GUNS N’ ROSES TRIBUTE
When: 9 p.m. Friday, Jan 7
Where: Golden Nugget Atlantic City
What to expect: Taking its name from a song on one of the best-selling rock albums of all time, Nightrain is a tribute group that emulates the look and sound of Guns N’ Roses – the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band that, in its mid-1980s infancy, was hyped by Rolling Stone magazine as “the world’s most exciting hard-rock band; young, foolhardy, stubborn, cynical, proud, uncompromising, insolent, conflicted and very candid about their faults.” The tribute band formed in 2011 and mimics in impressive detail the original ensemble that emerged 26 years earlier from Los Angeles with lead vocalist Axl Rose (performed by Lee Robinson), lead guitarist Slash (John Bradford), rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin (Jeff Young), bassist Duff McKagan (Brian Rankin) and drummer Steven Adler (Dee Williams). The song “Nightrain” was on Guns N’ Roses’ 1986 debut studio album “Appetite for Destruction” that reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 on the strength of the blockbuster hits “Welcome to the Jungle,” “Paradise City” and “Sweet Child o’ Mine.” The tribute band’s moniker song also received a lot of radio airplay and is said to be a nod to a brand of fortified California wine, Night Train Express, that was popular with GNR during its formative days as a band thanks to its low cost and high alcohol content. The tribute band’s setlist, according to its website, also features the hit songs “Patience,” “Estranged,” “Used to Love Her,” “November Rain,” “Live and Let Die,” “You Could Be Mine,” “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” “Heartbreak Hotel” and others. The free show is part of the Flashback Fridays series at Golden Nugget. The show takes place at The Wave and is hosted by Michael James and the 100.7 WZXL Rock ‘n’ Roll Patrol.
How much: Tickets are free, and the show is open to the public.
‘90s ROCKFEST with
BEST OF FOO and LOUNGEFLY
When: 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 7
Where: The Landis Theater
What to expect: The ’90s Rockfest is a tip of the cap to three of the greatest rock bands of the ’90s and beyond, including two – Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters – that originated in Seattle and are credited as being among the founding fathers of the grunge-rock genre. The Ledbetters bill themselves as the ultimate Pearl Jam tribute, paying homage to the original’s deep cuts and catalog of iconic hit songs that influenced a generation such as “Black,” “Alive,” “Yellow Ledbetter,” “Jeremy,” “State Of Love And Trust,” “Better Man,” “Rearviewmirror,” “Even Flow,” “Corduroy” and “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter.” The Best of Foo is a northern New Jersey-based tribute to the Foo Fighters that formed in 2017, and a band whose lead singer, Phil Barbetta, has been hailed as a mirror image of Foo Fighters’ founder, lead singer, guitarist and principal songwriter David Grohl. Best of Foo plays a smattering of album cuts that mainly hardcore Foo fans will recognize, as well as all of the original’s hit songs that received major radio airplay from the ’90s through today, among them “Everlong,” “The Pretender,” “Best of You,” “My Hero,” “Times Like These,” “All My Life,” “Monkey Wrench,” “Aurora” and “Learn to Fly.” The Philadelphia-based Lounge Fly is considered the premier tribute to the classic San Diego-based band Stone Temple Pilots, providing STP fans with “an authentic musical and visual experience that will transport them back to the ’90s.” The band is fronted by lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Brian Rosner, who seemingly channels the energy of the late STP frontman Scott Weiland. Lounge Fly plays all of the hits and the deep cuts that made STP one of the greatest rock bands of all time. Fans can expect to hear such hits as “Interstate Love Song,” “Plush,” “Still Remains,” “Piece of Pie,” “Down,” “Sex Type Thing,” “Wicked Garden” and others. The Landis Theater is located at 830 East Landis Ave., Vineland.
How much: Tickets, priced at $25, are available at Etix.com.
FOREIGNER’S JOURNEY FEATURING
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 8
Where: The Levoy Theatre in Millville
What to expect: Northern New Jersey product Constantine Maroulis fronts a five-man tribute act called Foreigner’s Journey that captures the essence of two iconic rock bands, Foreigner and Journey, whose heydays overlapped the late 1970s, early ’80s. Constantine first came to prominence as a finalist on the fourth season of “American Idol” in 2005, where his rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” is still considered among the most electrifying performances in the show’s history. He bolstered his status as a central pop-culture figure by starring in the Broadway musical drama “Rock of Ages” – a production that centered around classic rock songs of the 1980s and earned status as one of the longest running and highest grossing shows in Broadway history. Maroulis won a Tony award for best leading male in a Broadway production for “Rock of Ages,” adding accolades for his acting chops to his already cemented status as a stellar singer. Classic rock fans can expect to hear the famed rock ballads “Faithfully” and “Open Arms” by Journey, as well as the band’s megahits “Wheel in the Sky,” “Any Way You Want It,” “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’,” “Stone In Love,” “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” and “Feeling That Way.” Fans of the band Foreigner can expect to hear such retro hits as “Cold As Ice,” “Urgent,” “Hot Blooded,” “Head Games,” “Feels Like The First Time,” “Jukebox Hero,” “Blue Morning, Blue Day,” “Dirty White Boy,” “Long, Long Way from Home” and others. The Levoy Theatre is located at 126-130 N. High St., Millville.
