Sometimes timing is everything. Within a few hours after being asked to review Classless Act‘s debut album, Welcome To The Show, I received my approval to cover their upcoming appearance here in Orlando. This wasn’t just any show as they would be part of the biggest tour of the year. Classless Act would be opening on the Stadium Tour, sharing the stage with Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Poison, and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts. Not bad for 5 strangers who met on social media just a few years ago. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about covering concerts, especially outdoors in Florida, things can change in a flash. More on that later.
Derek Day: Vocals
Dane Pieper: Guitar
Griffin Tucker: Guitar
Franco Gravante: Bass
Chuck McKissock: Drums
My expectations were already high after finding out that Classless Act had been working with producers like Bob Rock, Joe Chiccarrelli and Michael Beinhorn. The list of artists that these three musical masterminds have helped would fill this page but include Metallica, Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2. The 1st track on the album is “Classless Act” and features an appearance from Vince Neil of Motley Crue. The string-bending duo of Griffin Tucker and Dane Pieper is mind-blowing and cohesive. This song is pure fire and sets the table as far as what is yet to come. Another fact that I was unaware of is that this track was mixed and produced by the band’s bassist, Franco Gravante. The accompanying video is a play on the courtroom scene from the movie My Cousin Vinny.
“This Is For You” is a hard-charging song that features another guest star. This time it’s Justin Hawkins from the Darkness providing a blistering guitar solo on his Gibson 335. There have been instances where I’ve reviewed a song or album and couldn’t really feel the artist’s enthusiasm or emotion until I watched their videos. This is not the case with Classless Act. Their unbridled energy and passion radiate from each and every song. Now don’t get me wrong, the videos are totally lit.
Guitarist Griffin Tucker opens up “Time To Bleed” with a stylish little riff and the rest of the band is quick to join in. The way these guys gel would lead you to believe that they’ve been playing together for years. Drummer Chuck McKissock also shines on this fun and dynamic track.
“All That We Are” is a drum heavy tune that is punctuated by a scorching guitar solo. The ironic “Storm Before The Calm” offers a little change of pace. Singer Derek Day’s vocals start off slowly before giving way to a slightly heavier chorus. A solid track for sure. “Give it To Me” is probably my favorite song on the album and was also the band’s debut single. Classless Act says that the song “perfectly represents the group’s deft ability to take a vintage tone and inject it with new, modern energy, bringing life back to a time-honored rock n roll sound.” How in the world do I follow that up? This song is under 3 minutes in duration but believe me when I say that big things come in small packages. If I had to choose a 2nd favorite, it would be “Circles.” It’s the longest track on the album and deservingly so. The slower tempo and acoustic guitar provided the perfect balance for the album.
I cover all genres of music but I’m a sucker for the old school rock n’ roll. This album not only delivers on that aspect but the band adds their own energized flavor to it. Their videos prove what I had already concluded from listening to the album. Individually these guys are talented and passionate musicians, but the way in which they were drawn together is nothing short of fate. Being hand-picked to share the bill on one of the biggest tours of the year is a testament to their pure raw talent. Now back to that live appearance. The rain gods weren’t in our favor as one of our brutal afternoon storms rolled through the area just as I was arriving at the stadium. We were told that Classless Act’s set was being nixed due to the unavoidable delay. By the time we were told they were going to play after all, they were already halfway through their 4-song set and there wasn’t time to make it to the pit. Until they hit Florida again, Welcome To The Show will remain firmly planted at the top of my playlist.
Album Rating: 9.5/10
1.Classless Act (feat. Vince Neil of Motley Crue)
2.This Is For You (feat. Justin Hawkins)
3. Time To Bleed
4.On My Phone
5.All That We Are
6.Made In Hell
7.Storm Before The Calm
10.Give It To Me
12.Thoughts From A Dying Man
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