Camp Freddy kicked off their 2011 residency at the Roxy on Friday night and it was a rocker. Camp Freddy is a cover band. They play songs they like and the set list ranges from Frankie Goes to Hollywood to Ozzy Osbourne and even an acoustic Oasis tune. And while the music is really fun to listen to, it is the names on the stage and the energy they bring that makes these shows so special. Lets start with the core band; On guitar is Billy Morrison and Dave Navarro, on drums there is Matt Sorum, bass is covered by Chris Chaney and vocals are Donovan Leitch Jr.

So take these guys and put them into a small intimate club with a huge rock and roll history, then add a few friends stopping b to pick up a guitar or sing a few tunes and you have rock and roll history. Friday night was no different. with th curtain still down in front of the stage, the first cords of Relax, the Frankie Goes to Hollywood hit of mid 80s rang out and as the drum kicked in, the curtain went up on a hell of a show. Relax led into a great version of David Bowie’s Suffragette City with the main Camp Freddy band members strutting around the stage and showing the crowd how it’s done.

Then Donovan left the stage so that Franky Perez could take over on vocals. They then played rousing versions of Helter Skelter and Hells Bells when Steve Stevens came out to add his guitar in to the mix.

Then it was time for a real change as Franky left the stage and Billy Morrison exchanged his guitar for a microphone while Steve Stevens and Dave Navarro picked up acoustic guitars. Camp Freddy changed gears and performed a great version of the Oasis hit Wonderwall with the crowd eagerly joining in.

Steve left the stage and Mark McGrathand Rob (??) cam out to blast the door off with a rousing version of the Beastie Boys (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)

Mark then stayed to take vocals on Fly and EMI, only to be replaced with Sebastian Bach for a trio of songs that all seemed to work perfectly together; The Ozzy classic Crazy Train, the Skid Row power ballad I Remember You and the Led Zeppelin standard Whole Lotta Love.

After Sebastian finished with the final notes of Whole Lotta Love it was time for Steve Jones and Billy Idol to join the Camp Freddy crew for Silly Thing. It was very cool seeing one of the original Sex Pistols performing up on stage using a Billy Morrison Signature Les Paul next to Billy Morrison and Billy Idol.


Then Steve Jones left the stage and Billy led the band in a great version of Shakin all Over originally a hit back in 1960 in the UK and become famous in the US when the Guess Who covered it in 1965. Then it was time for Steve Stevens to add his sound on lead guitar for the final two numbers of the night, LA Woman and Rebel Yell.

What a night.

As far as photographing this show went. There was no photo pit, there was hop security up front, there was no great lighting director and most of the light seemed to be red. I used a variety of primes including the 35mm f/2 and the 50mm f/1.8 along with the 70-200mm f/2.8 on a Nikon D3 and Nikon D700 without the battery pack. I couldn’t really move once I was in position and that was ok, this was a bar shoot with a bar band… a great big bar band full of tremendous players, but it defiantly had that raw rock and roll feel that comes from playing in a bar. I used ISO from 1600 to 3200 and shot manual to deal with the seemingly random light changes.

All images captured using Hoodman CompactFlash cards

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