The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world




Sweet Little Razor
Shotgun Man
Soul to Soul
Feelin’ Nothin’
My Favorite 9
New Generation
Live on the Moon
20th Century Boy
Someone Like You
Cowboy Song
Attack of Life



Don't get me wrong I have been looking forward to this show since I heard it announced what seems like years ago. I've never been quite sure why it is but if you asked me to list my favourite bands it would go something like this: Aerosmith, Black Crowes, Hanoi Rocks, Bang Tango... so that perhaps puts it in proportion for me. The Bang Tango show I saw in Nottingham in 1992 is still in my top ten shows of all time, I've seen Joe's version out on the road three times now, so with REDUX I'm just not sure what to expect here with a new singer.


It's a long way to LA from Perth Australia; and getting to the Valley where Paladinos sits is harder than we imagined, the fact that the show is rescheduled means we spend an extra night in Reseda. Let's just say nothing much happened...


I've been in touch with Mark Knight for a few months now and we arrive late after mistakenly walking from the hotel, but when we get to Paladinos Mark and Tigg and Michael and their friends are there at the bar. We recognise each other instantly. It's like meeting old friends really and we talk all things Bang Tango past and present before the show (see the interview up soon), for me I just don't know what to expect after nearly 20 years!


Tonight we get some great warm-up bands and have a few beers: there's "An Hour of Trower" who play pretty much note perfect Robin Trower; then there's BURNING SKY who play a great set of Bad Company numbers and best of all there's HAMMER OF THE BROADS who play a rocking 45 minutes of Zeppelin covers. They are a very talented band and also a great looking bunch of ladies. The singer is actually Kelly Hansen from Foreigner' wife and he is in attendance tonight checking them out.


When it comes time for the Bang Tango show the place is buzzing. For a start I must say that the music is wonderful, Kyle and Tigg lay down a wonderful backline that grooves like a storm and Mark and Kyle Stevens do not put a foot wrong all night on guitar. As you would probably expect Michael DeMaio does not sound exactly like Joe Leste (as if you thought he would) but he has a powerful soulful voice that adds a bit of blues to the mix and powers the songs along.


The strangest thing for me of course is the lack of Joe, who I was lucky enough to bump into a few times at Rocklahoma last year; he's a lovely guy as are the guys here tonight. To be honest the musicianship tonight is mind-blowing, I honestly don't think anyone can top the sound Kyle gets out of that bass or the wonderful tone of Mark and Kyle Stevens guitars (Paladinos to be fair has a great sound wherever you stand in the club). It's only perhaps on the iconic "Someone Like You" that you close your eyes and wish Joe were there, but the song is timeless and rocks in spite of his absence.


I am not sure what will come of the Redux project to be honest but there are a few clues in the interview we did before the show and what we talked about after (see the Redux interviews later in the month) but I can see no issue with the two Bang Tangos being out there. I for one would go and see both bands without a doubt and I think that is the general consensus from fans (and I spoke to a good few tonight and I spoke to some big fans of Joe at Rock N America).


As for the perceived bad feelings between Joe and the boys, well that's another story and one you can read about elsewhere, let's just say that all of the guys I spoke to wish Joe all the best and REDUX is just a part of their history that they had to do. Let's not forget Tigg was up on stage with Joe’s Bang Tango in March this year last time his band passed through town.


Getting back to the show we get a real evening to remember and the real treat for me is getting to hear the five songs from LOVE AFTER DEATH which in my opinion (and a lot of the band) is THE classic Bang TANGO RELEASE. The songs just sound so good live, just like I expected and hoped they would. Though I've seen Joe dabble with a couple of tunes from that release it's great to see that REDUX are primarily out to play that music which they never really got to play first time around.


It's a low frills set in a local bar at the end of the day and for me as a long-time fan it shines out like a diamond this year. The tracks from Psycho Cafe sound glorious and whilst I am a little disappointed by the lack of songs from Dancing on Coals it's the Love After Death tunes that I can't get out of my head.


Highlights for me are of course the iconic "Someone Like You" the best cover of T-Rex's "20th Century Boy" you will ever hear, the rampant "Attack of Life" that closes the show and pretty much everything from Love After Death. The only regret I have is that there was no "Dressed Up Vamp" or "Dancin' On Coals" but we do get a perfect and unexpected Thin Lizzy cover of "Cowboy Song" in the encore.


At the end of the night it's a wonderful trip down memory lane that reminds you why Bang Tango should have been one of the biggest bands of the eighties scene..


If these guys expand from these two shows (they played Redondo Beach with Little Caesar the week before) you really do have to go.


Check out our interview with Bang Tango Redux later this month...