How much: Tickets, priced at $30 and $39, are available at Etix.com.
PROG NIGHT AT THE LANDIS
with RAEL and TARKUS
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 8
Where: The Landis Theater
What to expect: Two groups that pay tribute to a pair of progressive-rock icons take the Landis Theater stage on Saturday night. Progressive or prog rock is a genre that formed in the late 1960s and early ’70s in England and North America and is based on fusions of varied, eclectic styles. The northern New Jersey-based band Rael recaptures the energy and originality of the early-years performances of Genesis, an English prog-rock band that formed in 1967. Genesis’ early live shows featured theatrical costumes created by founding member Peter Gabriel. Genesis’ popular songs from the era include “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway,” “Supper’s Ready,” “Back in N.Y.C.,” “The Musical Box,” “Dancing with the Moonlit Knight” and “The Carpet Crawlers.” The five-member Rael brings older listeners of Genesis, which was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010, back to the band’s early heyday, while introducing newcomers to the sights and sounds of what was then a new wave in popular music called progressive rock that also encompassed such bands as Pink Floyd, Procol Harum and Yes from England, Rush from Canada and others. Named after the title track from the second of 10 studio albums by British prog-rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer, released in 1971, Tarkus is a trio of seasoned musicians consisting of keyboardist Keith Turner, multi-instrumentalist Mike Ian and drummer John Cassidy. The three will perform all of ELP’s biggest hits, including “Lucky Man,” “The Barbarian,” “From the Beginning,” “Hoedown,” “Karn Evil 9,” “Fanfare,” “Brain Salad Surgery” and “Tarkus.” The Landis Theater is located at 830 E. Landis Ave., Vineland.
How much: Tickets, priced at $20, are available at Etix.com.
THE RAT PACK: BACK IN
TOWN FOR THE HOLIDAYS
When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan 8
Where: Hard Rock Casino & Hotel
What to expect: The Rat Pack: Back in Town pays tribute to three renowned entertainers whose careers were all deeply rooted in the Atlantic City entertainment scene – Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. The cast impersonates the late legends’ voices and mannerisms in impressive fashion, and also includes a Marilyn Monroe impersonator singing “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.” Rat Pack fans can also expect to hear such hit renditions as “Amore,” “Ain’t That A Kick In the Head” and “Everybody Loves Somebody” by Martin; “The Candy Man,” “I’ve Gotta Be Me,” “That Old Black Magic” and “Mr. Bojangles” by Davis; and “New York, New York,” “My Way,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “Fly Me to the Moon” and “It Was A Very Good Year” by Sinatra. The show takes place 7 p.m. every Saturday through January at Hard Rock’s Sound Waves theater.
How much: Tickets, priced at $24 and $29, are available at Ticketmaster.com
More info: HardRockHotel AtlanticCity.com
THE LEGEND OF THE FIRST CHINESE NEW YEAR
When: 10 a.m. and noon Tuesday, Jan. 11; 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 12
Where: The Grunin Center for the Arts in Toms River
What to expect: The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, presenter of the “Red Firecrackers: the Legend of the First Chinese New Year” production, is a professional dance touring company that has collaborated with a wide range of artists from different disciplines and cultures since its 1988 founding by choreographer and artistic director Nai-Ni Chen. A renowned dancer in her native Taiwan and a graduate of the Chinese Cultural University, Chen was part of a one-month engagement at Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre in the early 1980s before immigrating to America to make her own mark in the world of contemporary dance. Each year the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company brings the “Red Firecrackers” performance to stages around the U.S., in part to demonstrate how the New Year celebration is properly performed in China. The production is divided into four spectacular segments of props, costumes, music, acrobatics and dance by top-notch performers who tell the story of the origin of the Chinese Lunar New Year. A quote on the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company’s website from “The Dance Insider” magazine states: “This is the dance to take your non-dance friends to; the ones you’ve been trying to turn on to all the potential power and beauty of dance.” The family-friendly production tells, through a heartwarming story, the values of coming together, courage, hard work and ingenuity, while explaining the origin of the traditions of the Chinese Lunar New Year. The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts is located on College Drive in Toms River.