Pat Travers @ The Compound Grill

Pat Travers can kick ass in more ways than one. First, the Canadian guitarist is a black belt in Isshin Ryu Karate. And though he won't demonstrate martial arts moves on stage, Travers' hard-hitting music is still a kick in the face. Travers' work is heavy in sound and thick with texture. Influenced by the British blues-rock movement of the late 1960s and inspired directly by Jimi Hendrix, Travers' guitar-centric songs fit perfectly in the mid-1970s era of musical over-indulgence. "Boom, Boom (Out Go the Lights)" is his signature song and show closer, while "Snortin' Whiskey" muscled onto the Top 40 charts. Metallica's Kirk Hammett even referred to Travers as one of his favorite guitarists during a 2001 interview. Travers' commercial success, however, was short-lived, and by the late 1980s, he was just hanging on, bottoming out with "I La La La Love You," a soft-rock hit from the film Valley Girl. Travers even slummed briefly in a '70s rock cover band. More recently, Travers has returned to form, even if only playing Moose Lodges and small clubs rather than the 50,000-plus capacity stadiums of the band's heyday. But size doesn't matter, and Pat Travers, if nothing else, remains a fighter.

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