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Nita Strauss Rocks The Metro Music Hall

Every now and then in the music scene someone comes along who you just know is going to be a game changer.  I had to opportunity to see such a person live in concert this past Monday night as Nita Strauss played at The Metro Music Hall in Salt Lake City. If you don’t know who Strauss is then do yourself a favor and watch some of her videos on YouTube, you’ll be glad you did.  She is one of the hardest working entertainers out there, whether it’s playing guitar while being a touring member of Alice Cooper’s band, or touring with her own band, she is nonstop one hundred percent.

Strauss put on a classic rock show that harkens back to the glory days of rock and metal music.  The show, put her amazing raw talent with the guitar on full display for the lucky fans in attendance. She has become one of the best-known names in the rock scene and is regarded as one of the best guitarists out there today. Seeing her play live on the stage I could easily see why she has that reputation, and I must say it is well deserved. Watching her glide across the stage playing the guitar seemed effortless even though I’m sure it wasn’t and that it was the result of hours of practice and rehearsal. She strode around the stage while playing killer riffs, jumping, swinging her guitar around and upside down and never missing a beat.  The performance was almost like watching a dancer put on a routine while playing the guitar at the same time.

Strauss and her band were flawless this evening which speaks of the quality of her band mates also. You could see the rapport she has with keyboardist Katt Scarlett, who was also her band mate in Femme Fatale. Katt is extremely talented on the keys and even lent her vocals to some of the songs. Fellow guitarists Johnny Young (rhythm) and Christopher Dean (bass) held their own up on stage and had the fans cheering. Her drummer, Josh Villalta, put on a classic show. His drum solo in the middle of the set took me right back to my youth at a rock concert, seeing an amazing drummer play a long solo and just killing it. I was excited to see the drums highlighted in the set even though we knew that the guitar would be the crown instrument this night with Strauss playing. The long drum solo is something I think is missing from a lot of current rock shows, so it was a welcome sight.

As with all good things the night had to come to an end though. The mark of a good show is the fan’s reaction at the end of it, and I was glad to see people talking about it with each other after the show. Some of the people I talked with said it was the first time seeing her and even hearing of her, but they loved the performance and couldn’t wait to see her again. I look forward to the next show myself, but you can see her on the road now with Black Label Society through May 21st and on her solo tour now.

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