Project Steiger Slays Hollywood's Dragonfly Feb 28
This was definitely a night of explosive surprises that I didn't see walking into a barely filled, dankly lit lower-end club on my coveted Hollywood metal scene that I have been infamously covering now for the better part of three years. The opener was JOY BASU, the self-proclaimed man behind the "Mashups, Remixes and Originals with Live Guitars". He is extrememly well known around the globe already for the very fact that he is many top pop acts sit-in guitar player when they perform on TV and the such, household names like Jessica Simpson. He has performed on many well known national TV shows like The Late Show and so many countless others. He has a new album out called SinErgy which is essentially trance, house, techno, breakbeats, and a touch of industrial edge with good ole fashioned metal licks. He did not have a backup band on the stage with him this night, deciding to simply play his guitar over the top of a slew of well known radio hits pumped out the club's loudspeakers, with three hot as all hell chicks dancing nearby him that gyrated and thrusted their hips until my eyeballs literally popped out their own damn sockets. Two things right off the bat that I noticed about this kid: one, he can play the electric guitar extremely well. There were flashes of brilliance from him that had to be seen to be believed. Two, you just couldn't hear most of it with all the layers upon layers of effects he was using on top of the piped in drum and backing techno music tracks. I think he definitely needs to get serious about using a real live rock n roll band behind him and focus less on the techno and more on the metal. Period. Let me conclude that he's got enough stage presence for ten Hollywood axe strutters. And that says a lot cause most these types look like sexy women in makeup to begin with.
Next up was a performance by a man that really should need no introduction. But he does, because he's still pretty much making his way through the red tape of the business on the way to being crowned one of rock's brightest living guitar talents. The man is Ken Steiger. The band is PROJECT STEIGER. They flatout ripped everyone sitting in the audience a new asshole. I wish I could come up with a more delicate way to put things, I just can't. It literally took me two songs after the opening song 'KT Boundary Event' from his latest instrumental full-length album: Defiance, to realize that I was still on planet earth. His soaring and electrifying crush of one fist-pumping shred-off after the next, became almost too much to handle at one point for me. And the set actually started off with a sinister-like impromptu jam between Steiger and his band, spearheaded by the monster drumming assault of Duayne Howard. I knew as soon as Ken Steiger took the stage that something special was about to happen,the literal aura about him, and I thank the metal Gods for not letting me down. I can't even begin to put into words what was unleashed upon all of us in the crowd, for I'm still seriously trying to figure it out. I have seen the greats like SRV, Page, Wylde.. and so many more in live situations. And though it's been at the latter stages of all their careers, none of these guys struck the kind of lasting impression with me. It was almost like Ken Steiger stepped up last night into his own destiny finally. A destiny as a guitar great that he's been chasing like so many countless others, yet is hardly ever reached, since he first strapped on a guitar as a child. The man has literally taught guitar techniques and mentored dozens upon dozens of recognizable music industry names during his current ten year tenure at the prestigious Musicians (G.I.T.) Institute in Hollywood. Even Zakk Wylde himself knows the damage this man can bring to the six strings, a respect for another guitar virtuoso that cannot be denied. Credit needs to be given as well to Project Steiger as a unit on this night... for they truly came together and were one, something that doesn't happen even with the top name rock acts in the biz. I can't tell you how many times I've gone and paid for a show in the past where the drummer or bass player took a vacation on the stage. Steiger launched into 'Rockit' mid-way into the set and obviously it touched me in a profound manner, cause here I'm trying to pick my jaw up off the floor and I hear this guitar great say my nickname from the stage. That song shook me all night long.. and it still is. In closing on all of this, the band peformed some new tracks that even sound heavier than anything they've done before, so I cannot wait to hear what's to come from his next full-length offering that is expected to have several top name talents attached as guest performers. The fact remains that Eddie Van Halen doesn't want to go out and play right now for his fans at this point, a very sore spot being left of course with the very inhabitants of L.A.'s rock scene that put him and his soon to be inducted to the rock hall band at the top of the heap some nearly thirty years ago. Well, here's your answer right here. Get out and see Project Steiger. It will electrify you like no other rock performance going today.
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