Charles I. Guarria
Nita Strauss Rocks the House
Updated: Sep 19, 2022
Happy to say I got to see Nita Strauss as a solo performer last night (2.22.22) in Jacksonville, Florida. Nita kills it as the lead guitarist in Alice Cooper's band. I had tickets a few months back to see her in Orlando, Florida, but blew it off to write.
She has had a heck of a solo career. Her album, Controlled Chaos, debuted at no. 1 on the Billboard "Top New Artist" chart and she recently had a no. 1 single on Billboard's "Mainstream Rock" chart with the song Dead Inside.
Prior to that success the Los Angeles born guitarist played in the house band for the former Arena Football League team owned by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, LA KISS. Currently, she is the in-house guitarist for the Super Bowl LVI champion LA Rams.
I give her a lot of credit for working on a solo career as she certainly makes a good deal of money being in Alice Cooper 's band. Clearly she loves to play and she does play amazingly well.
This may surprise, I rate the show a solid seven on a 1-10 scale. Now, don't be alarmed, I would see her again. Some nights things just don't click.
Amid all her success I would have thought the 200-300ish capacity Underbelly to be sold out. It was not. In fact, I'd estimate that it was at best 2/3 full. I did hear someone say there was a lot going on in Jacksonville that night.
The show opened with Carmina Burana/Power Rangers then goes into her own song Mariana Trench. Nita doesn't think she is a good singer, so all her solo music is instrumental unless she has a guest singer or uses a tape as she did for Dead Inside. The tape worked well, the guest singer did not.
Andrew Evans, the lead singer from one of the opening bands, Like Machines, pretty much forgot the words to Alice Cooper's Feed My Frankenstein. The two other openers, Cowford and Aniee Dukes, were good. Check them out.
Also on the setlist was a cover Queen's The Show Must Go On.
It was disturbing watching the drummer, Josh Villalta. Why do I say that? He is Nita's boyfriend. I couldn't help but think, 'is he in the band only because he is her boyfriend?'
The light show was great, the band was tight and one of the loudest I have ever heard. However, the forgotten lyrics, boyfriend drummer, and unexpectedly thin crowd is why I submit a rating of seven. I am likely to see her next time she plays Orlando, but for the longer trip to Jacksonville, I'll stay home and write.
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