In New York City, one block south of Gramercy Park, lies a small club where legends are made. Irving Plaza is the name. It’s just one of New York’s great music venues. Nestled between high rises and brownstones on the Lower East Side, it’s an unmistakable landmark in the area.
This type of venue is your typical standing room only and bar in back of the open space — a venue built for intimate shows, holding only 400 people with a small balcony area for a few VIP folks and a private bar. Seeing any band play here would be a treat. You’d usually find a local band kicking off their careers at a venue like this, but this night was special.
The band that was about to take this stage was not your normal band, but one made up of seven iconic rock and roll legends, with over 200 years combined in stage presence and lineup SO good, you’ll question if the show is even real. Twenty-three songs, all classic 80’s & 90’s hits … are they technically a cover band? You decide.
Kings of Chaos. You may have heard the name, you may not. They’re a revolving door of musicians, never meant to have a steady lineup and always rotating in the greats. You are getting the best in the business. There’s no bull, just simple rock and roll fans, playing rock and roll. Kings of Chaos is comprised of none other than legends:
Chester Bennington (vocals for Linkin Park, Dead By Sunrise, former Stone Temple Pilots)
Steve Stevens (guitar for Billy Idol, Michael Jackson)
Billy Duffy (guitar for The Cult)
Robert DeLeo (bass guitar for Stone Temple Pilots, Hollywood Vampires)
Matt Sorum (former drums for Guns N Roses, Velvet Revolver, Hollywood Vampires)
Robin Zander (vocals/guitar for Cheap Trick)
Billy F Gibbons (vocals/guitar for ZZ Top, Jimi Hendrix)
As a photographer and huge rock and roll fan, this lineup is a dream. Being able to photograph this many superstars at one time and enjoy the music I grew up loving, while only a few feet away, is something unimaginable.
Opening the show was Chester on vocals, Duffy, Stevens, DeLeo, and Sorum. They played “Vasoline” by Stone Temple Pilots, “White Wedding” by Billy Idol, & “Fire Woman” by The Cult, all essential songs of their careers. Watch “Fire Woman” from this show HERE.
Zander then made his first appearance, switching in for Chester and playing three classic Cheap Trick songs. At this point, the crowd was warmed up and loving every second of this amazing performance. Mr. Billy F. Gibbons took the stage. ZZ Top’s best work was about to be performed. Rev. Willy (Billy’s Guitar) was in perfect tune, and his signature deep voice controlled the audience. “Waitin’ for the Bus”, “Sharp Dressed Man”, and “Tush” were heard throughout the room.
Through the night, the three front men switched out every few songs while continuing the number one hit themed setlist. Each member of the band had their time to shine, performing solos during the breakdowns. The show went on for two hours without skipping a beat.
Nearly a year to the day, the world lost a legend, Mr. Lemmy Kilmister. He was not forgotten as Matt Sorum addressed the crowd remembering his brief time drumming with Motörhead. They then went into a beautiful rendition of “Ace of Spades” with Sorum on vocals.
The night was just about complete, when all of the members took the stage, including the Franky Perez who opened the night for Kings of Chaos. As a band of eight, they played “Going Down” by Freddie King, and “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin.
This was one of the most amazing concerts I’ve ever seen. Their touring is never the same, and never the same members, and only eight shows in 2016, but if you see a Kings show pop up in your area. GO!!!