Live Photos and Gig Review Credit: © Robert Cavuoto
Jake E. Lee and Red Dragon Cartel Ignite Mexicali Live in Teaneck NJ!
Former Ozzy Osbourne and Badlands guitarist Jake E. Lee is currently out on tour with his new band Red Dragon Cartel in support of their debut CD released this past January.
Tonight’s show was a makeup date for a show that was missed due to some travel issues the band experienced earlier in the month.
Fans lined up outside the venue hours before doors opened in order make their way to Jake’s side of the stage and snag a great vantage point to watch their guitar hero in action.
The band consists of Jake’s friend and writing partner Ronnie Mancuso on bass, Darren James Smith on vocals, and Jonas Fairley on drums. The band may have had a rough go at their first show in Hollywood back in December but there were no signs of trouble tonight. The band sounded amazing. The venue offered a truly great sound mix so all the instruments could be clearly distinguished allowing Jake’s guitar to cut through the mix without getting muddied up. Jake’s weapons of choice to ignite the venue was two of his white signature Charvel guitars and an EVH amp head.
The band was tight and played with a sense of ferocity, from the opener “The Ultimate Sin” to “Shout it Out” to Badland’s hit “High Wire”. Jake’s soaring guitar combined with the unflinching back beat of Ronnie and Jonas drove the songs home. At the mic was the dynamic Darren James Smith who not only owned the Red Dragon Cartel songs but the Ozzy and Badlands ones too!
It was awe-inspiring to witness Jake’s complex guitar techniques coupled with pure emotion driven playing over an hour. His playing style stretches the boundaries of rock and blues. Mid-set the band ripped into “War Machine”, a doomy Sabbath-esque song with Ozzy inspired vocals that fit the band’s style perfectly. For some reason “Rock n Roll Rebel” was omitted from the set list as it was played at countless other shows this past year.
Highlight of the night was Badland’s bluesy “Rumblin Train” where Jake played slide guitar using a shot glass from the bar and Darren paid homage to the late great Ray Gillian as the best singer ever as he announced the song! The encore was “Bark at the Moon” and expected, brought down the house as the entire crowd surged forward to get a last glimpse of Jake and possibly a farewell high five.
The only disappointment was the show had to come to an end; Jake’s loyal fans could have stayed there all night listening to him play. After watching tonight’s performance, some will go home to practice while others will sell their guitar.
Red Dragon Cartel