Circle the Earth LIve at the Vermont Hollywood

It’s always a special treat to see a band that’s capable of packing larger venues in an intimate setting. Such was the case this late summer Sunday evening at the 1200 capacity Vermont Hollywood event center.

Serving up a four course aural feast of sight and sound, things kicked off with upstarts Circle the Earth, a diverse 5 piece ensemble featuring charismatic lead singer Khadia Handon, an electrifying lead vocalist who brings everything to the stage. Hailing from Silver Springs, MD, she is the definition of a modern day artist who resonates with all generations, cultures and demographics. Her explosiveness as a performer fills venues across the country with boundless energy and a spark only a superstar in the making can offer. She has performed with such luminaries as Kanye West and Prince.

As is the case when the opener goes on so early (7:45), there were only a smattering of folks in the audience. Regardless, CTE whet the crowd’s appetite for the next course; Chicago’s own Enuff Z Nuff.

Still a force after 20+ albums, EZN still has a legion of loyal fans, and has earned the respect and acclaim of its peers and contemporaries. Opening their 45 min. set with the BEATLES’ “Magical Mystery Tour” Chip Z Nuff and company wove a dreamy sonic tapestry that included another BEATLES classic “Eleanore Rigby”.  While I was looking for a copy of the setlist for this review, I came upon Chip at the merch table where we reminisced about growing up in Chicago (also my hometown) and he kindly provided me with a handwritten list of tonight’s songs. He also informed me of the band’s new release “Finer Than Sin” is due out Nov. 13th.

Veteran hard rock guitarist Gilby Clarke (Guns N’ Roses/Slash’s Snakepit) brought a stripped down, bluesy, power trio flavor to the now growing audience for a fast paced set of classic rock. Clarke and company fired up the crowd with “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” a song he played with GNR during his tenure.

It was now time for the main course and the joint was anxiously awaiting Daisies to hit the stage.

Dino Jelusick (Whitesnake) filled in for Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple-Black Sabbath) due to health reasons.   Dino Jelusick is a singer/multi-instrumentalist from Croatia. He is a member of multi platinum selling band Trans-Siberian Orchestra and was previously part of Dirty Shirley (with George Lynch), Animal Drive and recorded with many others. Dino has been singing, touring and recording since the age of 5. Other than being a frontman, his main instrument is keyboards but he also plays bass, guitar and drums.

Needless to say, it’s a tough act to fill the shoes of “The Voice of Rock” as Mr Hughes has righteously been designated. Guitar slinger extraordinaire Doug Aldrich came out to thunderous applause and explained the situation, without further ado they launched into a 16 song set of molten rock fury.

Since 3 members of the group, Aldrich, drummer Brian Tichy, and Hughes live here in Los Angeles this was a hometown show with many friends and family in attendance. Showcasing some new material from the forthcoming release, “Radiance” Aldrich tore up the stage with flashy technique and blistering lead runs. Stand out track from the new record “Face Your Fear” is a jolt of high voltage rock intensity.

Force of nature Brian Tichy displayed his diabolically strong command of the drum kit during his 11 minute drum solo launching sticks off the snare drum 20 feet into the air and catching them without missing a beat. Another high point of the show.

Mixed in with the D.D. originals were 3 cover songs; Creedence Clearwater’s “Fortunate Son”, Grand Funk’s “American Band”, and a super deep track from little known Scottish band The Sensational Alex Harvey Band “Midnight Moses.”

We are glad to hear Glenn Hughes has recovered and will rejoin the band soon to continue the fall tour. “Radiance” will be available on Sept. 30th on SPV records. Check for further news and tour dates.

Article first posted on

Leave a Reply