I mentioned to all of you in previous posts that I very rarely get out to experience the live music scene in New York. On those nights that I do, however, I like to try and explain my feelings/emotions about the great times that some of you might be missing.
Case in point, last night’s extravaganza at Ronkonkoma’s Diamond Club, located right across the street from the train station, was a fine example of how rock-n-roll should kick ass and take names. The Diamond Club, which I’d never even knew was there (I passed it a few times on my commute in three years but was not looking for it), is an exquisite venue (although a little cramped towards the end) for a show of this caliber. With at least 10 big screen TVs and an entire building devoted to the sports world, they were able to host one hell of a show.
The first band of the night, an all-original track production of a group called Diligence, was a nicely done change in the atmosphere. A trio of musicians (lead acoustic, drummer, and rhythm guitar/flute player (!)) from the area that really shocked me because of how well they sounded. The crowd, which was just about to explode in size when they finished their 30-45 minute set, was really appreciative of their performance.
Next on the list was a brilliant cover band of the group The Cult…named “Love” (after the band’s second album), they performed the gamut of Cult classics (such as “Fire Woman” and “Love Removal Machine”) and even a few tracks that I, as someone who doesn’t listen to all of their music, appreciated; tracks which included “Lil Devil” and “Sweet Soul Sister”. Lead singer Jay Nova Castronova, who performed diligently through the set, really impressed me (and the audience) with his on-point renditions of these tracks…considering he was pulling double duty last night (more on that in a moment). A well-appreciated show, they were the shot in the arm that made the final act so special.
As for the final act, the aforementioned Jay Nova Castronova (now switching to drummer), John Traylor, Virgil Varan, and Julian Simonelli proved why they are the ROCK GODS known as The Wizard of Ozz.
Kicking off their 20th year in the industry (on 4/20, which you would know about if you read my post from yesterday) and consisting, for the first time that I’ve seen them, with the ORIGINAL line-up from 1993, they really mastered the crowd interaction (which had increased tremendously in-between sets) and pulled out some tracks that I had not, in all my countless times to see them, heard them perform on stage.
Performing such classics as “War Pigs”, “Road to Nowhere” (first time I’ve seen that), “Fairies Wear Boots” (ditto), and the always-popular “Flying High Again” and “Sweet Leaf” (420-based references), John and the gang truly showed why they have a great reputation for the industry…the vocals were on-point and the interaction with the crowd, as always, was paramount to their success all these years.
Also of note was the fact that, for two songs, Jay Nova stepped aside…the first track was for John’s daughter Brianna, who rocked the house on “Paranoid” (which she’s done before…and was treated with respect last night after ROCKING the track) and the finale of “Crazy Train” was percussed masterfully by another “brother” from the old days, Brian Gabriel, who did his job as an old pro would be expected to.
The night, on the whole, was a beautifully orchestrated night of music that any and all night-owls would appreciate. The crowd was so enthralled and, as a writer, I was glad that I was a part of it…and one that I will certainly be enjoying in the future.
The Wizard of Ozz is definitely a band that you should check out…you will not be disappointed…as someone who’s seen them a lot, they showed last night why they have had such longevity and hopefully many, many more years to come!!!
/,,,/ RoCk On DuDeZ \,,,\