Fans of the glam rock resurgence were in their glory on Friday, May 26 in Rochester as Frankie and The Studs and Biters came through on their Unleashed on the East Tour. Biters have toured extensively across North America and Europe over the past seven years, but this was their first time in Rochester. For Frankie and The Studs, this was one stop of their first tour ever. The Historic German House in the South Wedge was thumping with the heavy beats and killer riffs.
The Finger Lakes’ own Major Crush started off the night. The Ende brothers, Tommy and Kenny, are on vocals and guitar respectively. Frankie Wheeler on bass and Brandon Young on drums round out the band. I caught an acoustic set a couple years ago, but this was my first time seeing them all together. They have a fantastic stage presence and encouraged audience interaction, which helped to get the crowd warmed up for the main acts. They play pop rock, remarkable for the stellar guitarwork and spot-on harmonies. The setlist was comprised of songs from Trophy Kids, the full-length album they released last year, including the anthemic sing-along “Turn Up the Radio” and the more edgy “You Ain’t A Saint.” On this night, they also played a new song they’ve been working on called “Summer Time.”
Frankie and the Studs are an up-and-coming act out of Hollywood. Frankie Clarke represents the new wave of glam rock with her fringed leather catsuit, dip-dyed hair and glitter makeup. Frankie Clarke met The Studs just after recording a cover of “Hot Child in the City.” Together, their sound and style makes me nostalgic for the days when the boy next door blared “I Love Rock and Roll” from his boom box. Their 2016 EP, High on Yourself, was produced by Clarke’s father, Gilby Clarke, who played guitar for Guns N Roses during the Use Your Illusion era.
Frankie and the Studs were rife with punk attitude as they played a set which included their originals “High on Yourself,” “Sick of You,” and “She’s Insane.” They also threw in the cover of “Hot Child in the City” and a new ballad, yet to be recorded, called “Dance with You.” The spin light above the stage caught the silver studs and glittered platform boots as Frankie danced around with her stars and stripes guitar. The Studs complimented her perfectly with backup vocals, a strong beat, and fantastic fretwork.
While this is their first time on tour, it’s not their first time playing in New York. Frankie and the Studs played a show in New York City last year during Fashion Week. With the allure of the New York punk scene, I expect we’ll be seeing this band come through again and again.
Biters put on a high octane performance, a reminder that hard rock is not to be relegated to the graveyard of classic radio station rotation. Smoke filled the stage and silhouetted their cowboy-boot and denim-clad figures. Their music, like their logo, has razor-sharp teeth that cut to the core. They serve their songs straight up with no frills. With two LP’s and four EP’s under their belt, they had a vast array of songs to choose from for their setlist. Standouts included their hits “Low Lives in High Definition,” “Gypsy Rose,” “Hallucination Generation,” and “1975.” They also threw in a fun medley of a few bars from famous rock songs that they don’t cover. To make up for it, they included Tom Petty’s “American Girl” in their encore.
Catch the final New York State show of the Unleashed on the East Tour at St. Vitus in Brooklyn on May 31.
Remaining tour dates:
May 31 – St. Vitus – Brooklyn, NY
June 1 – The Metro Gallery – Baltimore, MD
June 2 – Abbey Bar at Appalachian Brewing – Harrisburg, PA
June 3 – Voltage Lounge – Philadelphia, PA
Photos by Alyssa Smith