Raise your hand if you've heard a story like this before: A world-famous tattoo artist/entrepreneur and a band of international musicians head to Nashville to record an American-language country-rock album after sweeping through Europe. Sounds like a movie, doesn't it? Well, larger-than-life stories are what Mario Barth is all about, and that may be why his band is named 'ABOUT KINGS'.
Just how famous is Mario Barth? Well, actor Mickey Rourke portrayed a fictionalized version of him in Sylvester Stallone's action-packed THE EXPENDABLES. Known as the greatest tattoo artist in the world, this colorful gentleman used the Rambo/Rocky actor's famed physique as a canvas. And superstar musicians like Kid Rock, Lenny Kravitz, Usher, and Tommy Lee have entrusted their bodies to his artistry. Even The Bronx Wanderers' Vincent John got his latest design from the guy. So when Mario Barth steps up to the microphone, people are bound to listen.
The Bronx Wanderers' Vincent John (left) and Mario Barth
The members of ABOUT KINGS are an interesting combination of cultures. Austrian Barth joins fellow famed tattoo artist/Detroit rocker Bob Tyrrell on rhythm guitar and Croatia's Alen Brentini on lead guitar and vocals. They're paired with Nashville country-rock musicians Kevin Ogburn on bass and Shane Hoskins' powerful percussion. Soulful backup singers Summer Roma and Christine Winslow have joined the band during live performances.
Barth formed ABOUT KINGS in 2017 and it didn't take long for them to become an international success. They've played arenas for audiences exceeding 80,000, bolstered by the success of their German-language album 'Guardian Angel" and its hit single "Easy Rider". Last year their Nashville recording sessions yielded the English-language "Go Big or Go Home".
A 14-song collection, it was produced by Grammy-nominated songwriter/musician Kent Wells, who's collaborated with heavy-hitters Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Crystal Gayle, Paul Anka, and Travis Tritt through the years. The new album's first single, entitled "Heaven On Down The Highway", debuted at #53 on the Billboard Country charts in February. You can listen to it on SPOTIFY by clicking here.
Last October, ABOUT KINGS joined fellow performers Tyler Rich and LONESTAR for a showcase at Mosaic Theater on the Strip. Although Vegas 411 was unable to attend, we told you all about it here. In addition to very reasonably-priced seats, the organizers provided 200 tickets to VITALANT, a non-profit blood service. Those who donated blood at one of three VITALANT locations were given a free ticket to attend that week.
A number of celebrities were in the audience, including rocker Tommy Lee, actress Vivica A. Fox, and Quiet Riot's Paul Shortino. Alen Brentini was unable to play that evening due to COVID complications, so producer Wells stepped in and reportedly made an excellent temporary replacement.
'About Kings' 10/21 Performance at Mosaic Theater
Mario recently returned with the guys from a show in Berlin for 28,000 concertgoers. Now he'll be extremely busy at Planet Hollywood Resort this week, overseeing the WORLD TATTOO & PIERCING INDUSTRY TRADE CONFERENCE. Running from Monday, May 23rd through the 27th, the conference is hosted by the Coalition for Tattoo Safety and offers over fifty hours of workshops and seminars:
"Join us for a week dedicated to tattoo & piercing education and industry forums. Meet with Industry vendors and network. Everyone welcome! Our purpose is to be a voice for tattooing rights and regulations worldwide. Regulations are changing at light speed and are vastly imposed on our industry without the consideration of the reality affecting our business and livelihood. It is up to us as an industry to set the standards. WE TOGETHER are the next generation of tattoo artists, we need to take care of our own industry." - Coalition for Tattoo Safety
Click HERE for schedules, events, and ticketing information for the WORLD TATTOO & PIERCING conference.
Also this week, the band will launch their latest tour right here in Las Vegas. They'll be appearing at HARD ROCK LIVE, the performance venue atop HARD ROCK CAFE on the Strip. The band will then continue on to Switzerland, Italy, Germany, and Austria throughout the summer.
As with the Mosaic show last October, Friday's performance at HARD ROCK LIVE will be an opportunity to extend thanks to the community. This time, those in active military and veterans will receive free admission, along with a complimentary drink. Profits will be donated to the Coalition for Tattoo Safety:
Doors open at 7 pm. DJ Aero will perform from 7:30-8:15 p.m. Country singer Filmore will perform from 8:15-9:30 p.m. and Mario Barth & About Kings will take the stage after 9:30 p.m. Each admission will receive one free drink.
Military veterans and active servicemen/women can request up to five free tickets by registering at www.aboutkings.com. Tickets for the general public are available at the same website for $30 or by calling (702) 265-3642.
Hard Rock Live is part of the Hard Rock Cafe entertainment complex. It's located at 3771 South Las Vegas Boulevard, directly across from Park MGM Hotel Casino. Paid parking is available in the Showcase Mall parking garage next to Hard Rock Live.