E-String Bar and Grill hosted probably the most eclectic music show I have ever seen in Las Vegas on September 13.
Singer/songwriter Kevin Mallos opened up the night playing an acoustic guitar accompanied on guitar by Joel Collins from Viridian. It was a little hard to hear Kevin’s vocals on the first song “Heaven Help Us,” however, as the night went on the sound improved.”Spinning My Wheels” was a more catchy and commercialized tune that had a more enjoyable guitar part and better sounding vocals. “Can’t You See” by the Marshall Tucker Band and “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd were two covers played by Mallos that night. Hearing songs they knew kept the crowd entertained. While listening to “Been Sitting Around” I was reminded of U2. “I Won’t Let It Get Me Down” gave Kevin his best vocals and the song was complimented by the power of Joel Collin’s guitar. His most emotional and intimate song came on his last offering “When We Bleed”. The guitar had a darker feel to it and changed the atmosphere within the room.
One would expect an eclectic night at E-Stings Bar and Grill would span a wide genre of musical styles. Enter Prince Ama. Looking all the part of royalty, with chains hanging and shades on the dark stage, he stepped on with pizzazz and arrogance only found with true rock stars. With the trademark syncopation and heavy bass guitar laden rifts, this quiet bar nestled in Henderson’s suburbia rocked some hard island sounds that night. Reggae artists are sometimes hard to understand and Prince Ama’s set was no exception, though I began to hear his style and understand his word structure towards the end. The music his band was playing had very similar musical structure as other more well-known songs, almost to say he used the biggest tunes of another artist a la Bob Marley, and put his own words to them. His second song, which was a combination of groovy, up-tempo with a more melodic second half, had definite influences of “Exodus” by Bob Marley and the Wailers, and Peter Tosh’s “Get Up, Stand Up”. There was also some more up-tempo dance hall tunes intermixed as well and provided a good mix to keep the audience moving in their seats. To sum up the performance: “entertained” would be the choice word I would use. Nothing new here, but still entertaining nonetheless.
Serena Kiddy, lead singer of Viridian, was a beautiful ball of energy on stage. Rocking the crowd with her fiery mane, her low, sexy voice commanded attention. I had already noticed the influential guitar work of Joel Collins earlier in the night. When Viridian opened up with a song called “BattleBorn,” not only did I notice Serena Kiddy, also the energy and presence of drummer Christian Alexander Eastman was evident. An untitled country blues song gave Joel Collins his best guitar solo of the night. One of the aspects of watching this band I enjoyed most was the fact that they were a multi-vocalist group. On “The Architect” Chris Barragato explodes with energy and another powerful voice in the arsenal of the band. I was able to see something I had never seen before at this show. While watching bass player Billy Eason warm up I noticed I could hear him playing even when he wasn’t in the room. He had his bass and his amp in synch somehow that allowed him to play his instrument from another part of the bar. I asked him why he did this and he said since he was a big guy he needed room to move around. “The Power Line” was a slow track that will be featured on the No Harm Done compilation CD. No Harm Done is a project highlighting the problem of domestic abuse and has songs from many different artists in Las Vegas. All proceeds from sales of the CD will go to Safenest.
Kevin Mallos contact information