Concert Review: Hessler bombards Jammin' Joe's with a metal explosion
Posted on January 2, 2013
Some say hair metal is dead….that 80’s big hair rock n roll is a thing of the past. Well, not if Hessler has anything to say about it. Although they call Chicago home when they’re not on the road, they look, act and sound like they stepped straight off Sunset Strip circa 1987. And they have a mission. They want to create the same hair metal explosion that rocked Hollywood over thirty years ago, only they want to do it in Chicago. You never know what might happen, because if other hair bands in the Chicago area see Hessler doing their thing, having fun and meeting with some modicum of success it might be hard for them not to jump on the band wagon (pun intended).
Thanks to Wolfpack Productions Hessler made a stop at Jammin’ Joes in Arvada while on a mini two to three week tour. I had seen Hessler videos on YouTube, but I have to admit I was woefully unprepared for what these Chicago rockers bring to the stage.
Hessler truly did rock but so did the band Steel March who went on right before Hessler so we have to give a special shout out to Steel March for rocking Jammin’ Joe’s.
Steel March out of Cheyenne Wyoming is a three piece band that plays straight up rock n roll. Comprised of a very good looking female bass/vocalist, a killer guitar player, and slammin’ drummer Steel march definitely rocked the house with a good mix of original music and covers. Singer Juliet’s vocals have a wide range which allows Steel March to cover tunes from Pantera to Rush, back to Pantera, to Black Sabbath and almost everything in between. But they also shine on their originals where Juliet’s voice sounds like a cross between Johnette Napolitano from Concrete Blonde (they also covered Concrete Blonde and sounded great doing it) and Linda Perry from Four Non Blondes.
Juliet may be a treat to look at with her waist long mane of hair that is constantly flying all over the place, but if you only concentrate on the lead vocalists looks you’ll end up missing the best part of the show which is the music. Honestly Steel March is a force to be reckoned with, and they sounded terrific.
Back to the article at hand.
Once the lights dimmed it was time for Hessler to take the stage. Guitarists Igz and Frankie, drummer Marcus and bassist Erik hit the stage first with Lariyah waiting just off stage for the right queue. Once she pounced on stage they lit into an electrifying set.
The stage became a flurry of activity with Lariyah Daniels at the center of it all. Upon seeing the members of Hessler you may think you know what kind of show you’re in for…..and you’d be partly right, but only partly. Yeah, they do kind of tread waters in the whole 80’s rock thing, but they also have a modern edge to them and some serious talent to boot, which makes Hessler very listenable….and a very fun band to watch for any rockers from age 15 to 50.
The connection between the band members is evident and they play off each other well almost like they know what each other will do before they do it. Of course during some points during the show the same choreographed moves made so famous by the likes of Warrant and Bon Jovi came into play. But it wasn’t cheesy at all. In fact it was kind of refreshing because in a world where most bands don’t care about their looks or the theatrics of a great show Hessler understands, and embraces, the need for the entertainment side of music wholeheartedly.
The shredding dual guitars of Igz Kincaid and Frankie Sripada, the thundering bass from Erik Michael and monstrous drumming from Marcus Lee let you know that you are indeed in the company of accomplished musicians that care about what they are doing and the type of music they play. There was also palpable passion emanating from the band members as they flew through a solid set of hard rock numbers that bordered on heavy metal.
When you throw the killer voice of Lariyah Daniels on top of the already impressive music you get an almost perfect storm of rock n roll. Don’t be fooled by Lariyah’s model looks, this lady can sing. She has one of those voices that can go from angel sweet to kick your ass aggressive in an instant…..and that’s a beautiful thing to hear…..and see if you catch my drift. Although Lariyah is a talented vocalist and eye candy for the guys, the women in the audience will also be pleased with the bare chested, bad boy good looks of the guys in the
band. I know this because while the audience was mostly male I did hear women in the crowd whistling and wolf howling throughout the show.
The two most memorable moments of the night had to be when Lariyah donned a leather blindfold for the song “Confessions” and sang blindfolded all the way through, and when they lit into the final song of the night, “Windy City Wild Child”. For some reason during Windy City you could really see the determination of the band, how much fun they were having, and how much they really love what they do.
Hessler has taken the 80’s hard rock sensibilities and modernized it just enough to win over fans of current rock/metal yet kept it steeped in the 80’s roots enough to appeal to fans of the decade of decadence. With tons of hair, some serious hair flipping, leather stage garb, classic 80’s choreographed moves and some high energy, balls to the wall rock n roll Hessler won over the crowd at Jammin’ Joe’s that night, and to be honest they have won me over as well.
One thing is for sure….I won’t be missing them on their next go around through my city.
Check out our pre show interview with Hessler at Jammin' Joe's HERE!
All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.com
All Photos Copyright © 2012 Interstatelive.com
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Igz Kincaid and Lariyah Daniels of Hessler on Stage.
Photo by Paul Edmisson
Hessler on Stage at Jammin' Joes. Photo by Paul Edmisson