Harlot at Paladino’s 1/22/10

After 20 years, 80’s rock and roll party band Harlot has regrouped, signed with Retrospect Records, and released “Keep the Dream Alive.” Their first show in support of the CD was at Paladino’s last June. Since then, they played three days at Rocklahoma last year, a Vegas show, and their first show of 2010 was at Paladinos on Friday, January 22nd. I had been in contact with guitar player Jeff Schofield for a little while, and listened to Harlot on Myspace, but this was my first chance to see them perform live.

A band called Black Brew (previously The Fold) was playing when I arrived at Paladino’s. While watching them, I thought they really didn’t know what type of music they wanted to play, and if they were metal or alternative. When researching them for this review, I realized my accusations were true, and that they had recently changed their singer, their name and their direction. I was ready for Harlot!

From the moment Harlot hit the stage, with “Lock up Your Daughters,” they were filled with energy, kicks and claps. Jeff stood out immediately with his over-the-neck guitar playing and energetic stage presence. “Bad Reputation” was catchy and made you want to sing along, even if it was your 1st time hearing the song. “One Night Stand” was catchy as well, and included a really cool jam session.

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One of my favorite songs of the night was “When the Goin’ Gets Tough (The Tough Go Drinking).” Vocalist Wayne Webb introduced the song, and I knew I was going to love it, just from the title. I was proud to watch Harlot perform their title track, “Keep the Dream Alive” and to know we are all working together for the same cause. However, Harlot should have ended their set with “Where There’s Smoke (There’s Fire)” which some fans may remember from “back in the day.” Instead, they closed their set with Kiss’ “Rock and Roll All Night.” This was disappointing. I would have preferred they end their set with the previous song, or choose a less clichéd cover song.

After talking to Harlot for a bit at the Merch booth, I watched instrumental band Gryphon Labs perform, which features members of Zappa Plays Zappa (Dweezil Zappa’s band.) They were pretty amazing and everyone in the band oozed with talent.

Overall, it was a great night. I loved Harlot’s energy and enthusiasm. They are a fun band with a party vibe and catchy songs. I really enjoyed what I heard of Gryphon Labs, and am curious about the new direction of Black Brew.

www.myspace.com/80sharlot

Keep Rockin’

Alison myspace.com/metalbabeproductions