Cathouse Live Main Stage @ Irvine Meadows – 08/15/2015
The Cathouse was the raunchiest rock n roll hangout in Hollywood, created by Riki Rachtman and Taime Downe in 1986, The Cathouse was the place to discover the best new bands like Faster Pussycat, Guns n Roses, Junkyard and LA Guns before they hit it big. Unfortunately The Cathouse has come and gone but 2016 is the 30th anniversary of this legendary club and Riki Rachtman along with John Reese (SGE) put together an epic day/night of rock n roll to celebrate the memory of the Cathouse and the amazing bands who crossed its stage.
Cathouse Live took place on Saturday August 15 at Irvine Meadows in Irvine, CA offering up two stages featuring many of the bands that played at The Cathouse back in the day as well as many other late 80’s, early 90’s band of the same genre. On an extremely hot 100 degree day, 25 bands played from 2:00pm until just before midnight giving fans a constant blast from the past featuring screeching guitar solos, big hair, leather jackets and a lot of sweating.
The main stage was literally non-stop music the entire event as a rotating stage had one band ending and the next ready to play immediately having no delay in between bands.
Full coverage of the Cathouse Live FESTIVAL STAGE can be viewed here.
INTERVIEW with Cathouse Live creator Riki Rachtman can be read here.
Photo Galleries and a play-by-play of each band that played the Main Stage can be found below.
Riki Rachtman appeared onstage and thanked everyone for this amazing day and told the crowd “It is now 1986 and we are now in Hollywood” as the All-Star Jam began with Phil Lewis (LA Guns) and Gilby Clarke (former Guns n Roses) taking vocals on a cover of David Bowie’s “The Jean Genie”. Then the original Cathouse creators Taime Downe and Riki Rachtman took over vocal duties for a cover of The Stooges “Search and Destroy”. These two longtime friends were having a blast during this song with all the smiles and hugs going on.
Michael Starr of Steel Panther took over vocals next for a cover of the Guns n Roses classic “Mr. Brownstone”. Evan Seinfeld held down the bass as Brent Fitz form Slash’s band hit the drums for all songs during the jam. The special guest of the night, Ace Frehley took the stage as he sang “Shock Me” and delivered his masterful guitar solo. The night ended with Sebastian Bach taking over vocals on the KISS song “Deuce” as Frehley and Clarke held down the guitar parts. Unfortunately the band didn’t get to finish the song as the revolving stage had the band disappear as they were still playing as the stage curfew hit and the Cathouse Live ended.
An epic day of rock n roll and high temperatures made for a memorable experience as all those in attendance got the opportunity to relive The Cathouse and witness many of the bands that made it the premiere club that defined many of the premiere late 80’s and early 90’s rock n roll bands.
After several hours of killer music and one of the hottest days of the SoCal summer, Extreme took the stage at 10:50pm as Gary Cherone, Nuno Bettencourt, Pat Badger and Kevin Figueiredo played 60 minutes of funk fueled rock n roll. Cherone is a great front man and vocalist complemented by the amazing finger magic of Bettencourt on the guitar. The band rocked hard but performed an amazing rendition of their giant hit “More Than Words” with just Cherone and Bettencourt on stage. A great way to end the amazing list of bands that played all day and a great Segway into the final performance of the night by Gilby Clarke’s Cathouse All-Stars.
Extreme Setlist: Decadence Dance | It (‘s a Monster) | Li’l Jack Horny | Rest in Peace | Play with Me | More Than Words | Cupid’s Dead | Am I Ever Gonna Change | Flight of the Wounded Bumblebee | Get the Funk Out | Hole Hearted
Tom Keifer proved he doesn’t need to rely on his Cinderella bandmates to deliver the goods. A tough spot to follow Sebastian Bach in the lineup but Keifer without a doubt delivered the performance of the day as he took advantage of his 60 minutes on stage with several Cinderalla hits, a solo track and a cover of the Beatles “With a Little Help from My Friends”. Keifer brought out his wife Savanah to help sing “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)”, a song he penned for her back in the day. Vocally strong and a huge stage presence Keifer as well as his band stole the show.
Tom Keifer Setlist: Bad Seamstress Blues/Fallin’ Apart at the Seams | It’s Not Enough | Somebody Save Me | Shake Me | Heartbreak Station | Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone) | Nobody’s Fool | Solid Ground | Coming Home | Shelter Me | With a Little Help from My Friends (The Beatles cover) | Gypsy Road
The crowd seemed extremely pumped as Sebastian Bach and his bandmates took the Cathouse Live show to the next level with a dose of heaviness not yet seen on this day and two of the biggest power ballads of all time, “I Remember You” and “18 and Life” spawned the most cell phones and lighters of the show. Bach’s voice sounds as crisp and sharp as ever as he whipped his microphone around in a frenzy as he head banged like there was no tomorrow, throwing his long blond hair around in windmill fashion.
Sebastian Bach Setlist: Slave to the Grind | The Threat | Big Guns | Piece of Me | 18 and Life | American Metalhead | I Remember You | Monkey Business | Youth Gone Wild
One of the premier 80’s bands, Dokken took the stage and opened their set with the ferocious “Kiss of Death”. Don Dokken sounding more polished than in previous years still seems to struggle through a full set especially the high notes, but you take what you can get if you are a fan of the band. Guitarist John Levin is a fantastic guitarist and does all the solos justice, keeping true to the original sound yet adding a bit of his own style and he has the moves to boot. Mick Brown and Mark Boals held down the rhythm section with Brown often yelling his trademark “And the crowd goes wild”.
