Live Gig Review and Photos by: Robert Cavuoto
The recently reunited LA Guns with Phil Lewis and Tracii Guns were on a mission to bring their brand of sleazy 80’s Hollywood glam to New York City! Together with Shane Fitzgibbon [drums], Johnny Martin [bass], and Michael Grant [guitar] the band put on one hell of a show
Phil told the crowd that on October 13th they would be releasing a new CD called, The Missing Peace! In 2017 LA Guns are showing the world they are still relevant and even performed two new songs; “The Flood’s the Fault of the Rain” and “Speed.” If “Speed” is indicative of what’s on the new CD, they will have a rock masterpiece on their hands.
The band hit the stage at 10:00 pm opening with “No Mercy” and never looked back. You would never have known that Phil and Tracii haven’t played together in 17 years as they still have the same chemistry they did so many years ago. They were all smiles, shared a microphone for the choruses, and had great comradery. They played 17 songs with a majority of them from their first two albums LA Guns and Cocked and Loaded. Classic tunes included; “Sex Action,” “No Mercy,” “Electric Gypsies,” “Never Enough,” “Malaria,” and “Ballad of Jayne” which Phil told us he wrote about his mother. Ravenous worshipers rocked back and forth raising their fists and banging their heads. It was a fast paced 90-minute show and the applause that followed was heartfelt.
Phil’s voice continues to sound great live with the same quality and range from to the late 80’s. His steel belted scream at the end of “Rip and Tear” shook the walls of the old theatre. Phil is the premier frontman and true entertainer. Being quite the character, his stage clothes resembled what the “Droogs” wore in the movie Clockwork Orange; white high rise jeans, white t-shirt, suspenders, top hat, black high top Converse sneakers, and a red mid-length leather jacket.
Tracii was a maniac whipping around his guitar and running the stage while never missing a beat. He brought a mini-arsenal of sharp looking guitars including a green sparkle Gibson SG, a Gold Top Gibson Les Paul, a tobacco sunburst Dean Strat, and double neck crème Gibson SG which he used for on “Ballad of Jayne.” Shane and Johnny laid down the backbeat like an unflinching freight train throughout the night while Michael took over lead vocals for a heartfelt version of Prince’s “Purple Rain.”
It was great to see Phil and Tracii together playing the classic songs and previewing some of their new material. These rock veterans never took their foot off the gas the entire show and had more energy than bands half their age. Not many bands today truly embody the spirit of metal, many have tried, only a few succeed, but LA Guns hit the mark.