The 2014 concert season kickstarted our hearts Saturday night, as all-female tribute bands Girls Girls Girls and Guns n’ Hoses welcomed us to “the vajungle” with classic Motley Crue and Gn’R albums at Bowery Ballroom.
Despite the nasty weather and Manhattan post-storm slush, the Bowery was packed for Girls Girls Girls’ headlining show, boasting the entire Too Fast For Love album played straight through, with another full set of Crue songs added for good measure.
First though, Guns n’ Hoses tore through each track of Appetite for Destruction (although not in album order). She-Axl and she-Slash (Axl Hose and Gash, respectively) not only ripped through the timeless guitar lines and lyrics, but did so while appropriately decked out in bandannas and top hats, dancing and shimmying and even reproducing the real rock stars’ tattoos on their arms (see my slideshow on the left sidebar).
It’s not easy nailing Axl’s ear-popping high notes and rapid fire rapping, but Ms. Hose was mostly right on point as she belted out song after song, especially the blistering Out To Get Me and fan-favorite Mr. Brownstone, and the band perfectly hit every single note, riff and beat of the Appetite record. Fans sang along to every tune, even the oft-overlooked Think About You, and at times it was hard to tell who was having more fun - the wild-eyed band or the hard-drinking, loud-singing audience.
Guns n' Hoses brought the youthful, garage rock exuberance many of us still associate with our first teenage listens of Appetite, but Girls Girls Girls took the night to the next level with the all-out perfection and professional that the real Motley Crue has set as the standard of their modern day shows (read my review of their 2012 Jones Beach show with KISS right here).
Frontwoman ‘Vixen Neil’ stormed the stage in her spiky leather outfit, tearing right into Live Wire with all the piss and bite of the original track. Not only did Vixen’s vocals sound perfect the entire night, I’d suggest she actually out-sang the real Vince at times.
The entire Girls Girls Girls band plays incredibly tight, and bashed their way through Too Fast For Love almost too fast, visiting favorites like Merry-Go-Round and Starry Eyes that fans haven’t heard the real band play for years. Guitarist Mercedes Mars sizzled on all of Mick’s best guitar lines, and even styled her hair to look just like his.
Founding bassist Patricia Nilsen joined the band for their first post-Too Fast song, party favorite and band namesake Girls Girls Girls, and random girls from the crowd soon ended up on stage singing and dancing along to Dr. Feelgood.
The girls in both tribute bands took their roles so seriously they even recreated the infamous MTV Vince and Axl feud, both singers wrestling and rolling around on stage as they fought over the microphone during Wild Side. And just like a real Crue show, it was Home Sweet Home that settled down the crowd, everyone singing along as drummer Tawny Lee played the keys to the classic ballad.
Thanks to their staggering 18 song set, Girls Girls Girls played well past midnight, giving New Yorkers their first real 2014 dose of metal by including the riff-heavy Shout at The Devil and Kickstart My Heart, complete with fist-pumping, headbanging action from the audience.
With a slim picking of concerts for the rest of January (see my concert schedule preview for the month here), Saturday night’s show might stand as the hardest rocking show of the year for the foreseeable future, and it’s a title well-earned.
All-girl tributes are becoming more and more popular, and it’s hard to argue against the winning combination of sexy musicians playing the dirtiest and sleaziest rock songs. Both Girls Girls Girls and Guns n’ Hoses are NYC bands, so keep an eye out for future local performances by these glam-loving, guitar shredding vixens!
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