August 24. It was a night many looked forward to. For the first time in four years, Original Sin (comprised of Todd Kerns, Brent Muscat, Michael “Doc” Ellis, and Rob “BoomBoom” Cournoyer) would take the stage again together! The show had been planned for literal years but thanks to hurricanes, the pandemic, and everyday life, Las Vegas and the patrons at Count’s Vamp’d had to wait in anticipation.
Dominick Muzio & Chemical Tribe.
Kicking off the night was Dominick Muzio and Chemical Tribe. If you have not had the chance to catch these guys yet, then I highly suggest you do so. Muzio released his debut solo record Candy at a Funeral through Tonehouse Records in Summer of 2022 and shortly after formed Chemical Tribe. Named after the Jerry Cantrell song, the band is made up of Jon Mills on guitar, John Robinson on bass, and Ron Hudy on drums (he also played the drums on Candy at a Funeral).
The band opened up the night with what has proven to be a strong starter song for them, “Pretty Broken (For A Pisces)”. The song immediately punches you in the nose to get your attention with its instrumentals before grabbing you by the throat with some pretty caustic lyrics. The breakdown of the song throws its listener for a loop before coming back around with an exit solo, leaving you wondering what the fuck you just saw. The audience didn’t have time to breathe before the band immediately went into another Candy track, “Edge of Nowhere”, which leaves the listener trying to decipher the creative wordplay throughout the song.
Muzio and the Tribe never plays the same show twice. Every time they are on stage you will of course get some of the already recorded stuff, but they’ve been consistently writing in preparation of the currently in progress second record. Audiences have already heard new tracks like “Rise” and “Heartburn”, which give you a wide spectrum of inspiration from the 90s, with “Rise” sounding like it could’ve been on Alice in Chains’ self-titled, and “Heartburn” leaving you wondering if it was a b-side of Nevermind or Bleach. However, the band unveiled their newest creation in “Over Before It Begun”, which has strong vibes of being a potential single for the new untitled/unreleased record.
With this band you also get to enjoy fun covers. We’ve seen them do everything from Billy Joel to The Smithereens, but the hot August night’s show gave us “Time is Running Out” by Muse and a heavy version of “There’s Something Going On” by Frida, which left people equally entertained and confused (in a good way). Another enjoyable thing about the cover moments in their set is Muzio tends to put the guitar down and take on full frontman duties, working the crowd and the stage. He takes on an entirely different persona putting the guitar off to the side, and if you know him off-stage, we tend to get that side of him. The outgoing, zany personality; but Muzio credits the guys in his band with being able to do so, as they all are maestros of their instruments and are just as individually fun to watch.
Muzio and the Tribe closed out their show with “Everything, Nothing”, which is another set to be on the upcoming record, and it gives me strong Smashing Pumpkins vibes. Of the new tracks, this is a personal favorite and a perfect song to close the set out with. As far as the band goes, there is a strong musicianship and comraderie within this band that showcases each member’s strengths, and it shows. Having seen the band multiple times at this point, I will say this was probably the tightest they’ve sounded. It’s obvious they all have fun together, and that is just as important as sounding good.
This energy and musicianship carried into Original Sin’s set. It’s so important that a band not only sound good, but have a great time and enjoy each other’s company, and when it comes to OG Sin, it is evident that this is the case. Like I mentioned earlier, this was the first time the band had been on stage together in four years, and you couldn’t tell that any time had passed.
We all know him and love him, and he emcee’s for each OG Sin Show; but when Mikey Ramone tells you worship at the altar of Original Sin, you do what you are told.
The band immediately jumped into a personal favorite of mine; the high energy “Numb” immediately followed by Ellis taking over lead vocal for “Gotta Girl”, and the crowd did not miss a single lyric.
Since it had been so long since they’d been together on stage, there were multiple running jokes of the night; the main one being that it was Brent Muscat’s birthday. Fans and friends who’ve known the band for years knew that the guitarist’s birthday was actually in April, but that didn’t stop the crowd from singing to him, complete with a cake and a big balloon tied to his amp.
Adding to the party atmosphere, bassist Michael “Doc” Ellis, somehow thought the night was in need of a good old fashioned Toga Party, coming on to the stage clad in a white and blue toga and proclaiming himself as Docrates for the night, which got laughs and smiles from the entire crowd.
You never quite know what you are walking into for an OG Sin show, but you know you’re going to have a great time singing along and laughing with friends from literally all over the country who fly in for the show. Vocalist Todd Kerns and drummer Rob Cournoyer never stopped smiling the entire night as the crowd (which was shoulder to shoulder in the venue by the time they hit the stage) sang along with every single word to songs like “Arianna Incomplete”, “It’s Not You It’s Me”, and “Broken Record”.
I was pleasantly pleased when Muscat jumped on vocals to not only deliver Faster Pussycat’s “Bathroom Wall”, but the band’s classic cover of Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter”, which if you’ve not heard their version, go look it up right fucking now.
In traditional fashion, they closed out their set with “Goin’ to Vegas” blended with “Viva Las Vegas”, but any Sin fan will tell you that “Goin’ to Vegas” is the true rock n roll Vegas anthem. They thanked the crowd for coming out and much like prior to their set, spent time giving out love and hugs to those who came out to enjoy the evening.
There is a magic that fills up the room when these four get on stage together. It’s not just them, it’s the entire ambiance of the evening. Each Original Sin show is a giant get together party of misfits who care about one thing and one thing only: music. When it’s over, you’re kind of bummed to get back to reality, but you look forward to the next reunion. I just hope it isn’t another four years.
Until next time…
PHOTO CREDIT: All photos by Stephy Muzio for ZRockR Magazine – All Rights Reserved.