Robby Krieger Brings Back Old Vibes to Sunset Strip

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Celebrating its 50th anniversary as one of the hallmark music venues in West Hollywood, Whisky a Go Go welcomed legendary Doors guitarist Robby Krieger to the stage Thursday, Jan.16th with his Jam Kitchen band for a rock-and-roll fueled spectacle. The originally scheduled 14-song set was extended to 16, giving all in attendance plenty to sign-of-the-horns about, concluding in a nearly 15-minute rendition of “Light My Fire.”

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Before the show, Mayor of WeHo Abbe Land presented longtime Whisky owner Mario Maglieri a framed proclamation from the city declaring the institution a reflection of the “vibrancy and vitality of the Sunset Strip” and responsible for “keeping rock and roll alive.”

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And as much a part of the Whisky’s longevity, Krieger didn’t let up from the first crunchtastic chord to the last lightning-quick solo spree. The set kicked off with a nod to rock forefather Frank Zappa in “Chunga’s Revenge” – the Kitchen would pull another page from Zappa later with “Cosmik Debris.” Krieger filled the rest of the night with songs spanning from his earliest days with the Doors (“Back Door Man” and “Love Me Two Times”) to some of the Jam Kitchen’s more recent collaborations (“What Was That” and “Screen Junkie”).

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Krieger dedicated the final five songs to former Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek, who passed away last May. Krieger was joined onstage by Jim Morrison-reincarnate Dave Brock, who routinely carries the vocals for some of the more iconic Doors jams, and a continuous rotation of horn players. The packed stage of the intimate music house led Krieger at one point to joke, “It’s getting horny up here.” The group then broke out “Wild Child,” “Touch Me,” “Roadhouse Blues,” “Riders On the Storm” and “Light My Fire” in quick succession.

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The show was a fitting tribute to the Whisky – which in its heyday hosted the likes of the Byrds, Alice Cooper, Buffalo Springfield and Smokestack Lightning – and who better to guide us back in time to when its doors first opened on Jan. 16, 1964 than a man who has become synonymous with rock-and-roll itself.

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Text By Dixon McPhillips; Photos by Paula Tripodi

Note: The words in Music Connection’s “Photo Blog Live Music Reviews” are opinions expressed by the writer/photographer and may not reflect those of Music Connection magazine. To get in contact with a writer/photographer, you may email contactmc[at]musicconnection.com.