Ultimate NAMM Night @ Anaheim Hilton – 01/18/2020
The definitive Rock ‘N Roll experience known as Ultimate Jam Night once again put on a special show Saturday night January 18 at The Anaheim Hilton California Ballroom to celebrate the 2020 NAMM show. Rebranded as “Ultimate NAMM Night Anaheim” for this one night special, the show had a long list of Rock n Roll royalty as special guests. Now in its third year, Ultimate Jam NAMM edition was the buzz of the weekend in Anaheim with over 100 performers scheduled to appear.
Held weekly on Tuesday nights at The Whisky A Go Go, Ultimate Jam Night brings together the music community in Southern California and adds a bit of the unexpected back to the Sunset Strip. This brings together rock musicians that would not normally play together to perform unrehearsed cover tunes from a wide range of popular music to create unique, one-of-a-kind renditions of some of rocks most well-known hits. With the list of musicians scheduled to play on this night, it was surely going to prove once again to be a memorable show and a highlight of NAMM 2020.
Host Paulie Z (current vocalist for The Sweet) also doubled as vocalist on some of the jams on this night and the night kicked off with a bang as the Ultimate Jam Night house band consisting of Chuck Wright (Quiet Riot) on bass, Matt Starr (Ace Frehley) on drums and Mitch Perry (Edgar Winter, The Sweet) on guitar began the never-ending line of rotating musicians and killer performances.
With all due respect to every performer on this night (all were amazing), it would take several pages to properly mention all the names and amazing collaborations so below are some of the highlights of this extraordinary night (and keep in mind – these are ALL UN-REHEARSED):
In the Still of the Night . . .
Former Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich along with Paulie Z on vocals scorched the Whitesnake classic “Still of the Night” as Aldrich reminded all how awesome he is on the six string. An early show highlight for sure.
Seven or Eleven, Snake Eyes Watching You
No better place to play a tribute than at a Jam at NAMM . . . All Hail Lemmy! The all-star lineup of Carla Harvey (Butcher Babies) and Calico Cooper (Beasto Blanco) on vocals with Gary Holt (Exodus/Slayer) and Ira Black (Dark Sky Choir) on guitars with a rhythm section of Chuck Garric (Alice Cooper/Beasto Blanco) on bass and Art Cruz (Lamb of God) on drums played a KILLER version of “Ace of Spades” to honor the late Motorhead frontman. Definitely one of the highlights of the night and the heaviest performance of them all!
When Josie Comes Home
Seeing artists play together that you would never think of seeing onstage at the same time is one of the coolest things about Ultimate Jams . . . and this one was special. Take the song “Josie” by Steely Dan and put low end extraordinaire Stu Hamm on bass with Charlie Benante (Anthrax) on drums with Alex Skolnick (Testament) on guitar among others and you get the most badass, funky rendition of “Josie” you will ever hear.
Fooled Around and Fell in Love
The three-headed monster known as The Winery Dogs were a surprise guest and played one song – a fantastic cover of Elvin Bishop’s “Fooled Around and Fell in Love”. Drummer Mike Portnoy, bass player Billy Sheehan and guitarist/vocalist Ritchie Kotzen are a super-duper power-trio with each a master at their respective instruments and throw in Ritchie Kotzen’s soulful vocals for the win.
The ad-hoc power-trio of Portnoy again on drums with King’s X’s Dug Pinnick on bass and vocals with none-other than George Lynch on guitar totally smoked the Jimi Hendrix classic “Voodoo Chile”. Lynch NAILED the Hendrix guitar sound.
The music world recently lost a pioneer and one of the greatest drummers ever in Neil Peart of Rush. Who better to pay tribute to the late percussionist than Peart’s friend and biggest fan Mike Portnoy. Along with Portnoy on drums, Stu Hamm joined in on the fun and jammed a tribute that would make Neil Peart proud!
Great White Attack
Jack Russell’s Great White played “Lady Red Light” and man does Russell sound amazing – his voice is as strong as ever. His band crushed the music with a high energy performance that absolutely ROCKED you!
The original voice of the Ted Nugent band and the sexy as hell mega-hit ”Stranglehold”, Derek St. Holmes sang vocals on that very song alongside bassist Marco Mendoza bringing an element of true classic rock to Ultimate Jam. St. Holmes has never sounded better.
I Hate Myself for Loving You
80’s Pop icon Tiffany proved that she can rock out with the best of them by performing a raw, attitude infused version of Joan Jett’s “I Hate Myself for Loving You”. Tiffany definitely wasn’t alone on this one as all in attendance rocked out right along with her.
The Train Kept A Rollin . . .
An interesting combination of musicians that worked so well played “Train Kept A Rollin” – vocalist Robert Mason (Warrant) alongside guitarists Phil Demmel (Vio-Lence) and Dave Rude (Tesla) ripped through this classic like a freight train.
Miscellaneous Ultimate NAMM Night Images: