The past year was one that the members of L.A’s newest rock darlings, Classless Act, will not soon forget. They kicked the year off with a spring tour supporting Dorothy that ended in May. Next came the release of their debut full-length album, Welcome To The Show. Their summer was spent traversing the United States opening each show on the Motley Crue/Def Leppard, co-headlining Stadium Tour. Lastly, they finished off the year with their first headlining club tour. In a fitting end to what they would probably describe as each of their most momentous year, the group put the finishing touch on 2022 with a show at The Knitting Factory in North Hollywood on December 30th.
If you have not had the opportunity to experience a Classless Act show, it would be recommended that you prepare for the explosion of energy with which you will be bombarded. They deliver an 80 minute set, which will feature every song from their record, plus a few special treats. The group seems to be on a quest to ensure that every square inch of the stage has been trod upon as well as being baptized with their sweat. From the opening riff of the first number, Haunting Love, the talented quintet radiate energy and emotion as they tear through their set. Vocalist Derek Day leans out toward the lucky few who make up the front row of the narrow venue, while pointing, gesturing and generally mugging at them.
While Day retreats toward the drum riser and back to the front edge of the stage, somehow he takes no hits in the face from guitarist Griffin Tucker’s headstock. As Tucker leans back and thrusts forward again, with seemingly no awareness of where Day is, the two engage in what appears to be a choreographed dance of near misses. All of this happening without missing a beat. During numbers like Made In Hell and On My Phone, bassist Franco Gravante probably relishes the respite from bandmate dodging when he gets to take his place behind the piano that is off the frontlines. In reference to the special treats, midway through the performance, they delight the 200 or so in attendance with a rendition of Queen and David Bowie’s Under Pressure, with Tucker and Day trading vocals much like the legends who recorded the tune.
As the show enters its back half, the classless ones rev up the crowd with a trio of their more popular numbers. They bring the show to a crescendo with Give It To Me, This Is For You and a finale of their namesake anthem Classless Act. Without ever leaving the stage, they mix things up dramatically as they all switch roles for the Led Zeppelin classic Rock And Roll. For this one, drummer Chuck McKissock abdicates his throne behind the kit to be front and center and play bass. Guitarist Dane Pieper has been barely visible, on the right of the stage for most of the show, aside from a few dancing forays into the middle of the stage. Pieper mans the piano for the Zep number. Gravante plays tandem lead guitar with Day, who handle the vocal duties as usual. Tucker seizes the drum kit for this one. They nail the song and each exhibit how far their talents go beyond their usual instruments.
They finish the evening with their rendition of the holiday classic It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year. There is a very entertaining video for that one. When the last song is over, you get the sense the the young men would stay and play for another two hours if they could. If you missed this tour, and you want to see them perform, and you should if you love rock n’ roll, best to catch them next time they are around. It can be assumed that next they might be taken out by an established act through theaters. After that, you’ll probably be needing binoculars to get a view. Either way, this band is not just up and coming, they are already here. Their name belies them, this group of young men may just be the class of the younger rock bands.
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