The night's historic relevance belonged to the Germs, with original guitarist Pat Smear (Nirvana, Foo Fighters), bassist Lorna Doom and drummer Don Bolles joined by new frontman Shane West.
In a story only L.A. could spawn, West joined the Germs after starring as deceased front man Darby Crash in the upcoming biopic "What We Do Is Secret." If you didn't know the actor was a star of the television hit "ER," you wouldn't know it from watching him onstage, as he powered through a set that featured the movie's title track and nearly half of the band's catalog.
According to Spin, for the role of Darby Crash, Shane West tattooed a bobcat on his shoulder and permanently installed crooked yellow dentures in his mouth.
West may front a punk band (Jonny Was) in real life anyway, but his karaoke fantasy-come-true sets a perverse precedent.
This isn't like Kevin Spacey and Gina Gershon indulging themselves at concerts in conjunction with the release of a music-related film (Beyond the Sea, Prey for Rock and Roll).
This is life imitating art imitating life.
Imagine if Nirvana reunited with Michael Pitt in Kurt Cobain's stead or The Doors hired Val Kilmer to sing lead.
However well West fits in, I can't shake a Single White Female vibe.
Also, I see "actor" and think "tribute band." INXS with JD is more authentic.
The Germs featuring Shane West play Chicago this weekend.