Material: Figuratively speaking, A Bad Boy Rocker is an album where Alex Cole’s original songwriting meets a mirage of classic rock & roll at the crossroads. That artistic conjunction is exactly why the Viper Room served as the perfect backdrop for Cole to perform songs from his exhilarating debut album. Fittingly enough, his set-list featured six original songs and four classic rock covers.
Musicianship: Cole truly thrives when it comes to showmanship and theatrics. But what is even more spectacular is his intelligence and skillfulness in rock & roll vocal technique. When Cole sings, it is as if he has encrypted subtle nods of respect to legendary rock & roll legends, like Jim Morrison, Brian Johnson and Sebastian Bach, who have clearly influenced Cole’s tonality.
Performance: Alex Cole entered the stage through two curtains, as if he were a vintage gift from the “Rock Gods,” a thirst quenching tease of authenticity, dangling from the genetic tree that still connects a vast amount of Los Angeles rock fans to the glam metal era of the ‘80s. With a cocky smirk on his face, the Italian born artist proceeded to captivate the audience with his soprano vocal range, cutting-edge sex appeal and smooth dance moves. Cole was simply great at this show. And he knew it, pointedly winking for the press members’ cameras on numerous occasions, and he even stopped in the middle of his set to promote his T-shirts and CD’s in a way that was comedic (and very likable). His boldness was soaked in hard-earned sweat and justified even more so with every guitar lick and harmonica solo that he played, flawlessly. Cole, in fact, came within one sentimental “power ballad” of completely bringing the house down.
Summary: The margin for error with an excessively confident lead singer, during a live show, is quite small. Especially in rock & roll. Especially in Hollywood. And especially at the Viper Room. Alex Cole moseyed that line nicely, while showing everyone in his audience that attitude is a dish that is best served with substance.
Venue: The Viper Room in West Hollywood, CA
The Players: Alex Cole, lead vocals, lead guitar, harmonica; Michael Dwyer, bass; Alejandro Mercado, drums.