Photo by Robert Downs
Paradise Kitty

Paradise Kitty Adds a Feminine Twist to Guns N' Roses

If you missed Guns N' Roses when they played Marlins Park last summer, the rock gods have smiled upon you. You will now have a chance to hear all of their rock staples from Appetite for Destruction and Use Your Illusion in a live setting. There'll be just one not-so-subtle difference: Instead of seeing Axl Rose at the mike and Slash noodling on the guitar, you will witness Paradise Kitty, the all-female GNR tribute band.

Formed in Guns N' Roses' old stomping ground of West Hollywood, California, Paradise Kitty strives to not only follow in GNR's hard-rocking footsteps, but also carry on the good-humored nature of other women-only cover bands with puntastic names such as AC/DShe, the Ramonas, the Iron Maidens, and Ms. Fitts.

"Early on, someone wanted to call it Huns N’ Roses. I immediately thought,That’s terrible. I need a better name stat, and Paradise Kitty was born," drummer Rachael Rine says.

Rine says when forming the band, she sought not necessarily women who could imitate Axl and gang, but those who could capture their spirit. "When covering GNR, it’s important to cop the correct feel of each player," she adds. "That is pivotal to the Guns sound. Some tribute bands go to great lengths to look like the band they’re covering, and that really works for them. We instead focus that energy on playing the songs right and just being ourselves onstage." To create that formula, she snagged Jenna Syde on vocals, Nikki Stevens on bass, and guitarists Britt Lightning Denaro and Hisako Ozawa. "We have a blast in the process, and people seem to dig it."

It's a combination that has allowed them to not only travel the world, but also to capture the attention of their muses: the actual members of Guns N' Roses. "Yes, most of them [know us]," Rine says. "They dig it." Syde adds, "As a matter of fact, [keyboardist] Dizzy Reed invites us out frequently to play shows with his side band."

South Floridians will have an opportunity to hear Paradise Kitty purr out hits such as "Welcome to the Jungle" and "Patience" February 17 at Cash Only in Fort Lauderdale.

"We bring a party that has a little something for everyone," Rine promises. "People always tell me how much fun they had with the Kitties."

When it comes to a night of live music, Syde says, you really can't go wrong with "five badass babes blaring out your favorite GNR tunes."

Paradise Kitty: Guns N' Roses Tribute. 9 p.m. Saturday, February 17, at Cash Only, 15 W. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-299-3295; cashonlybar.com. Tickets cost $5 via eventbrite.com.

David Rolland is a freelance music writer for New Times Broward-Palm Beach and Miami New Times. His mornings are spent educating his toddler daughter on becoming a music snob. His spare time is spent dabbling in writing fiction and screenplays whose subjects are mostly music snobs.

Upcoming Events