Highlights of Ultimate Jam 25 include first-time guests Riki Rachtman and Steel Panther’s Michael Starr, Escape, and the return of 8mm and Rafael Moreira.

Lucky Strike was once again packed to the rafters as Riki Rachtman and Steel Panther’s Michael Starr made their debut appearances.

The flamenco metal stylings of Heavy Mellow started the night off with something special, cool, and different.

MC Izzy Presley (Another FN Podcast) introduced the house band (Chuck Wright, Mitch Perry, and Matt Starr) who were supported by Barry Pointer and WASP’s Mike Dupke, as they took the stage at 9:30. They started the night off with Cheap Trick’s “Hello There.” Howie Simon stepped up to the mic for some “Cold Sweat,” and then the lovely Yolanda Thomas showed off her vocal chops with “Heartbreaker.”

Next up were 8mm’s Juliette Beavan and Sean Beavan, with “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” and “The Chain.” Then we shifted gears, from Fleetwood Mac to Devo, with Matt Starr taking on vocals for “Uncontrollable Urge,” and “Freedom of Choice,” joined by Ace Von Johnson, Johnny Martin, and Lucky Lehrer.

Journey tribute band Escape were up next with spot-on covers of “Who’s Crying Now,” and “Be Good Yourself.” This was followed by Ralph Saenz, aka Steel Panther’s Michael Starr, tearing up the stage with “Shy Boy,” and “Atomic Punks,” alongside Billy Sheehan, Matt Starr and Stephen Chesney. Cherokee Fortune closed out set one with “Whole Lotta Love.”

Trippy da Clown, who “broke his leg” at the beginning of the night, returned to the stage on Dave Grohl’s throne to introduce the second set, which began with a belly dance routine from Bell-Esque. Then Madame Mayhem returned after her triumphant performance last week, to kick some serious ass with “Closer,” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

After several weeks on the road, dUg Pinnick returned to Ultimate Jam to perform “Manic Depression” with Spacey T and Mark Schulman. Spacey T’s Praise the Dead bandmate, Lisa Marie Maestas, jumped on vocals for “Move Over.” Then dUg returned for a mind-blowing “Voodoo Child” with incredible young guitarist, Tommy Baldwin.

Riki Rachtman, straight from his Cathouse Live press conference, jumped on stage next for a performance of “Where Eagles Dare” with current Faster Pussycat guitarist, Ace Von Johnson. Next Eliza James got to show off her fiddle playing on “Devil Went Down to Georgia,” with Matt Starr again on vocals.

Rafael Moreira returned to the Ultimate Jam Night stage next, bringing his blistering guitar virtuosity to “Wyzard” and “Bring it On Home.” Next, Tyra Juliette was joined by Louis Metoyer, Jonathan ‘Sugarfoot’ Moffett, Steve Ferlazzo, and the Dirty Rotten Horns for “Superstitious,” and “Them Changes,” where the band was joined by impressive Polish bassist, Zeus.

Chas West, Roy Z, Chuck Wright, and Chili Moreno ripped through a massive “Bridge of Sighs,” and then Future Villains’ Dusty Bo, accompanied by the Okai sisters, killed it on “Speed King.” Ultimate Jam closed the night with Budderside’s Patrick Stone on vocals for GNR’s “Paradise City.”

Next week, National Rock Review will be back at Ultimate Jam Night as they celebrate their six-month anniversary. Should be a blast!

Ultimate Jam Night
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Chuck Wright
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Matt Starr
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Michael Starr
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Riki Rachtman
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Rafael Moreira
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Lucky Strike Live
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