Words & Photos by KK RYDER
IF THE ROOFTOP was A ROCKIN’ it was THE KIEFER SUTHERLAND BAND at the WATERMARK in Ventura.
Kiefer. You know him as an actor. But have you heard his music? It was standing room only for the music of Kiefer Sutherland at the historic Watermark in Ventura, California on October 23rd, 2015.
The Watermark is a charming brick historic building that dates back to the 1920’s. The staff are all as classy and friendly as the building looks and feels. A night of good old Americana with a hint of country going straight to the rock and roll heart. Kiefer was accommodating to his fans that he wanted to be positioned in the bar so he could see and be seen by all of the concert-goers. Strapping on his acoustic guitar he thanks everyone for coming, and we were in for a treat. This band has some great original songs,each one different than the next with varying tempos. With an appealing way of letting you get wrapped up in his lyrics, his voice is a baritone, smokey and bluesy sound. The band members complement his laid back stage style and are smoking hot on their instruments. On the song “I’ll do Anything” I got a kick out of watching some of the ladies in the crowd scream when Kiefer would repeat the chorus lyrics. Another crowd-pleaser was the catchy “Can’t Stay Away.”
Before the show ended, I decided to go outside and take in the total ambiance of this rooftop room concert. I crossed the street and looked up towards the glow of the windows of the Watermark in its inviting charm, listening to Kiefer and his band playing “Calling Out Your Name,” with a romantic slow groove, A young couple was holding each other and swaying back and forth to the music above them.
This five-piece band is not only fun to watch, but the songs are great. There were a few bad ass songs original songs that sound as if they belong in a Joel Schumacher film and they also played a few cover tunes while the crowd sang along with Gordon Lightfoot’s “The Edmund Fitzgerald,” Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heavens Door” and “Put Your Lights On,” originally recorded by Santana featuring Everlast.
I know what you are thinking: where can I get all of this great music? The answer is that they have been busy recording and will be releasing a CD on their own independent label early next year. Kiefer and his long time music pal singer-songwriter producer Jude Cole started a label called Ironworks Music because they wanted to give independent artists that they believe strongly in an outlet, such as Rocco Delucca and the Burden. The evening’s opening act was the very great band Gone Wayside.
After the show, Kiefer laughed and signed autographs for his fans. Joel Schumacher, who has worked with Sutherland on several films, called him a “born character actor. He can become anyone he wants to. He can be good guy, bad guy, crazy guy. He’ll always work.”
Kiefer Sutherland was a presenter last night at the 2015 CMA Awards. But live he created a night we will never forget, as timeless as his movies.