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Jake E. Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel Make Triumphant Debut in Los Angeles

Red Dragon Cartel
PFA Media / Photo by Fred Morledge

Welcome back, Jake E. Lee! That was the general consensus as the guitar great made a triumphant return to the stage Thursday night (Dec. 12) in Los Angeles, painting the walls of the historic Whisky-a-Go-Go with wicked guitar licks as he unveiled his new band Red Dragon Cartel.

For the band’s first live performance, they dug deep into Lee’s catalog and also trotted out several new songs that held up well against some of the guitarist’s staples. Frontman Darren James Smith got the audience going early, belting out the show opener ‘Ultimate Sin’ from Lee’s Ozzy Osbourne era and then balanced it out with the brand new Red Dragon Cartel single ‘Deceived,’ which was well received.

A little later in the set, the band unveiled ‘War Machine,’ then gave the crown the impressive ‘Shout It Out.’ The latter track provided an excellent showcase for Smith, who showed off some Richard Patrick-esque vocals on the song. ‘Shout It Out’ is bound to be one of the band’s future live favorites as more fans get a chance to hear it and Lee’s licks sound as fresh as ever. The band also closed out the body of their set with their current single ‘Feeder,’ which melted a few faces with Lee’s impressive riffing and a killer groove laid down by Ronnie Mancuso’s bass and Jonas Fairley’s drumming.

Other standouts from the performance included the band’s performances of ‘Rock N’ Roll Rebel,’ the Badlands favorite ‘Rumblin’ Train’ and the show closing take on ‘Bark At the Moon.’ While the band pulled off a solid first gig, it was clear that the man of the hour was the long absent Lee, as fans shared their respect chanting his name throughout the set, especially after his work on ‘Highwire.’

Jake E. Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel will release their self-titled debut disc via Frontiers Records on Jan. 28. It’s currently available for pre-order via Amazon and iTunes. You can catch the band on the road playing a handful of dates before December ends. See their current itinerary here.

Jake E. Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel Los Angeles 12/12/13 Set List

1. ‘Ultimate Sin’
2. ‘Deceived’
3. ‘Highwire’
4. ‘War Machine’
5. ‘Shine On’
6. ‘Rock N’ Roll Rebel’
7. ‘Shout It Out’
8. ‘In a Dream’
9. ‘Rumblin’ Train’
10. ‘Sun Red Sun’
11. ‘Feeder’
12. ‘Bark At the Moon’

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