Live review: Bang Tango @ Slapsy Maxie’s (3/10/10)

Bang Tango’s been touring off and on since 1987, the only mainstay in the band being singer Joe LeSte. I’m not sure the last time they played Columbus although I do remember the last time I saw them – 1996 at the Alrosa Villa with Warrant and L.A. Guns.

So – if for no other reason than to hear “Heart of Stone” and “Someone Like You” – there was no way I was going to miss Bang Tango’s show at Slapsy Maxie’s even though reviews from the band’s recent tour have been mixed at best (supposedly one night the set was mostly covers with just one or two originals; there have also been reports of sloppy and drunken performances).

Slapsy Maxie’s has only recently started booking national touring acts (Dirty Penny has played there twice; Tesla’s guitarist Dave Rude has an upcoming show) and it’s a bit hidden in a strip mall off the beaten path, but it’s an ideal venue for bands like Bang Tango that don’t have the draw they may have once had. And for those like myself who live for nostalgic moments, Slapsy Maxie’s delivered last night, not only with the selection of bands performing but also with the conversations I overheard (people were talking about the Bulletboys and Great White) and the music being played on the jukebox (Jackyl, Zeppelin, etc.).

Bang Tango hit the stage close to midnight with a lineup that include Alex Grossi (ex-Quiet Riot) on guitar, Lance Eric on bass, and Trent Anderson (ex-Muchacha, Rockit Girl) on drums (damn, I wish I had known about Anderson’s Chicago rock background before going to the show!).

Bang Tango setlist

LeSte traveled through Bang Tango’s back catalog playing a set of mostly familiar songs. I’m partial to the band’s first album, Psycho Cafe, and was happy to hear tracks like “Attack of Life”, “Don’t Stop Now”, and the previously mentioned “Heart of Stone” and “Someone Like You”.

Bang Tango did play a new song (“Suck it Up” from an album that has been in the works for a few years and still isn’t done) and tossed in a couple of standard covers (T-Rex’s “20th Century Boy” and AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell”) for an efficient 13-song set.

Overall, totally worth the $6 cover charge. There are a lot of rock clubs out there like Slapsy Maxie’s that book bands like Bang Tango, The Bulletboys, Enuff Z’Nuff, D’Molls, Rhino Bucket, Broken Teeth, etc. Please make sure that if you dig these types of band, you go out and check ’em out so that these clubs continue to bring these bands around.

Photos after the jump.

Joe LeSte - Bang Tango

Alex Grossi - Bang Tango

Bang Tango

Joe LeSte - Bang Tango

Alex Grossi - Bang Tango

Bang Tango

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