Dokken Setlist: Kiss of Death | Into the Fire | Dream Warriors | Breaking the Chains | Just Got Lucky | Alone Again | In My Dreams
The crowd at Irvine Meadows seemed to double in size as former RATT front man Stephen Pearcy took the stage and gave The Cathouse fans a healthy dose of Ratt’n Roll as he played seven RATT songs. Pearcy delivered a strong performance with vocals intact with guitarists Erik Ferentinos and Chris Hagar ripping through the guitar solos in fine fashion. Pearcy hasn’t lost a step and still looks like he walked right out of the 80’s.
Stephen Pearcy Setlist: Lay It Down | You’re in Love | Lack of Communication | Way Cool Jr. | Wanted Man | Back for More | Round and Round
There was definitely a high degree on anticipation for Faster Pussycat to take the stage being that vocalist Taime Downe was involved in the formation of The Cathouse along with Riki Rachtman. There was a loud roar from the crowd as Faster Pussycat took the stage with Taime Downe holding a black umbrella, wearing his trademark captains hat and smoking a cigarette. The band blasted through their trademark sleazy glam rock and then Downe slowed things down and took a seat on the edge of the stage as he sang “House of Pain”.
The coolest part of their set was when he welcomed original guitarists Brent Muscat and Greg Steele onstage to jam on “Bathroom Wall” and “Babylon” – it’s always great to see artists bury the hatchet in the name of music and jam together.
Faster Pussycat Setlist: Cathouse | Slip of the Tongue | Number 1 With a Bullet | House of Pain (with Greg Steele) | Bathroom Wall (with originals Greg Steele & Brent Muscat ) | Babylon (with originals Greg Steele & Brent Muscat)
Texas based Dangerous Toys cranked up the heat even more during their fun and active set. Vocalist Jason McMaster was certainly having fun onstage and he sounded just like he did years ago. The dual guitar attack of Paul Lidel and Scott Dalhover scorched the ears of those in attendance as they played such outlaw hits with a touch of sexy humor as “Teas’n, Pleas’n” and “Sport’n a Woody”.
Dangerous Toys Setlist: Outlaw | Take Me Drunk | Sport’n a Woody | Queen of the Nile | Teas’n, Pleas’n | Scared
Although all the bands having played so far had all kicked some major ass and the fans in attendance were certainly enjoying the day, the energy of the day went up a few notches as Phil Lewis, Steve Riley, Kenny Kweens and Michael Grant hit the stage and blasted into “No Mercy” as LA Guns – one of the first acts to play at The Cathouse – played to an enthusiastic and energetic crowd. The power ballad “The Ballad of Jayne” received the biggest applause of the set.
LA Guns Setlist: No Mercy | Sex Action | Never Enough | Over the Edge | Electric Gypsy | The Ballad of Jayne | Rip and Tear
Riki Rachtman came out onstage to introduce Saigon Kick. He stated this was a band he wanted on this stage and he called them personally to ask them to play Cathouse Live. Led by original member Matt Kramer and Jason Bieler the band still has a great stage presence and delivers an a very striking performance. The band slowed things down as they played an amazing version of their biggest hit “ Love is on the Way”.
Saigon Kick Setlist: New World | Coming Home | Ugly | World Goes Round | Love Is On The Way | What Do You Do | Hostile Youth
Junkyard hit the stage hard and pounded out 30 minutes of punk infused rock n roll led by the energetic performance of gritty vocalist David Roach. The band didn’t let the 100 degree heat slow them down as they ripped through such hits as “Simple Man” and “Hollywood”. The band may look a bit older but still rock like it was 1988.
Junkyard Setlist: Life Sentence | Back on the Streets | Misery Loves Company | Blooze | Simple Man | Faded | Hollywood | Lost in the City
With original vocalist Steve Plunkett not participating in the band, Simon Daniels is now providing lead vocals and rhythm guitar for Autograph. Having a different vocalist is always challenging for any band but Daniels delivered a more than worthy performance to the hot and sweaty fans. The highlight of the set was without a doubt their biggest hit “Turn Up the Radio” as well as guitarist Steve Lynch’s guitar solos.
Autograph Setlist: Deep End | Loud and Clear | Send Her to Me | All I’m Gonna Take | Blondes in Black Cars | Turn Up the Radio
Black ‘N Blue
A definite fan favorite back in the day of the Cathouse were rockers Black n Blue who a bit more on the raw and heavier side of the 80’s movement kept the momentum going as Jaime St. James and crew served up 30 minutes of hard-edged glam metal. The band put on a super energetic show with St. James looking very much like he was on stage in the mid 80’s with his flowing blonde locks with headband and fishnet shirt with a denim vest.
Black n’ Blue Setlist: Get Wise To The Rise | School of Hard Knocks | Autoblast | Nasty Nasty | Miss Mystery | Chains Around Heaven | Hold on to 18
Although Trixter didn’t release their debut album until 1990, the band fit right in with the “hair metal” and “power ballad” kings of that era. The band rocked versions of some of their biggest hits as original guitarist Steve Brown proved that although time has passed his guitar skills remain sharp and mean. Vocalist Pete Loran sounded spot on as he belted out note after note in the extreme heat of the day. The band ended their set with their hit “Give it to Me Good”.
Trixter Setlist: Rockin’ to the Edge of the Night | Heart of Steel | Rockin’ Horse | One in a Million | Line of Fire | Give it to Me Good
The Bulletboys took the stage at 2:30pm right at the hottest point of the day and literally delivered a scorching set that consisted of five Bulletboys classics. Still extremely early in the day, the venue was still quite vacant but that didn’t stop founding member, vocalist and guitarist Marq Torien from delivering an energetic and passionate performance that set the bar extremely high for the remainder of the bands.
Bulletboys Setlist: Born to Breed | Hard as a Rock | Hell on My Heels | For the Love of Money | Smooth Up in Ya