Live Report: Wig Wam at the Whiskey A Go Go (April 17, 2023)

Despite having woken up at 3:45am EST on Monday in New York, flown back to Los Angeles, spent a full day working and running errands, I still couldn’t say no to the prospect of seeing Norwegian glam metal greats Wig Wam perform at their very first Los Angeles show ever.

Leila Harlac
Leila Harlac

Formed in 2001, Wig Wam initially found big success in their home country and around Europe, with their song “In My Dreams” placing ninth at Eurovision and their lives shows bringing them a sizable following of Wig Wamaniacs. But this early success waned until the beginning of 2022, when HBO Max’s show Peacemaker used the band’s 2010 song “Do Ya Wanna Taste It” as the opening theme, paired with a unique choreographed dance that soon went viral. This led to a resurgence that brought the band finally to the United States.

Opening the night was young Argentinian songwriter and bass player Leila Harlac. Playing a mix of choice covers (“Detroit Rock City”, “I Wanna Be Sedated”, “Anarchy in the U.K.”, “Last Caress”, “Blitzkrieg Bop”) and a few originals, the singer is clearly still finding her voice as a live performer. She looked to be having the most fun when banging out the Ramones covers, and was concentrating harder when doing her originals. Luckily she was backed by an ace band to bring a bigger stage presence to the set. Of her originals, the second one was the strongest, showing a lot of promise with it’s power pop-leaning chorus and chunky riffs. It could possibly be strengthened by some background vocals and harmonies to give it even greater scope. With a bit more time working on her comfort on stage and fine-tuning her originals, it’ll be great to see how she grows as an artist and performer.

Jeff Greenleaf

Following Harlac was singer-songwriter Jeff Greenleaf. While clearly an adept musician and writer, Greenleaf was an ill-fit for that night’s bill. His songs, a mix of soft-rock and mellow folk, were more in the vein of artists like James Taylor and Peter Frampton. They were certainly good, with accompaniment from a very chill percussionist, but they simply didn’t fit the vibe of the evening. Still, credit to the audience for their patience and kindness, and to Greenleaf who I’m sure knew he was an odd choice for the line-up, but played on with grace and professionalism.

A much better fit was The Roadkill. The Norwegian metal/industrial group were masterful performers. Starting on the stage were the drummer and guitarist, who wore a black bar of make-up across his eyes. Joining them was a purple-haired pixie of a bass player. As these three jammed, it was clear the rock energy was returning to the venue. When the singer arrived in a formal white suit with a dapper red shirt, he quickly conquered the stage with his theatrics and powerful voice. While their songs were not the type of music I would generally listen to, it was impossible not to enjoy and appreciate the skill of their performance and the sheer fun of it.

The singer was clearly born for this. He had incredible stage presence, and the bassist is one of the few I’ve seen who makes playing bass look cool. Raspy songs like “Choke” and the ending shout-along “Louder” were popular with the crowd, and the band also did its part to get the crowd ready and riled for their country-mates Wig Wam.

The Roadkill

When the headliners came out, the room had filled and the crowd was ready to have a good time. The band, consisting of vocalist Glam (Åge Sten Nilsen), guitarist Teeny (Trond Holter), bassist Flash (Bernt Jansen) and drummer Sporty (Øystein Andersen) have remained consistent over the last twenty two years (pretty impressive), and seemed to have a strong general camaraderie and love for each other. And even better was the band’s love for the audience. But I’ll get back to that later.

Glam came on stage waving a black flag and went into “Never Say Die”, a fitting motto for the band who have survived the rigors of rock n’ roll and managed to find a second life. While likely not as agile as they may have been on stage twenty years ago, the group still found ways to connect with the audience; especially Glam, who often sang directly to those in the crowd. Holding their hands, looking into their cameras for videos, and simply showing them the kind of devotion they clearly felt for Wig Wam.

The rock continued with “Non Stop Rock and Roll”, and then climbed to crunchy heights with “Kilimanjaro”. “High n Dry” keep the audience singing, but things then quieted down as Glam took the stage with only the keyboardist accompanying him and did a moving rendition of “My Kaleidoscope Ark”. It was an unexpectedly vulnerable moment for a band built on pomp and glam. The group then returned to full-throttle mode, with Glam leaving the stage at one point to let Teeny show off his incredible playing for an instrumental. Glam also ventured into the crowd to let the fans share the mic with him and sing along.

Wig Wam

The band released a new album back in February, Out of the Dark, and the first single from that “Forevermore” provided to be better in a live setting, acting as a unifying battle cry as the audience joined in on the chorus. Before ending the show, Glam took a moment to humbly thank the fans for being there, recounting the ups and downs the band had been on (they were originally supposed to tour the previous year in the states, but that fell through due to visa issues), and shared his love and thanks for everyone attending. In his own words, it made it a little easier to be a Rock ‘n’ Roller. With that, the band went into their grand single “Hard to be a Rock ‘n’ Roller”, followed right up with the Eurovision single “In My Dreams”.

And the expected closer was of course “Do Ya Wanna Taste It”, the career-reviving song that for a brief moment had mainstream audiences singing along to glam metal again. It’s such a fun track, it’s amazing it took twelve years to have its moment. But thank James Gunn (aka DC God) that it did, because it was why we were all there at the Whiskey A Go Go that night, fists in the air and losing our voices singing along.

Be sure to check out Wig Wam‘s new album here!



    1. Perhaps try them through their Facebook – @TheRoadkillNorway. So far that’s the only Social Media I found for them.


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