Thursday December 22, at the Turning Stone Casino Event Center in Verona, NY a packed crowd was treated to a pre-holiday celebration. The unique collaboration of all star musicians aptly named the Kings of Chaos is comprised of Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Chester Bennington (Linkin Park/Stone Temple Pilots), Stevie Stevens (Billy Idol), Billy Duffy (the Cult), Matt Sorum (Guns N Roses/ Velvet Revolver), Robert DeLeo (Stone Temple Pilots), and Robin Zander (Cheap Trick).
Opening the show was the Las Vegas hard rock band, Franky Perez and the Truth. The name may sound familiar as Franky Perez is no stranger to the hard rock scene. He has worked with a variety of well-known musicians such a Apocalyptica, Slash, and Scars on Broadway. Franky’s latest band delivered a solid 45 minute set with a mix of bluesy hard rock tunes including a crowd pleasing cover of Nine Inch Nail’s mega hit “Closer” along with a very moving version of the immortal gospel blues classic “John the Revelator.”
After a brief set change, the lights went dim and the intro cued up, alerting the crowd that the Kings were about to take the stage. Matt Sorum, Stevie Stevens, Robert DeLeo, Billy Duffy and Chester Bennington exploded onto the stage wasting no time launching into Stone Temple Pilot’s “Vasoline.” After hearing Chester perform the STP hit, it’s clear to me why he was an excellent choice to fill in for the late Scott Weiland. It wasn’t long before Stevie Stevens tore right into the Billy Idol classic “White Wedding” enticing the crowd to sing along. Next to emerge on stage was Cheap Trick’s front man, Robin Zander! Sporting a white suit and top hat, Zander got right down to business singing Cheap Trick’s mega hits, “Hello There,” “Surrender,” and “ I Want You to Want Me.”
Next a performer whom I have admired for a long time sauntered onstage and up to the mic, sporting his trademark dark sunglasses, long beard and his faithful guitar Rev Willy, it was none other than Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top! Sharped dressed as always and quick with a joke, Gibbons didn’t waste any time hitting the crowd with “Waitin’ for The Bus,” “Sharp Dressed Man,” and “Tush.” I must say , despite Gibbons being in his late sixties, he can certainly still throw down the riffs just as hard as anyone younger or older! I was very glad to see him rock out on stage again.
After a a short break, the band performed a small set of acoustic tunes which included “Edie (Ciao Baby),” “Jesus Just Left Chicago” and “Interstate Love Song.” After Interstate Love Song, Chester Bennington thanked Robert DeLeo for writing one of the “best songs ever.” The band switched back to their electric gear and cranked out a few more songs before all the performers took the stage to belt out one incredibly loud and powerful, rockin version of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.” I’m not a big Zeppelin fan but I must say I was blown away by their version of the song!