Back in July we got a sneak preview of Tyler Vela’s new Band, Dead Vinyl, courtesy of Fort Worth Rock Assembly staff. At the time, we were told that the band was called Sweet Ride, but apparently that was some sort of a clever ruse to lead us astray. Musicians — whaddaya gonna do?
The Fort Worth Rock Assembly is a three-day festival featuring the best local bands, each doing a tribute to a different classic-rock band. It’s kind of a secret-squirrel arrangement, with nobody knowing who is doing what band until the last minute. However, our preview show had Sweet Dead Vinyl Ride doing Led Zeppelin covers, so I had a pretty good idea. Turns out, I guessed right, and being the diehard Led Zeppelin fan that I am, I had to see it.
When I got there, Shake the Moon was finishing up a set of Hall & Oates covers. I was impressed at how tight this band was, and will be looking to catch one of its shows soon.
One of the things that makes these shows so much fun is the care that Fort Worth Rock Assembly host Tony Diaz and company take to make sure the local bands match the cover. Nobody I can think of would be a better match than Dead Vinyl. The band consists of Tyler Vela (guitar), Zach Tucker (bass) and Valmir Hajro (drums), and a new lead singer, Royal Savages veteran Lauren Moore, making her debut with the band at the festival.
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Dead Vinyl started off the set with The Ocean, and right away I knew the group had made the right choice in lead singers. Moore can really sing, and you aren’t going to find many male singers (including former Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant these days) who can do this stuff. Vela has a wonderful chaotic aggression to his playing that is so in tune with what Jimmy Page did. It was a perfect fit, and we got song after song of Zeppelin awesomeness: Houses of the Holy, Moby Dick, Communication Breakdown and How Many More Times, to name a few .
Next up was Panic Volcanic doing Black Sabbath, with Ansley “The Destroyer” Dougherty in the Ozzy role. I confess, I’m not a Sabbath fan. I’d certainly rather listen to Panic Volcanic doing Panic Volcanic tunes. But they nailed this stuff, as expected, and the crowd loved them for it. Blake Parish joined in on harmonica for The Wizard; the group also did Paranoid and ended the set with War Pigs (my favorite Sabbath tune).
Closing out the night was the Me-Thinks doing Spinal Tap. It started with a video of the band being lost backstage, like in the movie, and Ray Liberio made a valiant effort at shoving a foil-wrapped cucumber down the front of his pants. After that, the band’s notoriously hyperactive smoke machine occluded everything. The band consisted of Liberio (bass, vocals), Trucker John (drums), Johnny Trash Pockets (guitar), Marlin Von Bungy (guitar) and Daron Beck of Pinkish Black (synth).
This is the third installment of the Rock Assembly, and this thing just keeps getting better. I just wish I had been able to catch all the bands on all the days.
FORT WORTH ROCK ASSEMBLY
Saturday, Nov. 15
2736 W. Sixth St.
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