For me the basis of this show started when I recently did an interview with ANCHORED front man, Brandan Narrell. Also, being a longtime friend of guitarist Michael Thomas through the years, first starting with the band FASTBACK, then FASTER PUSSYCAT and now ADLER’S APPETITE. It was the perfect opportunity to catch both at one time! Dingbatz is basically the only club in northern NJ that brings in these types of bands and usually going to a club in New Jersey is disappointing most of the time as fans do not seem to come out to support the bands. That wasn’t the case tonight as the place was packed. Dingbatz is a small club but it’s a prime place to see a high-quality band like ADLER’S APPETITE. The club could use some better lighting (hint, hint) but otherwise the people at Dingbatz are great and owner Freddie Dingo is a quality person.
We got to the club about 10:00pm getting to see only a glimpse of the first band GRIND AXE. I only caught two songs but from what I heard these guys can bring it. One of the songs was “Ace Of Spades” by MOTORHEAD and it was excellent. I wouldn’t have minded hearing their full set. Funnily enough due to the ADLER”S APPETITE drum kit, singer Paul Sportelli actually did their set standing in the audience because there was no room on the stage!
Next up was local act INFERNOPHONIC. I had never saw them and really wasn’t familiar with the band but a few hours before the show I heard from lead vocalist Elaine Tuttle as we talked back and forth on Facebook. INFERNOPHONIC hit the stage just before 11:00pm and also had very little room to move because of the ADLER’S drum kit. I thought the band were most impressive. Many times opening bands are playing just to get exposure but I’m sure this is not the case with INFERNOPHONIC as they seemed to have many fans in the crowd. The band really impressed me with top quality musicians; a lot of the time bass players have no stage presences (unless your name is Flea, Simmons or Sarzo but bassist Kevin Bolembach was down on one knee tearing it up and with no room on the stage so I can just imagine what he’s capable of with some extra space! Guitarist Pat Piegari was also another impressive part of the band and even driving home my RockEyez partner Mark Balogh was saying how impressed he was. As for myself, I thought the whole band was the full package. Elaine Tuttle, vocally, performance-wise and just pure stage presence-wise was amazing, plus she had most of the guys walking around like stick figures if you get my drift! The band played a full set of originals coming from their 2007 release “Spark It Up” plus a few newbie’s and ending their set with HEART’s “Barracuda”. Would love to see the band again one day. Check them out!
Now on to ANCHORED and what can be said but they were amazing. Vocalist Brandan Narrell is a monster; same with bassist Josh Franklin they looked like they were having a little too much fun and really that’s the way it’s suppose to be in Rock n’ Roll! Their set really wasn’t that long (seven songs), with tracks coming off their new CD “Listen To This”. Ending their set with their anthem “Dirty In Texas” which is one heluva track and also throwing in the BUCKCHERRY’s semi-classic “Crazy Bitch” along the way this band is all about fun and good times. You really gotta check these guys out and pick up their new CD.
Finally we arrived at that point for headliners ADLER’S APPETITE. First off Mr. Steven Adler simply has a glow about himself-a certain charm that endears you to him. He seems so thankful to the fans and wants to give them everything he’s got. After almost every song he thanked the crowd with smiles from ear to ear and I have to give props to the man as it looks to me he doesn’t do his show just for the mighty buck but he really is genuinely enjoying himself. He throws out tons of drumsticks to the audience and still kicks ass on the kit. The band played all of the fan favorites from his previous band and even threw in one new upcoming track called “Alive”. Joining Adler on stage left was guitarist Alex Grossi and bassist Chip Z’nuff. Center stage was new vocalist Rick Stitch and stage right was Michael Thomas quite an impressive set of musicians. Even though Adler is the main attraction here this is a supergroup of sorts with high quality musicianship and energy (well except Chip Z’Nuff-he is not one full of energy but more of a laid-back mellow groove master!). He is a top quality bassist but the main energy in the band goes to Michael Thomas and Rich Stitch and Adler himself. Thomas is the true Rockstar and is non-stop; going down on two knees, smacking fans hands and showing true essences of friendship to the crowd. Vocalist Rick Stitch who I never heard before was also soaked with sweat just like Thomas by the end of the evening. One special moment of the show was when ANCHORED front man Brandan Narrell joined the band on stage for the closing numbers of the night, “Paradise City” (where he even provided the “whistle” just before the tune kicks in) and encore “Welcome To The Jungle”. You just gotta see these guys to believe it; they are like a headline band playing Madison Square Garden on that stage. I just can’t say enough about ADLER’S APPETITE and the only reason I can think of them playing clubs yet is Steven’s love for the fans and wanting to remain in a fan-friendly venue. Otherwise they should be playing Arenas! Don’t be one of those people saying I knew I should have seen them at that club but be one of the lucky ones because they are that good and hearing all those great songs of the past really gets the blood pumping. Thank you Dingbatz for bringing one of the best shows of the year to the fans here in NJ.
Special thanks goes out to not only Dingbatz, ADLER’S APPETITE and the other bands but also to Herb "The Magicman" Newman who was able to make it out to the show earlier in the evening but couldn't stick around the whole night.