Santa Cruz accused of using backing tapes during live performance at recent Whisky A Go-Go gig
Santa Cruz consisting of long-time frontman Archie Cruz and new members — guitarist Jerry Jade, bassist Tommy Bradley and drummer Randy McDemian — recently played a concert at the legendary Whisky A Go-Go in West Hollywood, California, USA on April 6, 2022.
The band has been accused of using backing tracks during that show as is evidenced by the video below where Cruz appears to be singing in a microphone from about the 0.19 to 0.24 mark of the video but the singing continues with no one near a microphone from about the 0.25 to 0.45 mark until Cruz, Jade and Bradley return to microphones for what appears to be the chorus section of the song “Under The Gun.”
Santa Cruz performing “Under The Gun” live at the Whisky A Go-Go in West Hollywood, California, USA on April 6, 2022 (video from concertsrock‘s YouTube page):
The comments underneath the YouTube video are quite telling and include:
Kyle Thorstad: “This deserves a Grammy.”
kirkwb: “They’re now eligible for the Milli Vanilli Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Asaf Enav: “The drummer was the one who fucked up ha ha…he couldn’t hear the tape properly (maybe a monitor problem) and then he FUCKED UP by not sticking to the correct tempo(he sped up a bit) thus exposing the band’s usage of a back track tape(which imo isn’t a bad thing if used properly). Forgivable though, because I understand he and othera are new players to this band.”
David Sorcher: “@Asaf Enav i think the ENTIRE band fucked up by deciding to try to pull off this Mili Vanilli move in the first place. I’m afraid that lip syncing is NEVER OK in a live rock and roll set.”
Get Madtho: “History was once again made on the Sunset Strip…but I don’t think these dudes are gonna like how they’re going down in history”
Asaf Enav: “I see a very talented band having a sad technical moment, that’s all. Actually that singer dude (which everyone seems to make fun of here)was kinda pro in his choice to turn to the drummer and help him get back in sync. Lemme help you guys out: the drummer was actually the one who fucked up ha ha…he couldn’t hear the tape properly (maybe a monitor problem) and then he FUCKED UP by not sticking to the correct tempo(he sped up a bit) thus exposing the band’s usage of a back track tape(which imo isn’t a bad thing if used properly). Forgivable though, because I understand he and others are new players to this band.”
Asaf Enav: “And as for the so called “drum tech” ppl here seem to miss out on what he’s really doing: obviously he is trying to fix the drummer’s in-ear monitor connection, so he can hear the tape AND the rest of the band… that just proves my theory that he couldnt hear good, that’s why he was outta time. The band couldve stopped the song, but decided to keep on playing and FIX THE PROBLEM ON THE GO which is, ironically KINDA ROCKNROLL ( as opposed to what all the geniuses here say in the comments on tapes not being rocknroll ha ha). Cmon get over it, as long as the tape comes ALONGSIDE real talent only to AUGMENT it, that’s totally fine, you dramma queens…”
David Lipnicky: “The problem is any band using tapes for vocals or main instruments is not a “live” band. I do not want to pay to listen to a laptop or tapes when I go to a live show. That is the problem. It is a bait & switch and it sinks rock music down to the level of pop & karaoke.”
Kristian Juel: “Ok, i don’t understand what everyone’s problem is. They’re not lip syncing, it’s the backing track for backup vocals. Almost every modern band uses it, and it’s not a big deal. What happened, was that the sound guy had made backing track too loud in the beginning and it threw all of them off. Shit happens and you just have to roll with it live. You can clearly hear and see that they’re actually singing. The backing track is just too loud, that’s it.”
Gardner De Aguiar: “I would agree if t was JUST the backing vocals, but it sounded more than that. It’s a verse coming out of the PA and the singer’s turned around looking at the drummer. It totally looks like they’re just jamming to their CD!”
Santa Cruz are not the first band to use backing tapes during a concert but clearly the band’s synchronization with the backing tapes during a live performance needed a little bit of work.