Bang Tango/ House of Lords in Worcester, MA

By Debby Rao, Boston Contributor
Tuesday, January 23, 2007 @ 4:50 PM

At Lucky Dog Music Hall

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Two bands that stood out during the 80’s metal scene, Bang Tango and House of Lords are currently teaming up for a double bill of 80's rock and roll nostalgia. Although Joe LeSte of Bang Tango and James Christian of House of Lords are the only two original members left in both bands, their signature voices made for an enjoyable night of music. In order to breathe new life into their bands, both Joe and James had to assemble a new line-up that is comparable to their signature sound. Both bands are touring in support of their latest albums, which include Bang Tango's "From The Hip" on Perris Records, and House of Lords, "World Upside Down" on Frontiers Records. Original House of Lords keyboard player Greg Giuffria does handle some keyboard parts on "World Upside Down”, even though he no longer tours with the band.

These days the new Bang Tango line-up features Joe LeSte on vocals, Timmy Russell on drums, Michael Thomas on guitar, and Lance Eric on bass. House of Lords features James Christian on vocals, Jimi Bell from Connecticut on lead guitar, B.J. Zampa on drum, and Chris Mccarvill on bass. Guitarist Jimi Bell, is also a left handed guitarist, who did a great job of infusing his own 80’s riff infused guitar style on all of the House of Lords classic tunes. House of Lords were always known for their monstrous sound and power vocals. The new line-up holds true to the old one.

House of Lords hit the stage at 11:00 P.M. and performed a vast array of all their classic MTV hits and even included three new songs from their latest album,” World Upside Down" in an hour long set. House of Lords have been performing a lot in Europe lately, so this was first time seeing the band in a long time. I was anxious to hear how House of Lords would sound without Greg Giuffria and Chuck Wright and Lanny. These days, Greg has taken the business path in Las Vegas and Chuck Wright is back in Quiet Riot.

House of Lords opened with "Sahara, and then slammed in "Talkin About Love". It was great to see that James Christian still had his powerful vocal style that really hasn’t changed much since the 80’s. James Christian still has his signature quality voice that was popular back in the MTV heyday. You would think that would Gene Simmons behind the band, in the 80's, that House of Lords would have become more of a household name, back in the day. Lead guitarist Jimi Bell is an 80's shredder that fit right into the House of Lords melodic pop sound.

I had the opportunity to hear House of Lords perform three new songs of "World Upside Down", which included, "Rock Bottom", "I'm Free", and "These Are The Times". The new songs follow in the mold of "Sahara". I spoke to James Christian about the new album and he said," We wanted to keep the signature melodic hard rock sound that House Of Lords is known for, and to just update it a little with modern production. We wanted to stay true to 80’ our roots. "World Upside Down" is a band effort. We have been playing a lot in Europe. "World Upside Down" is Number on the radio station ARFM in Europe. The fans in Europe still love 80's music. House of Lords are still very big over there. The market is huge for metal in Europe. House of Lords will be touring Europe beginning February 14th. We will be playing Germany, Switzerland, and Italy.

One of the interesting aspects that struck me about the House of Lords set was the quality of musicianship. James still has that quality voice that was in tip-top shape during the set and especially on the acoustic version of "Can’t Find My Way Home". The band had a huge power sound, for the tiny Lucky Dog Music Hall. It was great to hearing "Edge of Life" again. I highly recommend checking out the new version of House of Lords. It is hard to keep a band together for over twenty years, but James Christian is trying to bring his signature sound back to the House of Lords fans in the U.S., assembling a great new lineup that wants to tour and create new music reminiscent of the old school House of Lords sound, yet with a touch of modern day ambiance.

House of Lords Set List:

  • Sahara
  • Talkin Bout Love
  • Love Don't Lie
  • Rock Bottom
  • Edge Of Your Life
  • Wanna Be Loved
  • These Are The Times
  • Can't Find My Way Home
  • I'm Free
  • Pleasure Palace
  • Slip Of The Tongue
Next up it was 1 A.M. and the party was just getting started! Joe LeSte and Bang Tango were about to hit the stage. Back in the day, Bang Tango was one of the first bands to emerge out of the Sunset Strip scene. Raw, real, and honest best describe Joe LeSte. These days a lot of the band emerging out of Europe is trying to recreate that Glam-punk sound. But Joe and Bang Tango really were one of the bands in Los Angeles that started it all. Bang Tango had a great funky Glam/Punk sound, and cult following that inspired their hit,” Someone Like You'. These days Joe LeSte is not punching the clock on nostalgia. Joe is a career musician, who lives to perform, and always puts on a dynamite show. Joe is from the old school of rock, where Guns N'Roses ruled the world. He is has a funky, unique voice that screams with passion, and charismatic stage appeal.

So it is 1 A.M. and Joe and his new version of Bang Tango hit the stage. The band performed songs from, “Ready to Go", “Psycho Cafe", and "From The Hip", and throw in an AC/DC cover and there you go. Joe is one of those singers, who can sing anything and make any song his own. Joe use to front an AC/DC tribute band Thunderstruck, so you know where his rock and roll roots come from.

Bang Tango then slammed into "Dancin on Coals". I am use to seeing Alex Grossi playing guitar for Joe. But Michael Thomas did a good job of bringing that funky, Glam-punk sound to the plate.

Joe was in rare form, strutting around the stage with his Jagger like mannerisms, and getting everyone in the audience dancing.

"Someone Like You" brought back memories of the Bang Tango's heyday. Where bands like Love/Hate and Gene Loves Jezebel ruled MTV.

Joe LeSte and Bang Tango turned the quiet little city of Worcester into Sunset Strip for a night. It was almost 2 A.M. and Bang Tango was still going strong. Joe was happy to return to his Boston roots, and yes Ladies; Joe is as still as sexy as his MTV days. Enjoy a few pics from the show, and be sure to check out both Bang Tango and House of Lords on tour this month.

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