Concert Review

Hairforce at Upper Deck Sports Grill: Move Over Metalhead, Hairforce Wants a Piece of the Money-Making Pie

Metalhead must be pissed. There's another hair metal cover band in town and they have G-String, the group's old guitarist who was the most charismatic member of the group. First, let me say I love Metalhead. I've spent many Sunday nights rocking out to their shows. Sadly, though, the new guitarist doesn't hold a candle to G-String. Sure he has the look, but the charisma isn't there. I'm sorry if you're reading this, guys. I really do love you.

So who is this new hair metal cover band trying to steal a piece of Metalhead's pie? They're called Hairforce and they play every Saturday at Scottsdale's Upper Deck Sports Grill. I headed out to the first show on Saturday and couldn't help but draw comparisons and a few key differences to Metalhead throughout the two out of three sets I witnessed.

First off, Upper Deck isn't charging a cover for Hairforce. It's FREE (for now anyway). Martini Ranch charges a $5 cover for Metalhead and they usually make you wait in line even if the bar isn't crowded - just to create a buzz on Sundays. Hey Martini Ranch, this is a bad idea and it makes your patrons a little bitter. If I didn't like Metalhead so much, I would spend my money somewhere else.

Unlike Metalhead, the guys don't take obnoxiously long breaks between their sets. Once again, I love you Metalhead. but the length of your breaks is ridiculous. The breaks are longer than the band's sets. Hairforce took pretty brief breaks, which was nice. Especially since Upper Deck doesn't have an upstairs dance floor like Martini Ranch does to pass the time in.

The guys in Hairforce all have funny stage names like the guys in Metalhead or the even more well known Metal Skool who make the scene in Hollywood, Calif. for a weekly gig at the Key Club.

The members include singer Bobby Scotch (otherwise known as Violet Wild front man Bobby Scott), guitarist G-String, bassist Franklin Badparty (otherwise known as Chris Serafini who plays bass in Let Go and Violet Wild) and drummer Al Natural. The guys were clad in long-haired wigs, loads of guy-liner and spandex.

Listening to the band, it's clear that the guys are seasoned performers. They did an awesome job at entertaining the crowd, which really grew by the end of the night. They covered a similar set list to Metalhead's with songs like Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name" and Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It."

They also threw in some random songs like "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" by The Darkness and "I Want You to Want Me" by Cheap Trick. The latter is a song that Martini Ranch's Saturday night cover band Rock Lobster (who often features some of the Metalhead musicians) covers. A slew of scantily-clad go-go dancers wearing tight little shorts and barely-there tanks and fish-net stockings got the crowd moving, bringing guys and girls on the dance floor throughout the night. All in all it was a pretty fun show.

One thing missing from the set? The witty banter the Metalhead and Metal Skool guys share between songs was noticeably absent. There was a little but not nearly as much as the other two bands. However the guys are still pretty new, so give them time. If I had to choose between watching Metalhead or Hairforce, I'd say Metalhead. They will always have a place in my heart. Ask me again in a year when Hairforce's show is a little more polished, though, and I might have a different answer.

Critic's Notebook:

Last Night: Hairforce at Upper Deck Sports Grill

Better Than: Being hung over on a Monday after staying out too late and drinking way too much at Metalhead and being unproductive at work.

Personal Bias: The guys are adorable. And I'm so excited to see G-String on stage again. Aside from Steel, he was always one of my favorite Metalhead performers. Sorry Lucky.

Random Fact: Some friends from my kickball team dared me to grab Bobby Scotch's ass. I did and they were tickled.

Further Listening: They're still pretty new so there's not a Hairforce live album yet but give it time. If you really want to get your hair metal on, I suggest cranking up Bon Jovi's "Slippery When Wet," one of the greatest albums of all time.

By The Way: Gin Blossoms lead singer Robin Wilson's older brother Lance, a good friend and my brother from another mother (we share the same last name!), was in attendance rockin' out along with several industry folks who somehow got the night off.

One More Thing: Upper Deck Sports Grill owner Tom Anderson's adorable and beautiful wife Roberta Anderson was there rocking out with the rest of us. And can you blame her? I love this woman!