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Reviews, Comments & Other Putdowns for this event (by Ray)

A bunch of tribute bands playing Paladino’s again – I’m in!. So, I went to this gig with two lenses and no flash, which may have been a mistake because the lighting was not really up to snuff this night. My two lenses were a 15mm Fisheye f/2.8 and the 70-200mm f/2.8, which should have been enough speed but I could have used some white fill-lights here and there. It seemed like all I was getting was solid yellow or solid red in the shots but that was the obstacle I had to overcome by not having a flash. What I ended up with is quite a few dark images but I tend to like the darker side of photography anyway (good excuse, right?) Here we go…

  • Venue Review – PALADINO’S CLUB:
    I like this place a lot because of numerous reasons but mostly because they let me take my camera and don’t hassle the clientele unless trouble is brewing, which is rare at this venue. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a scuffle or a disagreement here. I hesitate to call it a “Club” because it really is just a cool bar with friendly bartenders and a very smiley waitress, which I find to be a rare watering hole quality. I would probably be there every weekend if it wasn’t so damn far away from where I live. If you are thinking about going then keep in mind that it is NOT the Double Down in Vegas… By that I mean one goes to the Double Down for the Punk’ish vibe and the (usually) down-to-earth folks. One goes to Paladino’s for the Rocker vibe and the (usually) down-to-earth folks. Both of these venues are my favorite places to drink and see bands but they are nothing alike other than they both have pool tables, live bands, and inexpensive drinks. You won’t see the likes of Paris Hilton at either one of these venues so all you douche-bags go elsewhere – please! If you want more info on Paladino’s see below…

  • First Band: CHILL PILL:
    These guys (and gal) perform 80’s covers and pull out some interesting stops as they are not the typical covers one always hears when seeing an 80’s tribute band. They are no Steel Panther but still kinda fun and nothing bad to say about them. They pulled out a Buggles and a Madness tune that I thought were pretty interesting. Check ‘em out at…

  • Second Band: ALLISON CHAINS:
    Man, I love all-girl tributes to bands! They seem to bring a different energy to the stage and can get away with not sounding exactly like the band they are honoring. Sure, there are great tributes out there that are not all-girl but there is just something almost refreshing about girls belting out some rock & metal. I dunno, maybe it’s just me… Anyway, I hadn’t heard of this band before and was looking forward to hearing what they sounded like and to get the chance to shoot them… aaand by “shoot” I mean photograph. They ripped through the AIC catalog and sounded really good. I briefly spoke with the singer and bass player before the gig and they were cool with letting me photograph them. Go support them if you like Alice In Chains as they do the band justice!

  • Third Band: MOTORBREATH:
    A Metallica tribute band that I had not seen before – nice. They definitely don’t try and pull off the look nor does the singer sound a lot like Mr. Hetfield but they sure played the songs well. Let me rephrase the Hetfield comment… The singer definitely hit all the notes (and sounded nice & guttural) but if you go to see them to hear an exact copy of Metallica then you won’t get it. What you will get is a great set of Metallica tunes done very well played by obvious fans who don’t think they are the band – nice to see! Also, they had the Damage Inc. bass player filling in with them – I almost felt like Jason was back in the band! I will definitely go see them again as they played a great selection and appeared to have fun doing so. There aren’t many Metallica tributes out there that can pull it off but they are one of ‘em! Go support them next time they are playing near you.

  • Fourth Band: HOLY DIVER:
    I had seen their name around from time to time but never made it out to see them and am glad I did. These guys pay a GREAT tribute to the late Ronnie James Dio and can’t recommend them enough. If you like the music Dio put out from way back until now then you will have a good time at a Holy Diver show. I don’t recall hearing anything from Ronnie’s band Elf (from the 1960’s) but they did go back to a few Rainbow songs, which were really cool to hear. The band focused on the Dio solo material, the Sabbath years and Rainbow for the set – if you want to see a setlist then check out the last photo in the gallery to get an idea of some of the songs they played. I came into this gig thinking that “this band will be just OK” but they were pretty amazing. I tend to be a little “snobby” when I hear tributes to bands that hold a great place in my heart and this was no exception, but they cured me of that pesky quality. I saw Dio back in the 80’s with Sabbath and then throughout the years as a solo performer, starting with Aerosmith and Dio opening the show! Aerosmith was horrible and fantastic at the same time (the sans-Joe Perry years were a intoxicated mess for the Aero-lads) but Dio just completely outclassed them that night. Anyway, I went on to see the next four Dio tours throughout the years and then caught them every so often until somewhat recently when he played with Iron Maiden and Motorhead in Long Beach. That was the last time I ever saw RJD perform live. In typical fashion, I digress from the subject at hand… Make sure to check out Holy Diver as they truly deliver a wonderful tribute to Mr. Ronnie James Dio’s career and I’m pretty sure Dio himself would agree! Here is a link to the Holy Diver website – check them out:

Also, there is a Cancer fund that was started in Ronnie James Dio’s name called the Stand Up & Shout Fund if you are looking for a cause to donate to. I know Holy Diver has been getting involved with it as well through Ronnie’s management so please take a look when you have a moment. I know there are a gazillion causes out there all asking for money but I feel like Stand Up & Shout is really going to help individuals and not organizations. You can read more about it on Dio’s official page:

You can also send donations directly to: Niji Entertainment Group, 12400 Ventura Blvd. #624, Studio City, CA, 91604.

Nuff said…

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