For all of those who do not live in Hollywood, California I will start by clarifying that the Viper Room is not half the hot spot it was in the 1990’s. Once known for River Phoenix dying right outside the front door and a recycled clip of Tommy Lee decking a paparazzi on the sidewalk. The Viper Room clout waned through the 90’s and into the new millennium. The nail in the coffin was when co-founder/partner Johnny Depp cashed out and walked away from the club. Suddenly it was just another iconic place on Sunset Strip booking crappy bands – anybody with 12 bucks could get inside.
The 1980’s tribute/parody act Steel Panther started at the Viper in 1998 as a band called Camaro and then Metal Shop. The act was a local favorite and soon the Viper found itself bursting at the seems every Monday night (The Viper only holds about 80 people). By 2002, Metal Shop moved across the street to the four times larger, Roxy Theatre. The brief stint of actually mattering again in the L.A. nightlife scene was over.
Enter XXX. Formed by a series of L.A. natives and local club icons, this male backed/girl fronted band could just be the thing to get the Viper Room back on the map. XXX covers mostly punk songs, ranging from Joan Jett to Rancid. The girls are hot and – as hard as it is for me to concede such a thing – the guys are too. Between the 6 members of XXX there are enough tattoos to hold another convention on the Queen Mary. The live show is a blur of loud rock ‘n’ roll, and perfect L.A. bodies flailing all over the stage. Expect some flashing from both the band and the crowd and don’t be surprised to go home with a free drink – thrown on your shirt.
Check out XXX every Monday night at the Viper Room on West Hollywood’s legendary Sunset Strip. Do it now before the show moves down the block, the ticket price doubles and the crowd is all from Orange County.