It is never easy for a band to headline an event which consists of five opening acts. Especially when the audience consists of many who must head home before the babysitter bills climb higher than the price of a used Lamborghini.
Nasty Habits, the Rolling Stones Tribute band extraordinaire, pulled off an incredible set to the true Rock n Rollers who stayed the course.
Nasty habits prevailed !
The seven piece band complete with two female back up singers ( a la Lisa Fisher and Cindy Mizille) Any Perrini and Mannon Bedard, started their set in pure Stones’ style. Raw, almost unhinged chords pierced the audience with a sound unmatched in Rock history. The sound of the Rolling Stones.
To be a Rolling Stones’ Tribute band is not as easy as acting like Mick Jagger or carrying on offstage like Keith Richards and Ron Wood. If it were simple – imitators would be flattering the ‘Bad Boys of Rock n Roll’ more frequently than a trip to the corner store to get smokes.
To ape The Glimmer Twins, to parody the easiest visual parody ever to grace a stage requires two things; knowledge and passion. Sweat and tone are the ingredients which have made The Stones endure and are the requirements to pull off a tribute with integrity.
Nasty Habits posses these qualities.
Led by Mick Jagger ( aka Tony Vilardi) , the band has been schooled in Stones 101, 201, 301 – everything Stones until Sept. 4th 2015.
‘It’s Only Rock n Roll’ but Nasty Habits like it and it shows.
Vilardi is the ringleader. Life copies art in the case of Nasty Habits. On stage, tearing through the vocal parts of an opening song line – up; ‘Start Me Up’, ‘ Let’s Spend the Night Together’, ‘Get Out of My Cloud’ and ‘Respectable’, Tony ( aka Mick) set the stage for an evening void of pretenders.
Guitarists Phil Giordano ( Keef) and Steve Carslaw ( Brian, Mick, Ronnie) displayed true forms of ‘the ancient art of weaving’. Combining Open G riffs with solid rhythms interchanged with Carslaw’s factual leads.
‘Star Star’ , the radio – banned song from Goat’s Head Soup followed by ‘Heartbreaker‘ from the same album, demonstrated Tony and the band’s ability to cross the Stones’ large landscape. At times, swords replaced guitars and microphones in true Stones’ fashion as attitudes become front and center. By the time the seven member group pelted the menacing opening chords of ‘Love is Strong’ from 1994’s Voodoo Lounge into the stratosphere, the audience knew – a deal with the devil? Signed. Sealed. Delivered.
The only easy part of being part of a Stones’ tribute? The frame is strong. Adding the proper engine is the real hard work. Bassist Rod Sudia provided the oil in the Stones’ biggest selling commercial hit of all time. ‘Miss You’ off one of the Stones’ best albums ( Some Girls)had the most sleepy patron up, dancing and looking for their Puerto Rican girls.
Phil and Steve upped the level of volume and intensity as ‘Street Fightin’ Man’ took over. Vilardi matching the fire of the guitars with equal amounts of brimstone and provocation. At any time, the background vocals repaired whatever holes appeared with a combination of sweetness and sex.
As in The Rolling Stones, the drummer is the key. A nano second behind the rhythm. The Jazz – influenced machine filled with slightly slippery and used lubricants. Nasty Habits’ drummer – Michel Tordjman, greased the band’s sound all night long with precision, feel and soul. Keeping the sloppiness on track. Holding up the drunken riffs until the core of the song and groove were not-so quietly at peace. ‘Sympathy for The Devil’ – Michel’s masterpiece and moment of sin. Nasty Habits? Incomplete without Tordjman.
The evening was a fundraiser for Sax player Johnny Beaudine. Johnny is from the South Side of Chicago and learned his ‘ chops’ at a legendary Blues club named Theresa’s.
It was there, at Theresa’s, where Johnny learned from some of the very men who influenced The Rolling Stones . Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Howlin’ Wolf, Junior Wells, James Cotton … the list goes on. It was fitting for the above reasons, Johnny played his Sax with Nasty Habits.
‘Bitch’, ‘Live With Me’ and ‘Brown Sugar’.
Three Stones’ songs known by their signature Sax riffs performed ( for the most part ) by the late Bobby Keys. Beaudine, in all his glory and ultimately out of his true Jazz / Blues environment with his band Deep Blue ( House of Jazz every Monday), displayed his virtuosity and ability to change. A true musician who has studied and plied his craft for forty plus years is a professional. Beaudine was a true ‘ bitch’ in his short time as a member of Nasty Habits.
Nasty Habits would not be complete without a front man. No Mick Jagger in the Stones? You have the Faces without Rod the Mod.
Tony Vilardi does a formidable job in a position that is never easy. Criticized and judged for attempting to imitate one of music’s best front men. The bane of every wannabe Jagger’s existence. Softly or strongly, classy or raunchy – Vilardi makes an evening of nasty habits seem pardonable when the babysitter wonders where you were all night.