Nita Strauss at The Parish Room in New Orleans, LA

Guitar virtuoso Nita Strauss showed off her prodigious guitar skills to the Parish Room in House of Blues in New Orleans.

Local boys Leafdrinker started the evening off. Although their look hearkened back to the early 90s grunge, their sound had a heaviness that was reminiscent of Black Sabbath. At least, that is what was thought until the last song of the evening, which sounded more punk. The crowd was sparse, but they definitely managed to get the early arrivers amped up for what was to come.

New York rockers Kore Rozzik came next. Their stage personas were a huge nod to early Alice Cooper. The guitarist wore demon eye contacts and the lead singer painted his face with red streaks and came onstage carrying a cane adorned with mini skulls. It took a few songs to win over the crowd, but their fun stage antics and interaction were infectious. The only problem these guys had was the size of the stage. With their smoke and witty report with the crowd, they would really be able to shine on a bigger stage. Here’s hoping they get that opportunity because they really were fun.

The star of the evening was Nita Strauss. Most people would recognize her as guitarist for Alice Cooper or her wildly popular all-female Iron Maiden tribute band, The Iron Maidens. She is also a very sought-after guitar clinician and, upon watching her play, it is not hard to see why. She is a technical genius with her guitar. But beyond the obvious skill, she is fun to watch. Her love of music shows all over her face and in her performance. She is truly captivating.

Playing a mix of covers, including Iron Maiden and Alice Cooper, as well as originals from her first solo album Controlled Chaos, she and her band, which included another guitar player, a bassist, drummer, and keyboardist, really controlled every square inch of the admittedly small stage at the Parish. It would be easy to focus on the fact that she is woman, say that it’s awesome to see a female with that much musical skill, but that would be minimizing the true talent that Nita has. She is an excellent guitarist. Not for a girl. She is quite simply extremely talented.

She also has no problem letting the other members of her band shine. Keyboardist Katt Scarlett took over the vocals on the Alice Cooper classic “I’m Eighteen” and drummer Josh Villalta really got to show off his skills during “The Quest.” Ending the evening on a high, she demolished the Queen classic “The Show Must Go On” before delighting the crowd with “Our Most Desperate Hour” from Controlled Chaos.

NITA STRAUSS
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KORE ROZZIK
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LEAFDRINKER
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THE PARISH ROOM, HOUSE OF BLUES
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About Amy Breaux 18 Articles
Amy is a live event and street photographer from the heart of Cajun country. When she's not shooting festivals and shows, you can find her roaming the streets of New Orleans capturing the uniqueness of her favorite city on Earth.

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