Gene Loves Jezebel for the sake of this tour was really just Michael Aston, brother to Jay Aston who between the two of them formed the band. For this tour Michael was backed by the guitarist, bassist and drummer of Bow Wow Wow which was interesting given their music is very different. I spoke to Michael before the show about the tour and how much time he spent rehearsing with the band for his songs. He laughed and said “We’re rock stars we don’t need to practice!” Michael has lived in LA for the past dozen years with his wife and five children. He does the tours as kind of mini-excursions from his daily family life. He mentioned to me that he’s loves driving and is driving himself in a rented car to all the shows.
The instant Michael took the stage you could tell he’s a born performer. He doesn’t agonize over getting the songs right, he cares more about giving the crowd a show worth cheering about. His set was a strong 40-minutes of tunes that featured him inserting verses from the Who and the Doors. Most of the songs were pulled from early Gene Loves Jezebel material that Michael had written. He threw in a couple of the favorites like “Motion of Love” and “Desire” but you could tell those were not songs he cared about. “My favorite song to play this tour is “Loving You Is the Best Revenge” and that is not even a Gene Loves Jezebel song (it’s from his solo record) but the crowd really responds to it.”
After a short intermission, Bow Wow Wow came on stage with a blazing instrumental which showed off the talents of the rhythm section. Chloe Demetria, the new lead singer, then strutted on stage and quickly gained acceptance as the voice for the band. For those that might have been disillusioned for the show, all the right elements were in place, the tribal drums, the surf guitars and the backing chants. But, most of all, it was Chloe’s performance of the songs which had both the recognition of classic Bow Wow Wow material and an added energy of vocal range and vision of drop dead sexiness. I got the chance to meet Chloe before the show and found out that she’s much more than just the new girl. She is a graduate from Berklee College of Music and has performed with Semi-Precious Weapons opening for Lady Gaga. She has her own material which is more rhythm and blues oriented but she really enjoys the music of Bow Wow Wow and the boldness that former lead singer Annabel Lwin brought to the stage. “I’m having a lot of fun with these shows. The crowds are great, and we’ve even talked about putting some new material together.” Whether that happens or Chloe goes off in a new direction I’ll continue to follow her as she has the talents and ambition to take her wherever she desires.