Concert Review: Rival Sons

Vinyl at Hard Rock Hotel, Feb. 23

If Robert Plant and Chris Robinson could have an offspring I imagine it would be something as spot-on as Jay Buchanan. The lead singer of Rival Sons delivered one hell of a performance as the Long Beach band blew the roof off Vinyl with a nearly two-hour set of rock ’n’ roll. They came out firing with “Pressure and Time,” “Burn Down Los Angeles” and “Gypsy Heart.” Minus a few excessive song intros—including “Manifest Destiny Pt. 2,” which had fans itching for the quartet to pick up the pace—it was all rock as the band toyed with many tracks off their most recent album, Head Down. Performing the final stop on their North American tour, Scott Holiday’s wicked guitar licks paired with Buchanan’s distinctive and deep pipes to create a Zeppelinesque sound, which resonated with the crowd, particularly when Rival Sons closed out with fan favorite “Keep on Swinging,” and an impromptu instrumental melody covering Muddy Waters and, who else?, Led Zeppelin. ★★★★&#9734

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If you came for a David Bowie tribute, as one dude in full Ziggy Stardust regalia did, you had to wait until well after midnight for a break-even payoff. Opening act Trevor and the Joneses set the tone by spending more time setting up than they did playing. Dale Gilbert—in a velvet bodysuit and black briefs with the word “STAR” written across his snugged sack—sang passable renditions of “Starman” and “All the Young Dudes.” Ryan Pardy of Halloween Town guest voxed “China Girl” to good effect.

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