A true legend of the classic rock scene after playing with the likes of Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy, Journey and many more, Marco Mendoza returned to his solo project earlier this year, bringing out an album and announcing an extensive tour. Taking along the phenomenal Bad Actress along with him on the UK leg of the tour, it was set to be a fantastic couple of weeks! We managed to head along to Chesterfield’s legendary Real Time Live last night to catch the show in person and chat to both bands. Check out what we thought below!
After a slightly late start, Bad Actress take to the stage to much fan-fair. And, to put it simply, they tear the stage a new one. I’ve not seen a band so young have such stage presence, attitude and energy for a long time. In fact, scratch that. I haven’t seen a band of ANY age have this much of those qualities in a long time. The band tour that stage up from the moment they got on it to the moment they left. That sort of performance seems reserved for just a few medium sized bands nowadays, so to see it in such an intimate venue from a younger band is fantastic.
They ripped through a full set of their own glam/sleaze tracks, that a lot of the audience seemed to know and enjoy. Every member of the band shone, from the tight rhythm section to Vinnie’s amazing vocals to the frankly insane leads from Chick. All of their talent blends well into their combined songwriting, too. Tracks like ‘Outta My Head’ and ‘High-Speed Heartbreak’ are firm fan favourites and sound if anything better live than they do on track. These guys are gonna be MASSIVE in the very near future, and I can’t wait to see them play to packed out, huge crowds.
When asked about what being on the tour with Marco was like, Chick and Lui had this to say:
‘It’s been really good actually. He’s a really supportive guy. This is his second time taking us out. We’ve got him in the van actually for this tour! We just brought ourselves a new van back in July and kitted it out with like seats and a table. It’s got nine seats so we’ve got all of his three in too. It’s all good craic getting to know each other! We had to come over from Swansea this morning; it was a long drive but it was good fun!‘.
Then the main man himself took to the stage. The anticipation in the air was palpable, and as soon as Marco Mendoza and his band ripped into the first few notes of the lead single of New Direction, ‘Take it to the Limit’, everyone cut loose. From the crowd singing along and dancing to the band’s high energy, the whole room kept the buzz high.
From there, Marco and co ripped through his back catalogue, playing the very best of his solo stuff, alongside a few cheeky highlights from his time in Thin Lizzy and other covers. Whether it was Thin Lizzy, Stevie Wonder or even Plastic Ono, all were fantastic. Heck, bringing Vinnie and Chick out at the end to jam ‘Boys are Back in Town’ with them was amazing, and went down a storm. However, his own material arguably went down even better. Tracks like ‘New Direction’, ‘Sue is on the Run’ and ‘Sweetest Emotion’ were clear crowd favourites, even more so than some of the Lizzy classics.
Much like Bad Actress, each of the three members got to show off their incredible talents for their instruments, too. Honestly, this felt like a set for the musicians in the audience. Between the extended instrumental parts in a few songs, drum and bass solos and even some beatboxing/scatting from Marco, there was plenty to love even when there were no vocals at play.
When talking about his recent approach to touring, Marco had some very candid words to say:
‘We’re out there making a difference. What’s going on now with the state of mind of the fans and the music industry alike, worldwide, is that people are very apprehensive, very concerned. They really think about it twice, buying that ticket, going out to that show or supporting that venue. I’m here as a little reminder to say that if we don’t make a difference, it’ll all go. We’ve seen it, the past year or two, some of my favourite venues here and in LA and New York and everywhere, they’re disappearing.
‘So, something to think about folks; please make an effort to show up when your local bands are playing, national or international, and support the local venues. Without them, there’s no place to play! Whenever you can, make a difference‘.
So, as I’m sure you can tell, it was one hell of a gig. Both bands are on a roll currently, both live and on track. They still have plenty of stops left on the tour, too, so if you can make it down to any to them I would very much urge you to do so. You won’t be disappointed!