Steve Ferlazzo will premiere his new SOUNDCHECK LIVE production at Lucky Strike Live in Hollywood on Wednesday, March 16.
An alumni of the Berklee School of Music, Ferlazzo is the keyboardist and music director for Avril Lavigne . He has also played with two members of Extreme as the keyboardist for Gary Cherone in his Tribe of Judah project, and for Nuno Bettencourt in his DramaGods band.
There have been a number of times where Nuno has performed with Ferlazzo at Lucky Strike and he has brought Extreme in a few times to play there as well.
Over the past year, he has participated in many events at Lucky Strike Live including many charity events such as the Music on a Mission: Mending Kids event (that featured Gene Simmons, Johnny Depp and Extreme), the DimeBash for the Dio Cancer Fund, Bowling for Bunnies with Playboy, featuring Deryck Whibley of Sum 41, Gilby Clarke from Guns N Roses, and Noodles from Offspring) for the LA Food Bank, and ACK! a tribute to Ace Frehley.
With all the buzz of Soundcheck Live, California Rock News asked Steve about his new production and got some insight into what to expect from his new weekly, which will include some of the industry’s leading professional session and touring players, as well as big name talent all together under one roof.
Ferlazzo has chosen this band carefully and wisely however, he recognizes that as these are top players, there will be stretches of time that they will be unavailable due to touring or getting called up for projects, where he will simply bring in another very well-known player to “sit-in” during that time, which will keep the resident band dynamic and fresh.
FORMAT OF THE SHOW
The show will be presented as a night of music in three ACTS/ sets and will feature a cast of players performing on a weekly basis to allow them to have plenty of time on stage and an opportunity to express themselves musically. Guest performers will be rotated out to allow more variety and diversity in players. Ferlazzo believe this will keep this part of the evening “fresh and exciting”.
ACT I – MEET THE CAST
The first set features LA’s top pro session and touring players coming together to perform two to three songs in a featured lineup.
The players will submit song suggestions and ideas that they feel a personal connection to that will, in turn bring about a more inspiring performance. Since he’s always been about “diversity and scale”, he will feature and have a pro horn section and string section “at the ready each week to provide alternative instrumentation, which allows for more realized production numbers.” The resident band will lead the show in and out of the set, but it’s “the SONGS that determine the instrumentation”. Whenever possible, all performer lineups will be strongly encouraged to specifically deviate from original song form to provide an interesting twist to otherwise classic arrangements.
ACT II – GUEST CURATED
A special headliner or headliners will put together a special set of songs of their own choosing, whatever players they want to bring in to realize their vision and in a format of their choosing. They are encouraged to bring along any “special guests” to assist. His job at that point, is to fill any holes and to provide any additional musical direction to assist and the execution of the artists vision. The headliner will be made aware of the available “cast” for that evening and as such will have a solid stable of players to round out their vision.
ACT III – ALL TOGETHER NOW
Whereas ACT I and II can be considered “polished sets”, ACT II is where it “cuts loose.” Ferlazzo describes ACT III as a shortened jam session specifically designed to mix up all players from ACT I and II and have configurations of players that either “have not played together before and on songs that might be considered outside of their normal areas. He aims to “inspire the sense of musical camaraderie and how musicians intuitively connect and interact on stage with a flair for the sense of unease that comes from not know if the train is going to stay on the track.” While players will have time to individually prepare these songs in advance, the event will “stay true to the mantra, Unrehearsed, Unexpected, Unforgettable — there will never be rehearsal for any songs in the their ACT”.
“I believe all the factors combined make for a very exciting and fresh take on the “jam session” which has been an integral part of the LA music community for many years – STEVE FERLAZZO
Ferlazzo’s thoughts on Lucky Strike Live
“I loved the venue from the first time I walked into it. I had no idea what to expect. I was like, wait, this is a bowling alley. I quickly learned it was much more. The environment and vibe inside Lucky Strike Live is vibrant and alive. There’s just a sense that something is happening wherever you go inside the club. On stage, by the lanes, in the Lounge area, it just reeks of a “scene”. The management and staff are working to deliver a positive customer experience. The sound system is great and is being upgraded constantly to deliver the most competitive live sonic experience. We’ve been blessed with some amazing gear endorsements that allow us to have the best pro gear on stage: Friedman, Aguilar, DW, Sabian, Matchless, Arturia, and DiAngelico. In addition, the location is killer and has VERY convenient parking.”
The show will start at 9PM and will end between 12:30 – 12:45AMish
Here are the announced members of the resident band:
☞Steve Ferlazzo – Avril Lavigne, DramaGods
☞Glen Sobel – Alice Cooper
☞Carl Restivo – Tom Morello, Satellite Party
☞Steve Fekete – Avril Lavigne, Vertical Horizon
☞Derek Frank – Shania Twain
☞Resident DJ, Ace Von Johnson of Faster Pussycat
For the inaugura; show:
Lucky Strike Soundcheck Live Guest Curator Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme / Rihanna) will team up with Sebastian Bach for a unique collaboration…
Plus a Special Mini-Set by “Black Mongoose“, featuring:
✦Doug Aldrich (Dead Daisies / Whitesnake)
✦Francesco DiCosmo (Thin Lizzy)
✦Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy Osbourne / Quiet Riot)
✦Brian Tichy (Bonzo Bash Founder / ex Foreigner Drummer)
✦Orianthi (Michael Jackson / Alice Cooper)
✦Tommy Henriksen (Alice Cooper)
✦Jim McGorman (Gwen Stefani / Avril Lavigne / Rockstar House Band)
✦Nicole Kehl (Nick Jonas / Iggy Azalea / Rihanna)
✦Chris Reeve (Filter)
✦Ashley Dzerigian (Filter)
✦Special Guest DJ: Ace von Johnson (Faster Pussycat)
✦Steve Ferlazzo (Avril Lavigne, DramaGods)
✦Glen Sobel (Alice Cooper)
✦Carl Restivo (Tom Morello, Satellite Party)
✦Steve Fekete (Avril Lavigne, Vertical Horizon)
✦Derek Frank (Shania Twain)