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cmatthes

STARZ/Angel...it’s the ‘70s again!

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Last night, Elduave and I headed out for one of our concert buddy excursions.  It’d been a crap week, so I was more than ready to get out for a bit.  

‘70s superband STARZ was opening for other ‘70s act and wearers of white leather, Angel (featuring DC local, Punky Meadows) in a Baltimore suburb.  Sign me up!

Fairly small club that gets a ton of great acts somehow, and the opener for the opener even closed their set with Ace Frehley’s Solo classic, “Snowblind”!

STARZ was extremely solid, despite Michael Lee Smith’s recent major medical issues...not to mention that he’s been battling a severe cold and is 67.  Joe X Dube held down the kit with a master’s touch and surprising power; the twin guitar tour de force of Alex Kane and Ritchie Ranno kept things rockin’ with some Lizzy-esque harmony leads and heavy riffing; new(ish) bass guy, George DiAna pumped out a powerful, Entwistle-like tone the whole set on an early ‘80s Black & White Checkerboard Hamer Cruisebass. Michael’s vocals started off a bit rough, but he definitely warmed up by mid-set, despite the cold and sore throat - none of that slowed him down, as he stalked the stage in his kilt like a guy half his age.

We got to hang with the band for a bit afterwards and Alex was especially willing to talk touring, Chicago bands/Cheap Trick and gear geekery with El n’ me. He’s wrapping up the STARZ shows in early May and then out with E’Nuff-Z-Nuff for a bit.  He definitely wanted to check out the Hamer book, and talked about some of the cool Hamers he had when he was an endorsee in the ‘80s and ‘90s.  

As an added treat, we got to catch up with HFC’er Len and his lovely wife.  A great night all around.

Angel was also there.

 

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I had an album of them once, though it wasn't that bad, their songs didn't stay with me. All I remember is Zappa's song "Punky's Whips", but I read that Punky Meadows was cool with it.

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Posted (edited)

I used to see both of them opening for national acts at the Spectrum in Philly.  Angel at least once, Starz multiple times.  I owned a couple of their albums, too.

Sounds like a fun show.

Edited by Rich_S
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Posted (edited)

Great.  Now I have “Subway Terror” running through my head.

Edited by Rich_S
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Posted (edited)

One of my friends saw them two shows earlier and another saw the last show.  From your review, it seems like Starz was pretty damn good, but "Angel was also there"  doesn't sound that great. I've never warmed up to Angel, but I'm curious as to what their shortcomings were.

Edited by tommy p

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9 hours ago, cmatthes said:

 

 

 

 

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Hey!  Cool tattoo!

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40 minutes ago, tommy p said:

I was never able to warm up to Angel, but I'm curious as to what their shortcomings were.

Sucking, for one. 

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2 hours ago, RobB said:

Sucking, for one. 

I guess you have never heard their first album. It was one of the most progressive albums of that Era. It still holds up today. I will admit, it went all down hill from there with record company pressure to make teeny bopper radio friendly pop hits. Chriss a little blurp about their set would be appreciated.

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Had all the Starz albums. All good except Attention Shoppers. Still play them on my Spotify playlist. Never a Angel fan. 

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3 hours ago, DeVai said:

I guess you have never heard their first album. It was one of the most progressive albums of that Era. It still holds up today. I will admit, it went all down hill from there with record company pressure to make teeny bopper radio friendly pop hits. Chriss a little blurp about their set would be appreciated.

To be fair, I do like, “The Tower”, and, “Don’t Leave Me Lonely.” I look back at Angel like they were a marketing experiment gone totally wrong. 

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In all honesty, I was kind of put off by their attitude before they even got onstage.  Several of the nameless/faceless band doods sure seemed awfully full of themselves for a band that had more lame than good stuff.  They were in a crummy biker bar acting like they were the freaking Stones, which was kind of funny to me, especially as they pushed through the bar patrons while they put on their white stage costumes.

To be fair, they sounded pretty tight and not bad at all, but nothing memorable, which was kind of disappointing.  Probably 90% of the crowd were women in their late 50s/early 60s blocking every view with their cell phones anyway.  We had way more fun hanging out and chatting with Michael Lee and Alex afterwards, and they couldn't have been friendlier.

 

Angel.jpg

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Alex’s band Life, Sex and Death was very cool and interesting but sadly caught in that late 80’s early 90’s seismic shift.        Bill Aucoin is from next town over to where I grew up and had relatives in my town.   one of em brought in all these cool albums to school    Piper, Angel     I wasn’t really into rock at the time  (baseball) but I was like   Wow that chick really knows her stuff     But couldn’t get into angel at all   Still can’t  

 

 

 

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We were cranking some Life, Sex and Death on the way home afterwards.  Alex had a few, um...interesting stories about that band.

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Posted (edited)

Always good to see CMatthes and ElDuave ... My good friend Geo's band PUSH played before STARZ who were great and very cool. and down to earth. I felt bad for Angel, who seemed to be grasping on to fame of the past, Especially Punky Meadows bad wig and Botox ...

Edited by Len
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I give PUSH 100,000 points for covering "Snowblind"!!

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On 4/21/2019 at 5:45 PM, DaveL said:

Alex’s band Life, Sex and Death was very cool and interesting but sadly caught in that late 80’s early 90’s seismic shift.       

Agreed! I caught them just as they peaked and slipped into 90's obscurity. Great, quirky band!

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6 hours ago, diablo175 said:

Agreed! I caught them just as they peaked and slipped into 90's obscurity. Great, quirky band!

"Quirky" is probably an understatement!

They were a Hamer-endorser band though...

https://youtu.be/DUKso4DsTwE

 

https://youtu.be/w-GrVVzspTA

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