Photos: Joe Schaeffer
I find it a bit ironic that thirty years ago Vixen was struggling with a misogynist market that just refused to give an all female band any consideration. It's my opinion that Vixen was one of the best bands to come out of the Sunset Strip at the time. I'm still a huge a fan and I still play their music often. So, from this point on I refuse to even concern myself with their gender. They're a great band...Nuff' said.
I've been a fan of Vixen since their debut album back in 1988 when the video for "Edge Of A Broken Heart" was in heavy rotation on MTV. I immediately loved their songs and presentation. The band released their follow up album "Rev It Up" in 1990 which was soon followed by a world tour opening for Kiss and Deep Purple as well as their own headlining shows. Unfortunately, due to musical differences the band split up in 1991.
The Whisky in West Hollywood was packed as the band hit the stage. Opening with "Rev It Up" the crowd was eagerly awaiting and definitely fired up for this show. Following the opening with the single "How Much Love" from the second album, it quickly became apparent that this is a band of seasoned players. Vocalist Janet Gardner has a fantastic voice and she immediately takes control of the show. Engaging every member of the audience, it's obvious she's being doing it a long time. The rhythm section of bassist Share Ross and drummer Roxy Petrucci are solid and keep the foundation strong. Newcomer Britt Lightning rounds out the quartet and she's one hell of a guitarist.
The band was aware of the audience and consistently kept them engaged. One of the highlights for me was the band "jamming" a bit in the middle of the song "I Want You To Rock Me", incorporating "Perfect Strangers" by Deep Purple and The Beatles classic "Come Together." The show was extremely well rehearsed. Bassist Share Ross taking over lead vocals on the Humble Pie classic "I Don't Need No Doctor" hit a sentimental spot for me. I believe the late Steve Marriott is amongst the greatest vocalist in Rock N' Roll and the ladies did the song justice.
Other highlights included "Love Is A Killer" again showcasing Gardner's vocals. Closing the show was one of my personal favorite songs by the band, "Streets in Paradise." Of course the fired up crowd demanded an encore and the band returned to the stage at a very late hour with their biggest hit "Edge Of A Broken Heart."
Vixen was one of the more fun shows I've seen this year. This latest mini tour covered four states (Colorado, Utah, Arizona and California) back to back in four straight nights. In this age of Classic Rock revival shows, Vixen is definitely one of the best bands out there.
Vixen will release “Live Fire” via Rat Pak Records on July 6, 2018. Mixed by Michael Wagener, “Live Fire” features 12 live tracks and was recorded at Chicago's legendary Arcada Theater during the group’s successful 2017 tour. In addition to the classic Vixen songs, the effort also includes a newly recorded studio version of “You Ought to Know by Now”, an all new studio acoustic version of their hit song “Edge of a Broken Heart” and a live version of a previously unreleased track called “Big Brother”.
Janet Gardner – Vocals, Share Ross – Bass, Roxy Petrucci – Drums and Britt Lightning – Guitar
Rev It Up
How Much Love
One Night Alone
I Want You to Rock Me (including Perfect Strangers & Come Together)
I Don't Need No Doctor
Love Is a Killer
You Oughta Know By Now
Love Made Me
Streets in Paradise
Edge of a Broken Heart
All Images © Joe Schaeffer Photography 2018
Complete album can be found here:
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