“School’s Out” had finished. People began to leave the arena – it was after all, the way every other Hollywood Vampires gig had finished on the tour, and it is, in honesty one of the most iconic songs of all time.


Well, you know that thing we call heavy metal? It was invented about three miles from here. When a man lost the top of his finger in a factory. And that man, Tony Iommi, is here tonight and he’s here for a run through “Paranoid”.

And that, ladies and gents, is the sort of Premier League this is dealing in.

Rewind three hours and San Francisco’s The Tubes are here. They’ve opened for Alice Cooper before, and they are suitably unhinged. What they are definitely not, though, is punk. Often lumped in lazily with that type of thing, Fee Waybill’s troops are way more arty than that, “What Do You Want” and “She’s A Beauty” come and go, but Weebill’s costume changes are incredible. A backing singer dressed as a nurse appears after each song with yet another item of clothing, and if his voice is occasionally lacking, then it doesn’t matter too much given the passion with which they deliver “Trouble” and “Mondo Bondage”. “White Punks On Dope” – the one that most of the audience seems to know, probably given Motley Crue’s patronage of it – is almost 50 years old and sounds fresh as a daisy, and they finish with a cover of The Beatles “I Saw Her Standing There”. The irony of those words isn’t lost, lets be honest, no one here is just 17 anymore, but class doesn’t disappear and through the years, the line-up changes and the rest, The Tubes still have that.

Let’s get it over and done with. The Hollywood Vampires are famous. Dead famous. There’s not many rooms where Alice Cooper isn’t the most recognisable person in it, but what about this one? Joe Perry is here, and so is Johnny Depp.


But look, the Vampires might be the most Premier League jam band of all time, but they are rather good. There’s a lot of their own stuff here too, “I Want My Now” is a cracker, and yes, it sounds like a modern day Alice tune, but so what?

The covers are interesting. “I’m Eighteen” might count as one, it might not, but it’s one of the best songs ever made. The original “My Dead Drunk Friends” is a nod to how this band started – they were a famous drinking club, of which Coop is the only one left.

And that’s sort of how it goes. One of theirs and one of their mates. Joe Perry sings “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory” and is surprisingly sneering, and “Who’s Laughing Now” is followed by Jim Carrol’s “People Who Died” which sees Depp centre stage – he spends most of the time in the shadows. He also sings “Heroes” before they pay homage to one of theirs.

There’s been a white guitar on the drum riser all night, and Depp explains it belonged to Jeff Beck. He hands it to Joe Perry for a mighty tribute.

Perry then plays “Bright Light Fright” – an obscure Aerosmith track and proof that this doesn’t do cliches is underlined by “The Death And Resurrection Show”, which you probably weren’t expecting unless you know your Killing Joke.

“Walk This Way” and “Train Kept-A Rolling” make it a bit of an Aerosmith love in (Cooper calls the Yardbirds “our favourite band” but The Toxic Twins always played it) which leaves us where we came in.

And all of this is why this might, basically be a covers band, but good grief, they are a good one. There’s not many outfits with this level of stardust, and they sprinkle it all over the place here. If you don’t overthink it, The Hollywood Vampires are not so much out for blood, but they are a damn good time.

More From Author


Popular Posts

Latest Gig Reviews

Latest Music Reviews


Band Of The Day