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  • Live Review: Camp Freddy - Paramount Backlot, Hollywood

    Mon, 29 Sep 2008 11:45:21

    Live Review: Camp Freddy - Paramount Backlot, Hollywood - Action!

    There's nothing more "L.A." than hanging out at a movie studio. However, no matter how you splice it, it's pretty cool kickin' it on the lot. Where else in the world but Los Angeles is that possible? A lot of legendary things have happened on Paramount's storied backlot. It's where classic films like Sunset Boulevard were filmed. Some of the most important people in film history have graced those facade-lined streets. Now, some of the most badass rockers in history have christened those same roads with an almighty gospel of riffs choruses.

    As headliners for the very first Paramount Rocks! show, Camp Freddy turned the New York set of Paramount's back lot into their playground. Right as they took the stage under a Paramount Rocks! backdrop, singer Donovan Leitch proclaimed, "Tonight we're going to rock for Paul Newman because I'm certain he shot on this back lot." They did Mr. Cool Hand Luke justice with a rollicking set of rock n' roll favorites. Camp Freddy's one of the last remaining real rock n' roll bands. Given their respective resumes, the members of Camp Freddy don't have to play in this band, but they do it for fun. Isn't that the only good reason to rock?

    As with every Camp Freddy show, there was a bevy of surprise guests. Ministry and Prong axe-man Tommy Victor did a spot-on rendition of the AC/DC classic "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap," while Dave Navarro churned out a blues-infused lead. Meanwhile, The Cult's Billy Duffy traded Angus Young's unforgettable riffs back and forth with Victor. Next up, Camp Freddy riffmeister Billy Morrison took the mic for a raw and raucous rendition of Oasis's "Rock N' Roll Star." Looking like a young and healthy Sid Vicious, Morrison took over, nailing the song's huge chorus with an unmatched bravado.

    Residency host Mark McGrath took the stage next, clad in a black leather vest and sporting a goatee. He nailed Thin Lizzy's "Jailbreak" and The Cult's "Wild Flower." McGrath's a born frontman, and his swagger and style always prevail. He rocked with the mic in his pants. Drummer Matt Sorum bashed out the song's massive beat, twirling drum sticks with panache, pointing his sticks up to the cloudy night sky over the lot. Sex Pistols Steve Jones and Paul Cook took the stage for a fast and furious rendition of "E.M.I.," and it kept things rolling.

    Navarro's playing proved as transcendent as ever. Even with his guitar god status, the guy is still hilarious. Before one song, he quipped, "We're all going to be extras in the new Transformers 2, running down the street. We're going to have to stay until about 6 or 7am, so get comfortable." He also mentioned submitting a script too. Comedy aside, his axe prowess shined. Cypress Hill's B-Real hit the stage for "Rock Superstar," and Navarro transformed the song with an intense solo and crunching riffs. B-Real sounded as fiery as ever. His signature flow sharply snaked across Navarro's lead, and the two could very well form a super group of their own. B killed it, and was one of the night's best guests. Navarro still managed to keep up the energy, even after an opening set with DJ Skribble. He traded riffs with Skribble's grooves, and the two worked out new live interpretations of everything from Jay-Z's "My Name Is H.O.V." and Biggie's "Hypnotize" to "Another Brick In the Wall" and "We Will Rock You."

    Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister came out for a badass "God Save the Queen." He brought a true grit and grunge that no one can emulate, and he simply captivated. The band closed with their usual, "I Wanna Be Your Dog," and the back lot will never be the same. When Navarro announced, "Yeah, bitches, you're in my house now," you couldn't help but believe him.

    —Rick Florino

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