Skip to main content

Finnish glam rockers Santa Cruz experience backing tape mishap at Whisky a Go Go show

The band was performing new song ‘Under the Gun’ when things fell out of ‘sync’

The debate about rock bands using backing tracks to enhance live performances – be it for lead vocals, background vocals, keyboards or otherwise – has been raging for some time now. Acts from Kiss to Motley Crue to, more recently, Fozzy, have at various times been the target of “do they or don’t they?” accusations.

And while more and more bands have copped to using small amounts of backing tape assistance to deliver what they deem the best show possible (to their credit, Nikki Sixx and Chris Jericho have both been open about this, with SIxx saying the Crue have used tapes to help “fill out the sound”), sometimes a band can take things seemingly too far.

Enter Finnish hard rockers Santa Cruz, who experienced a full-on backing tape malfunction at an April 6 gig at the Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles, while performing their new song “Under the Gun,” from their forthcoming album, The Return of the Kings.

To their credit, the Archie Cruz-led band (eventually) recovered, though by that time the curtain has clearly been pulled back. Not surprisingly, the comments section of the above YouTube video quickly filled with postings from fans and detractors alike about the use of backing tapes in onstage performance. Was it excessive, or do we just get upset when we know about it? Opinions vary, clearly.

Since forming earlier in the 2000s, Santa Cruz have become one of the more internationally-known glam bands to emerge from Northern Europe. The Return of the Kings is their fifth full-length, and features singer and lead guitarist Cruz surrounded by a refreshed lineup.