by NATALIA BRITT
This year, The Whisky has seen its share of iconic musicians performing on its stage for the first time, and, despite being one of the most notable heavy metal bands of their time, Winger somehow had yet to appear at The Whisky before this show.
Excited fans were gathered at the corner of Sunset and Clark way before the venue doors opened. By the time The Whisky finally started letting ticketholders in, there was a massive crowd in front of the building –- a real indication of how memorable the show was going to be.
San Francisco based rock band Evolution Eden kicked the night off, followed by the talented Madysin Hatter, who had also opened for Tom Keifer (whose band includes original Winger keyboardist/guitarist Paul Taylor) just a few weeks ago on the very same stage. Hammering Process then took the stage with some Southern rock riffs and another rock band from northern California, State Line Empire, was the last warm up act prior to Winger’s performance.
Just a few minutes before midnight, Winger finally took the stage opening up with the opening track Midnight Driver of a Love Machine from their new album Better Days Comin’. Then taking the crowd back in time, they raged through Easy Come Easy Go, Hungry, and Pull Me Under.
Energetic, fit, and looking like they were definitely having lots of fun, the members of Winger (which included the aforementioned original keyboardist/guitarist Paul Taylor) made many in attendance think that some type of time warp occurred, as the band members and the music really seem to have passed or even forgone the test of time.
The crowd exploded right at the first song when John Roth and Reb Beach showcased their guitar skills. While Roth had a few acrobatic tricks to demonstrate with his guitar, Beach pleased the fans with an extended guitar solo. As the band went through Stone Cold Killer and Rat Race, drum legend Rod Morgenstein also had his turn to exhibit his skills, while crafting an extremely passionate drum solo.
Taking a detour from the pounding rhythm of the show, the band performed beautiful versions of their hits Miles Away and Headed for a Heartbreak.
Video from the Whisky a Go Go on Twitter:
After playing Tin Soldier from the new album, Winger played three more of their classic songs – Can’t Get Enuff, Madalaine (which was followed by a fantastic guitar solo by Reb Beach), and the iconic Seventeen, which was a real high point of the show.
After Seventeen, Kip Winger took a break to look for a bass player in the audience. After a fan made his way to the stage, he proudly declared “My favorite band of all time is Van Halen.” The band then ripped through Van Halen’s Ain’t Talkin’ ’bout Love, which fired up the crowd one last time before closing a very memorable show.
Kip Winger: lead vocals, bass guitar, keyboards, acoustic guitar.
Reb Beach: lead and rhythm guitar, harmonica(live)
Rod Morgenstein: drums, percussion
John Roth: rhythm and lead guitar, keyboards
Paul Taylor: keyboards and guitars