Concert Review: ADELITAS WAY & DISCIPLES OF BABYLON – Jan. 27, 2017

I recently had the pleasure of seeing two bands that I love in concert on the same bill, at The Slidebar in Fullerton, California. LA band Disciples of Babylon, whose debut EP Welcome to Babylon I reviewed a year ago (which you can read here), opened for Las Vegas band Adelitas Way. (Varna was the other opening band, but I missed part of their set so am not including them in this review.) Adelitas Way played several gigs up and down California in late January, including at The Slidebar on January 27, and will resume touring throughout the Western U.S. in early March.

The Slidebar is a pretty small venue with no seating, so everyone stands to watch artists perform. I would guess the room held no more than 200 people, so it was quite intimate, and great to be able to see the bands up close and personal. Unbelievably, the concert was free! Disciples of Babylon, a four -man rock band consisting of Eric Knight on lead vocals, Ramon Blanco on lead guitar, Gui Bodi on bass, and Chris Toeller on drums, were first to perform.

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The guys look a bit tough in their promotional photo, but in reality are kind, generous and funny, with a great appreciation for their fans. This was their second gig I’ve attended, and they deliver 100 percent. Their set, which lasted approximately 40 minutes, included a number of new songs that will be featured on their upcoming full-length album, currently being mastered and planned for release in early Spring. They also sang their fantastic hit song “KARMA” and “The Great Pretend” off their debut EP, as well as an awesome cover of the David Bowie classic “Fame.” I filmed a portion of that song but, unfortunately, the sound quality isn’t very good (the music and bass were extremely loud in the small venue, so the sound is distorted in the audio recorded by my phone). Still, one gets a good feel for their dynamic sound and stage presence.

Adelitas Way came on stage around 10 pm, and by that time the room was filled to capacity, with anticipation running high. The band’s current line-up includes lead vocalist Rick DeJesusTre Stafford on drums, Robert Zakaryan on lead guitar and backing vocals, and Andrew Cushing on bass. The guys put on an exhilarating live show, and DeJesus is a crazy man on stage! He’s a big guy, and stalks the stage like a lion, his charisma and incredible energy charging up his audience.

They played many of their hits, including “Criticize,” “Bad Reputation,” “Sick,” “Getaway,” “Invincible,” and “The Collapse,” as well as their new song “Ready for War (Pray for Peace)” that will appear on their upcoming fifth studio album. In between songs, DeJesus engaged the audience and spoke about the band, their music and future plans. It was obvious Adelitas Way has a large, loyal base of fans, and a few people in the audience had seen them five or six times. At the end of their set, the band members circulated among the crowd, shaking hands and posing for selfies with fans. I was impressed by the amount of time and effort DeJesus put forth in meeting and greeting his fans, and his interest in them was completely genuine.

Here’s a snippet of their performance of “Bad Reputation” and once again I apologize for the poor sound quality.

Adelitas Way kicks off their Ready For War Tour 2017 on March 2 in Las Vegas, joined by opening act Letters from the Fire. If you haven’t seen them live, I highly recommend you make the effort to see them on this tour.

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To learn more about Adelitas Way, follow them on Facebook and Twitter, and stream their music on Spotify. Likewise, follow Disciples of Babylon on Facebook and Twitter, and stream their music on Spotify.

Song Review: ADELITAS WAY – “Tell Me”

I have a great respect and fondness for artists and bands who appreciate their fans and make a genuine effort to acknowledge them, even when those bands become famous. One such band is the Las Vegas hard rock collective Adelitas Way. They formed in 2006 and released their debut self-titled album in 2009. Like many bands, they’ve gone through some personnel changes over the years, and the current line-up includes Rick DeJesus, Trevor Stafford, Robert Zakaryan and Andrew Cushing.

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Following on the massive success of their excellent fourth studio album Getaway – which included the awesome hit song “Bad Reputation” (which ranked #69 on my Top 100 Songs of 2016) – the band is now recording their fifth album, planned for release this Spring. They’ve dropped two singles thus far, the topically relevant “Ready For War (Pray For Peace)” and their latest, the beautiful rock anthem”Tell Me.”

The song immediately hooks you in with a pulsating synth beat, accentuated by hard-driving percussion and crunchy guitar riffs. With his signature power vocals, DeJesus emotionally pleads: “Tell me what you love, is it sunlight? Tell me what you feel, is it all right? / Tell me what you want out of this life. Tell me what you say, when the moon’s right.” The soaring backing choruses are so gorgeous they give me chills. Listen up:

Adelitas Way is currently touring on the West Coast in advance of their tentative album release, and I will be seeing them tonight! Show Adelitas Way support by following them on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to their YouTube channel. Stream their music on Spotify or purchase on iTunes and other sites offering music for purchase or download.