Live Review: Ninefinger at Whisky a Go Go at West Hollywood, CA

Material: When Stone Temple Pilots were closer to great than good, Scott Weiland had the perfect voice for rock. You can’t help but remember that time when you watch Ninefinger’s Mike Winney singing along to this music, which has something of an old-school alternative vibe. One of the highlights of the band’s set is the sexy “Speed Queen.” Relating a dysfunctional love story, the lyrics
really pop with an edgy cadence: “Pissed off with hatred/I’m stuck in a glance/Jumped up and messed up/I’m stuck in a trance/Turning and burning/Like Maverick and Goose/Make no more payments/I’m selling the coup.”

Musicianship: Structurally there are a lot of nice long builds before breaking into verses. Dreamy transitions and lots of tight drum breaks from Buddah get the audience pumped. Aguirre really fills the sound and overall the group is very well coordinated on each song’s conclusion. The band even channels The Doors with something of an “L.A. Woman” backbeat on the song “Conditioner.” Picard is definitely one to watch with that perfect blend of effects and squeal from his guitar paired with wildly watchable techniques on his solos.

Performance: Winney worked the whole stage and interacted well with the audience, enticing them to clap along. He even stepped down from the stage at the finale to join the crowd, which worked them up even more. Although faced with the obstacle of his mic shorting out, Winney didn’t let this dissuade him from moving to the next available mic and finishing out a song. “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against the Machine turned into a sing-along that was then encored with “Ace of Spades” by Motorhead. There is no doubt that Winney gives it his all as he takes a big jump for his strong finish.

Summary: Aside from the Stone Temple Pilots comparison, this group does have its own unique style with the majority of the set being hard rocking originals. Overall, Ninefinger’s set-list is solid and accessible, with the two covers. They just add the cherry on top with their perfect rendition of “Killing in the Name.” As far as pacing goes, everything you’re getting here rocks hard, so they could
use at least one ballad to mix things up and add interest.

Whisky a Go Go West Hollywood, CA
Contact: [email protected]
Web: ninefinger.com
The Players: Mike Winney, vocalist; Joshua Picard, guitar; Mark Aguirre, bass; Buddah, drummer.