Cruefest Hollywood 2013

Cruefest 2013
Whisky a Go-Go
Hollywood, CA
Featuring Audio Interviews with Nick Culves, Steven Talbott and Lizzy Devine !!!!
By Lucky (SugarBuzz Hollywood)

Waking down the Sunset Strip I had chance to reflect on the just how quickly another year has come and gone. Most people enter this state of mind around January One, but I mark another year’s passage by the arrival of summer, which includes, among other stellar events, the infamous Cruefest Hollywood. What’s it been, like 12 of theses annuals so far? Or was it lucky 13? Shit, I can’t keep track any more. I have some wonderful memories from Cruefest past and have seen some amazing and historic performances. No wonder Cruefest Hollywood was back for more.

If you are new to this world, or finally pulling your head out of the sand, Cruefest Hollywood is a charity event, put on, and attended by, fans of Motley Crue. Well it started out that way, but now rockers of all sorts attend, some may not even like Motely Crue (say it isn’t so!).  All proceeds go to the Skylar Neil Foundation to fight children’s cancer. All bands play for free, some even going on at the ungodly hour of say five or six PM. Those who come to bare witness are decked out, (or is that the way they always dress?) Some get wild, some get crazy. Some seek attention and some do not (they call these folks wallflowers). And some accidently show naughty pictures of oneself to unsuspecting beautiful women.

I hit The Whisky later than planned missing out on God knows what, so I can only attest to what I saw, and heard, and felt. So without further adieu, let’s kick some ass!

Living proof that rock and roll will never die took the stage in the entity know as Haunted by Heroes. These young upstarts came on like hurricane winds and never lost gale force. Big guitars, drums and bass equate to arena size power and Haunted by Heroes brought attitude to match. Guitarist Max Hero has some ultra slick licks that propel upward and bassist/lead singer Nick has what it takes to attract the masses and keep their attention. There were lots of HXH fans present and they were up front and center cheering the band on and showing support. Nice draw from an out of town act.

LA’s own Blacklist Union descended the stairs sans Tony West and fired it up loud. I have all of Blacklist Unions music and have been a pretty big fan of this group for quite some time, so I was really excited they were on this year’s bill. Ripping into their set, Tony West came out of nowhere wearing an amazing Native American headdress and some steam punk motorcycle goggles that created an odd display of imagery and defiance. Having to keep their set tapered for time allotment, they were only able to play a handful of their amazing catalogue, but made their choices well. These early slots can be a hit or miss for Cruefest Hollywood bands, and thanks to Blacklist Union, this slot was a hit.

Right after Blacklist Union’s set ended, I hit the sidewalk in front of The Whisky a Go-Go and cornered Cruefest Hollywood promoter Nick Culves for a quick audio interview. Everybody loves Nick and you will too.

Listen to the Nick Culves interview HERE.

Nik Kai brought some heavy metal thunder to The Whisky stage. More than likely, this kid wasn’t even born yet when the first Cruefest Hollywood went down, and in a few short years has learned to shred. Honestly I am not to sure, but I believe the outfit as a whole is known as Kemical Kill. The other guys are definitely talents of their own right, but because of Nik’s enormous prospects they tend to be overshadowed a bit. It was a great performance featuring some great songs, and of course guitar virtuosity.

Bout midway through, and after some backstage shenanigans, I ambled over to the upstairs merchandise tables to peruse the donations, and items for sale. Seems the Whisky has added a photo booth upstairs and while I had a laugh, whom walks by but none other than the super talented and super great guy, Steven Talbott from GutterBoys. Opportunity knocked as I dragged him into the booth for a quick interview.

Listen to the Steven Talbott interview HERE.

The rock never stopped when Valor and Vengeance took the stage with some passionate modern edge music that hit the cusp of industrial without going too hardcore. Radio friendly without the nauseating sell out, this band has destiny inscribed. I recently heard that the singer and the bass player have split, but the band, with new singer in tow, is currently in the studio recording some amazing new music. I can’t wait to hear it.

The moment that many of us had been waiting for dropped as Lizzy Devine returned to rock the shit. As I am sure most of you know, Lizzy left his band Vains of Jenna and for a long stretch dropped off the rock and roll map. Seems the itch caught up to him as he harangued members of The After Hours and others to rip through a fucking amazing set that included some Vain of Jenna classics and some smoking cover tunes. Lizzy is animated and fast moving, putting on the show of shows. He is truly the real deal. Lizzy and I hit the sidewalk to have a chat right after his set.

Listen to the Lizzy Devine interview HERE.

After Lizzy went back into The Whisky, I wandered up to The Bow for a look see. DJ Will was spinning upstairs and there were some familiars holding up the bar. I grabbed a glass and then headed right back to catch the last half of Mandy Lion’s set. Mandy was the lead singer in WW III all those years ago and this guy is still a monster of rock. He’s in great shape and has a delivery like no other. He also has the same belt buckle made infamous back in the FM Station, No Bozo Jam days. Fuck time flies. Heavy duty rock.

We were into the morning hours when GutterBoys struck. I was ready for the motor lane but stayed to hear this band as they are a favorite of Cruefest Hollywood goers. Yes, and I like them too. They have some really catchy songs that damn it, make you feel good and it sure put me in the mood to confront the chaos that waited on the streets. Brian Abretske is an amazing guitarist and Steven Talbot makes good show. They have a new CD that is in heavy rotation in my vehicle, and as soon as I get off my ass, I am gonna review that sucker.

It was time to say goodbye and see you next year, and then I was off, running hard with soaring hopes for next years Cruefest Hollywood.

Cruefest Hollywood
Blacklist Union @ Reverbnation
Nik Kai @ Facebook