Faster Pussycat with Johnny Nasty Boots – Pittsburgh, PA – 4/30/2024

The first of an epic marathon of shows for the week began last night at the Crafthouse Stage & Grill with local support from 9Sundays and Royal Honey starting around 7pm.

The show was slated as a 21 plus event, and we can only hope that it isn’t a permanent restriction as it has been getting more challenging for the new generation to see live music in our city once again. We arrived in time to catch Royal Honey’s performance and even snagged a few photos during their set as the crowd began to fill in.

Up next were Johnny Nasty Boots out of Los Angeles with their frontman of the same name on guitar and lead vocals, Ezekiel Kaplan on bass and backing vocals, and Devon Taylor on drums.

Delivering a powerful classic blues-rock sound from, the three-piece kept the energy high with front-end Johnny dancing around the stage the entire set – often racing back to his microphone to sing the next line.  He often grooved with Devon and Ezekiel, who is a Pittsburgh native gone Hollywood, originally from Mt. Lebanon. We last saw Ezekiel perform at The Lamp fronting Kingdom Come for the first of two regional shows in March. We weren’t familiar with the band prior to the show, but enjoyed their performance which shook us like a true classic rock era band would.

Headliners, Faster Pussycat, fronted by Taime Downe with longtime bandmates Chad Stewart behind the drums and Danny ‘Slim Tender’ Nordhaul on bass (and vocals), hit the stage around 9:30 pm.  They were joined by lead guitarist Sam Bam Kolton, who was making his second appearance at the Crafthouse this month (the last being with Budderside in support of The 69 Eyes), and Kieran Robertson (Geoff Tate) on guitar duties and backup bass duties given the fact that Slim Tender was nursing a shoulder injury that inhibited his playing.

The set went off the rails after a few songs, with band meetings and rearrangements happening on the fly once they realized that Slim Tender wasn’t up for performing at 100 percent.  He took a seat on the drum riser initially taking him away from the microphone and then Kieran, who later told us that he has never played bass live on stage before, was taken away from rhythm guitar as Danny took the microphone and the show went on.

While we know the band is concerned about reputation and comments online, we can assure you that this was one of the best shows we’ve seen them play.  It was very special, very uniquely arranged and at a moment’s notice no less. And, as Tamie screamed in our faces from the edge of the stage, it was just what we’d expect from a Faster Pussycat show and then some!

Slim Tender took over the microphone to belt out The Supersuckers classic “Pretty F*cked Up,” “Jack the Bastard” showed his ugly face, and they took us to “Babylon”! There was a special guest vocalist during “House of Pain,” who I didn’t recognize, and they pulled out that cover of the Carly Simon hit “You’re So Vain” as always. And that’s only half of it! I assure you we got the full set an then some, including a bit of a hazing for Kieran with a lengthy bass line moment during “Bathroom Wall.”

We wish Danny well and have much respect for his perseverance despite an obvious injury, and look forward to catching another set from these guys during M3 Rock Festival this weekend.

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Watch for continued coverage of local shows and regional shows with Faster Pussycat, Judas Priest and Sabaton, Queensryche and Armored Saint, Aldo Nova, and more.  Follow for more from the M3 Rock Festival as it unfolds.

Coverage by Editor and founder Kara Marie Uhrlen posted on 5/1/2024.  All event photos by photographer Kara Uhrlen and The Pure Rock Shop.