Skarlett Roxx gives high-energy, hard rock performance at Wildwood Saloon

Up-and-coming high-energy rock band Skarlett Roxx gave an in-person performance at Wildwood Saloon on Jan. 30.


Tate Hildyard

Skarlett Roxx performs at Wildwood Saloon on Saturday, January 30th, 2021. Skarlett Roxx is a band modeled on and influenced by eighties hair metal.

Maddie Johnston, Arts Reporter

Dressed head to toe in appropriately punk attire, sporting long locks and jet-black mullets, local band Skarlett Roxx put on a show over the weekend that is hard to forget.

The rock and roll band took the Wildwood Saloon stage in person this weekend, kicking off the night with their original song, “Skarlett’s Web,” sung by rhythm guitarist Deuce Mac.

Throughout the show, the band mixed several of their originals with classics like Guns n’ Roses’ “Paradise City,” the Romantics’ “What I Like About You,” and ended with AC/DC’s “Whole Lotta Rosie.” Drummer Ash Lee (known as ‘Ash-hole’ to his colleagues), never missed a beat. The audience hollered with enthusiasm during his drum solo following the band’s cover of Kiss song, “Parasite.”

Balancing the band by regularly switching vocal parts, Mac and bassist Lizzy Jaxx maneuvered the stage with the confidence of seasoned rockstars. Lead guitarist Kaiden Smith played guitar riffs skillfully and assertively, all while singing with a vocal style kindred to legend Axl Rose.

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From men in bandanas, to girls with brightly colored hair and fishnet stockings, to little girls running around in studded leather jackets, the charismatic audience of around 50 joyfully received each song that played. After several requests from the audience for an encore, the band returned to the stage to close off the night with their new song, “King of the Dead,” and Beastie Boys cover, “Fight for Your Right.”

“I hate that song,” Smith said after the show.

The biggest takeaway from the performance is that Skarlett Roxx knows how to rock, but behind all the head banging and distorted guitar licks are a group of genuine, friendly guys.

Brought together in some part by their music-loving parents (but also, in the words of drummer Ash, “cool hair”), the members of the band draw their inspiration from other groups like Kiss, Mötley Crüe, Guns n’ Roses, and singer-songwriter Alice Cooper.

Mac said he recalls randomly meeting Lee at the Cedar Rapids guitar center, three years prior to the band’s formation.

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“He was in there and he was playing the guitar, and he shut off the amp wrong, and the guitar store owner got pissed at him, and he left the store and me and my dad were like, ‘Wow, what an idiot,’” Mac said. “And now we’re in a band together.”

Self-described as a high-energy, rock-and-roll, hair metal band, Skarlett Roxx has big plans — to become the biggest band in the world.

“I want to get a record deal,” Mac said. “I want to be able to tour the country, and I want to be able to graduate high school and not go to college. I want to do what I love.”

It’s not every day one sees a group of young people inspired to create dirty, raw, rock-and-roll. Skarlett Roxx is a must-see for people who value the music and lifestyle of 70s’, 80s’ and 90s’ rock stars and heavy metalists. The band said it’s on a mission to bring the genre back into what is considered mainstream music.

“The problem with mainstream music these days is it’s influencing the wrong stuff. You know, we see all these young rappers overdosing, getting killed in drive-bys, and promoting all this violence and stuff, when really we need to be promoting partying and having fun,” Mac said. “Sex, drugs, rock-and-roll — except I don’t do drugs, ‘cause I’m a minor.”