the waist, both hands on the mic, up and back, pulsing and pacing. Caged tiger much? 

L Sin’s songs are brief, cycled, straightforward with lyrics that border on bullying. Can’t decide if Joseph looks more like a Jesus, Zach Galifianakis or Charlie Manson. He resembles all three with his apostles, crew and family. Lady Sinatra swings from loving religion, to the morning after and dangerous cult. Break out song: “Leave Me Alone.” Lady Sinatra promises a new release in November. 

The cute and cuddly Purple Melon took the Viper stage around 10ish. With blonde highlights and velvet blazers, The Purp Mels deliver very glammy mod pop look and sound. Oh yes, they are Dedicated Followers of Fashion. And British. A bit of a frenetic edge defines BP and connects the now with the then.  P Melon scored big with dropping “Kings of the World” from their upcoming album “Henry’s Rocket” into the new “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.” Those damn fools, they blew it up. 

Cutting it close, we speed-walked up Sunset to catch Buckcherry at the Roxy. Another sell out. Can you say swampy? Feet-sticking-to-the-floor swampy! Never seen such an insane and intense performance and crowd. Positively primal. 

Buckcherry was wringing wet. No exaggeration. Before the end of the set, Keith Nelson twisted his shirttails resulting in a dripping stream. Stone faced and serious, Keith plays like Hendrix and looks like Joe Perry, from a stone-faced swagger point of view. While devoted fans leaped at the guitar picks being flicked, we ducked. Mr. Nelson was spinning those things with the velocity of Ninja Stars. It’s all in good fun until someone loses an eye. 

A currently blond, Josh Todd was shirtless as usual and looked like a shiny vinyl doll from the sweating going on. His all-over tatts negate nakedness, featuring his signature “Chaos” in Gothic lettering over his belly. Barbie’s bad boyfriend. Todd was in fine voice and tied up the performance perfectly. Even if it was wringing wet. 

The big finish was, of course, “Crazy Bitch.” An exhausted and sopping crowd refused to let this end. Within 30 seconds, dripping wet, Buckcherry returned for an encore, choosing to cover the Allman Brothers, “Tied to the Whipping Post.” Buckcherry just released their fifth album, “All Night Long” and is currently touring the South and Midwest through the end of September – go, go, go.