When I went to see the show “27 Club” at the Belly Up, I didn’t know I was in for such an unforgettable experience. First let me tell you a little about the creator/producer and how the show came together as one. Kenneth Rexrode came up with this idea when he was on a bicycle ride in Fallbrook. He came up with the brilliant plan of combining many different styles of guitar to tell stories of who once were. The first show was performed about 2 ½ Years ago in San Diego, CA. The feedback was so outstanding that Ken decided to have a 2nd show in Carlsbad, CA. The show progressed and became very successful. The 3rd show than took place at the Belly Up in Solana Beach, CA and from there on it became a collaboration of San Diego’s finest musicians that came as one to perform part theater and part multimedia which is said to be some of the best music in the world.
The show tonight is titled “The 27 club’ which is a show celebrating the lives and music of artists who died at or close to the age of 27. Tonight we bring back the music of legends like: Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Robert Johnson, Jim Morrison and more. What I liked so much about the evening was that the show was not only entertaining but also very informative.
The show started with a bit of a surprise when Taylor John Williams, the semifinalist from 2014 “The Voice”, started out the evening playing his own originals. The crowd was very excited when they figured out who the artist on stage was. I was able to feel his passion in the way he delivered his music to a very accepting audience and was very uplifted myself. He had not just mine but also the audience full attention throughout his performance.
After the opening act the story of the great Robert Johnson was told. It was very informative and if you didn’t know Robert Johnson, you felt like you knew him very well after his story was told. Robin Henkel recreated Robert Johnson music with his own spin and interpretation of Robert’s playing, giving it the Louisiana or Mississippi atmosphere. The crowd enjoyed his performance and showed it by cheering and whistling for him.
The well-known, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist, Greg Douglass entered the stage together with Leonard Patton and gave a breath taking performance of the Doors song “Light my fire”. I couldn’t wait to see what other great talent this evening had in store for me and the audience. Jimmy Patton totally rocked it with his beautiful acoustic guitar medley which included the Rolling Stones “Angie“ and other well-known songs. When the transition into the Rolling Stones song “(I can’t get no) Satisfaction” started, the crowd started singing the lyrics to it until they didn’t know the words anymore which made everyone laugh. Jimmy is unbelievable on the acoustic guitar and received at the end of his performance a much deserved standing ovation.
When Casey Hensley who recreated Janis Joplin started her performance, I instantly had goosebumps all over me. Her voice is just amazing and her range is crazy. The crowd cheered from the moment she hit the first note. Janis Joplin would have been highly impressed by Casey’s talent if she would have seen her performance. This performance also received a standing ovation.
Then Sherri Anne (Sister Speak) came on stage recreating some of Nirvana’s hits. One of the songs was “Come as you are” which she performed together with Taylor John Williams. She also played a much subdued version of the song “Smells like teen spirit” and ended with “Heart shaped box”.
Whitney Shay on the other side gave us a much different vibe and you noticed the room atmosphere was changing. She recreated Amy Winehouse in look and attitude. Whitney became Amy Winehouse if even only for a moment. Whitney has a beautiful voice with a hint of smokiness and her performance was spot on and very entertaining. The crowd was focused on her from the very first moment she sang all the way through to the stunning “(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay” where Greg Douglass once again showed his guitar skills. The crowd really got into it and when Amy Winehouse’s song “Rehab” started, the crowd sang along in support of Whitney.
It seemed like they kept the best for last. Out to the stage enters Leonard Patton and Crew who are paying their respect to the one and only Jimi Hendrix. I can honestly say “The party was on”. The stage rocked, the crowd cheered and rocked along. Greg Douglas played guitar behind his head during the song “Purple haze” just the way Jimmy Hendrix used to play it. It was crazy and the crowd cheered and whistled as they gave another standing ovation.
Sadly it was time for the finale. All the artists from this evening’s festivities gathered on stage to perform a classic Robert Johnson song “Crossroads Blues” which when combined with Robert’s song “Traveling riverside Blues” became what we know today as Cream’s “Crossroads”. This created an unforgettable moment for the audience that they will remember for a lifetime. I was sad when the show ended because it filled me with such happiness and joy knowing that I was blessed to see such an event. I highly recommend for anybody who has the chance to go and experience one of Kenneth Rexrode’s events to do so. He has a talent for bringing in great talent.
Venue: Belly Up
Show: Six String Society, 27 Club, April 30-2017