Marco Mendoza/NitroVille –
Real Time Live, Chesterfield, Tuesday 20th February, 2018
Set List: Apohis 2029/Spitfire/Pit lane Fire/Tell It Like It Is/Louisiana Bone/Zombie Galore/Cheating The Hangman/Motorocker/Make A Stand/Thunder Road.
Now this way Metalliville's first trip to Chesterfield to cover a show – Real Time Live is great little venue above a music store of the same name on a backstreet just off the town centre. Tonito Bermudez, my buddy said he managed to find out that a band called 'NitroVille' were the openers tonight. This information pleased me a lot since they sent me a copy of their debut album a few years ago. Now I got to see them perform in person.
Female fronted by Tola Lamont, they are a real tight unit all the way from London who were supporting Marco on all three dates of his European/UK Tour. To put you in the picture, they have a colourful blend of classic rock and southern rock styling all blended into one – a band who are utterly perfect for the biker crowd.
They had a tough job up there since the audience wanted to fade away into the back of the room but Tola managed to get a few up closer amongst the photographers here near the stage – so nice work there! The 'Ville's main line up completed with Kurt Michael - Lead Guitar, Grizzy Rose Lee - Rhythm Guitar, Paolo Succo - Bass Guitar and Hugo Terva - Drums
Highlights of the set included the bluesy and ballsy 'Louisiana Bone'; the pumping 'n' speeding rocker 'Cheating The Hangman'; the gutsy 'Tell It Like It Is' and the closing 'Thunder Road' that has nothing to do with Springsteen either! Be sure to check em out either live or CD – their current album 'Cheating The Hangman' is highly recommended.
Set List: Viva La Rock/Let The Sun Shine/Hey Baby/Hole In My Pocket/Give Peace A Chance/Lettin' Go/Sweetest Emotion/God Bless The Child/Still In Me/Higher Ground/Chinatown/Jailbreak.
Encore: Your Touch.
Having recently interviewed the Marco the previous week and seeing him at NAMM in the Ampeg Room I knew it was gonna be one hell of a performance – especially since the new album 'Viva La Rock' is an absolute corker!
His two band members, Kyle Hughes (Drums) and Michael McCrystal (Guitar) take to the stage first with Marco plugged in already backstage and playing away all the same before he finally makes is mark on stage, joining the other two guys. He cranked up with a nice funky rock thank before stopping abruptly asking if we were with him. The crowd after a bit of encouragement shouted 'Yeah' before the trio blasted into the title track of the Mr. Mendoza's new album out now on Mighty Music 'Viva La Rock' that he had us singing to which went down great.
Paying homage to his heroes and guys who'd helped him in his career were special segments in the set too by giving us a stellar lengthy rendition of Ted Nugent's 'Hey Baby' and later 'Chinatown' by Thin Lizzy (both on the new album, I may add) much to the joy of the folk in here – giving them songs to sing along to since many would not have heard the new material yet – good call there Sir! Nice to hear some classic John Lennon there too since Marco is a big fan of him – cue plenty of people loudly and excitedly singing along to 'Give Peace A Chance'.
There are some really cool bass licks, riffs, moves and grooves to get your head around. Marco and the band have definitely got their mojo happening in here. They whack out more funkiness and on their instruments than you've had hot dinners tonight with the bass and drums firmly locking together like a sexual mad frenzy while the guitar work adds even more coolness and astounding sounds. Not to mention hugely enjoyable vocals in each song and the chant that he does in the other outfit, El Trio that I witnessed in the Ampeg Room at NAMM with my good friend Natalie Maksimowicz. How I enjoyed blowing out my already worn voice to it as well – as did many more.
All of the guys were having an absolute ball throughout the 2 hour set – a vibe that spilled out into the crowd on equal levels with Marco actually stepping off the stage to play amongst us which was really intimate and extremely cool, bring it all down to roots level with the fans tonight as well as telling people to get closer to him down the front too. In fact at one point later in the gig, Marco got the engineer to take the lights down low since he had the spirit of Billie Holiday in him. He then walked into the crowd performing 'God Bless The Child' without a microphone in sight; singing totally unplugged while playing his bass – what an amazing moment – now that was special.
There was interaction a plenty during the show as the main man totally went out of his way to talk to the peeps from the stage not to mention plenty of handshaking and fist-bumping much to the joy of those who had gone out of their way to see him on this chilly Tuesday night in Chesterfield. Marco made sure to introduce his drummer and guitarist, saying they were both from the UK – making everyone proud in the room as a result.
You'd never realise that Michael and Kyle did maybe only a day or two or rehearsal with the double M because they were utterly faultless, giving the impression they had played with him forever – now that's the mark of a top-notch session player right there – even picking it up on the groove at that precise moment before a song was due to start – such as Marco explaining the beat, tempo and style to Kyle before they kicked into it.
Speaking of Kyle, he even got to shine vocally in his own right as he gave us a marvellous rendition of Thin Lizzy's 'Jailbreak' from up on there at the kit and he totally nailed it as well – no penitential time for you my friend – you can definitely stop as a free man after that solid take of the legendary Lynott song. Mister McCrystal blew us away with some solid solos too - it's little wonder he got a six string job with the mighty UK Rockers, Tygers Of Pan Tang – good going there Pal.
Love the encore song it finished on – an epic number from the 'Live For Tomorrow album going by the name of 'Your Touch'. Now this was one of those shows that you could have lapped up all night long but good things must coming to and end. Since Marco is such a gentleman and on a one to one with his fans at pure ground level, he was straight out to meet everyone, sign cd's and have photos with all, making everyone's night a pure pleasure from beginning to end.
A marvellous, magnificent and mesmerizing night from Marco Mendoza and his co-musicians. Next stop is a trip to his site to buy his albums, not to mention seeing a forthcoming show from The Dead Daisies.
By Glenn Milligan