Nita Strauss: The Guitar Collective @ Brick by Brick – 12/07/2018
2018 has been the year of the guitar player with tours from G3 with Joe Satriani, John Petrucci, Phil Collen to Generation Axe with Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen, Nuno Bettencourt and Tosin Abasi to the recent Ritchie Kotzen tour with Gus G and Vinnie Moore to Michael Schenker Fest and Rob Zombie guitarist John 5’s solo tour, all focusing on guitar driven instrumental performances. Add The Guitar Collective 2018 to this list . . . now in its second year, The Guitar Collective founder Angel Vivaldi states, this tour gives fans of instrumental guitar music a chance to discover young new artists, and for those artists to branch out to new fans.
The 2018 version of The Guitar Collective not only features seven-string guitar wizard Vivaldi but six-string shredder and Alice Cooper guitarist Nita Strauss with special guest, former Falling in Reverse guitarist Jacky Vincent. The tour made a stop at Brick by Brick in San Diego on Friday night December 7 marking the first of two Southern California dates (Sunday December 9 in Los Angeles).
Jacky Vincent and Angel Vivaldi book ended Nita Strauss’s performance and both put on a phenomenal display of guitar playing. Vincent played to a backing track and shredded through several songs on his Dean six-string definitely making many new fans on this night. Vivaldi closed out the night with a bit more of a progressive sound playing a seven-string guitar. Vivaldi and Vincent are no doubt two of the current generation guitar heroes and will be keeping the guitar instrumental torch lit for years to come.
Nita Strauss has had a lot to be excited about lately; getting her own signature Ibanez guitar, releasing her first solo album, Controlled Chaos on November 16 and the reason all were at Brick by Brick on this night – her first solo tour in support of the new album. In addition to all that, December 7 was also Strauss’s birthday and San Diego was almost a home-town show seeing she is from Los Angeles.
The stage had lots of Happy Birthday balloons on each side and the stage floor was lined with rose pedals in honor of the Birthday girl. When Nita and the band hit the stage it indeed was controlled chaos for the next 45 minutes as Strauss and her band, Josh Villalta on drums, Jay Tarantino on rhythm guitar and the amazing Christopher Dean on bass blew away the San Diego crowd with a high energy shred-fest.
With all songs from the Controlled Chaos album except a cover of Alice Cooper’s “I’m Eighteen”, Strauss demonstrated her six-string skills which left most with their jaw hitting the floor. Strauss is the perfect blend of Zakk Wylde and Steve Vai sprinkled with her own style. You get the hair whips, the creative whammy bar use, the stage moves, she really becomes one with her instrument and delivers an over the top performance.
An element that also makes her live show amazing is her band . . . in addition to being Strauss’s boyfriend, Josh Villalta is a massively hard-hitting drummer and a master of the double bass, Jay Tarantino is a master guitarist in his own right (and also plays with Angel Vivaldi) and then there is Christopher Dean who is a beast on bass and is extremely active onstage as he pounds out the low end.
December 7 was Nita’s birthday and mid-set Vitalla took the mic and the entire venue sang Happy Birthday and she blew out candles onstage – a truly great moment to witness. Once the set ended, Nita Strauss returned to the stage at the end of Angel Vivaldi’s set to join him and Jacky Vincent for a jam session that showcased the three shredders trading off riffs and just having a good time. This is a fantastic show to see and hear beginning to end and for Nita Strauss an obvious success being her first solo tour.
Nita Strauss & Christopher Dean Photo Gallery
More information on The Guitar Collective Artists:
Christopher Dean “Everything Fades” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MynZwliWhWU&feature=youtu.be
Angel Vivaldi “A Martian Winter” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFWoIyqSjlA
Nita Strauss “Our Most Desperate Hour” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNyQpe80TRA
Jacky Vincent “Nowhere To Look but Inside” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZEkH1hl_Uc
Remaining The Guitar Collective Tour Dates:
12/12 @ Scout Bar – Houston, TX
12/13 @ Trees – Dallas, TX
12/14 @ Hi-Tone – Memphis, TN
12/15 @ Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
12/16 @ The Haven – Orlando, FL
12/17 @ O’Malley’s – Margate, FL
12/18 @ Crowbar – Tampa, FL
12/19 @ Ground Zero – Spartanburg, SC
12/20 @ Canal Club – Richmond, VA
12/21 @ House of Independents – Asbury Park, NJ