It has been almost exactly one year since L.A. Guns literally stole the show at the M3 Festival in Maryland. The band led by vocalist Phil Lewis played a raucous show that had everyone talking about how great a set the band had put on. Fast forward to the band making their first Western NY appearance in some six years, at the Icehouse, an old venue updated in both name and decor. Lewis and Company, bassist Scotty Griffin, drummer Steve Riley and latest guitar player Michael Grant (who replaced Stacey Blades) jelled quite well considering they have not played together for too long. Grant as some might recall was in a band called Endeverafter that caught a glimpse of the spotlight by opening for Poison and Cinderella on a major shed tour in 2006.
The high adrenaline set opened with “Sex Action” before segueing into crowd pleaser “Never Enough”. Many fans came to hear “I Wanna Be Your Man” and the band obliged with that request next. The sixty-five minute set moved along at a rapid pace as the band dug into its latest release Hollywood Forever. Culled from the underrated record was “You Better Not Love Me” and “Sweet Mystery” both standout cuts.
The crowd while not as big as one might have expected, roared into approval and sang along to the band’s biggest song “The Ballad Of Jayne”. Followed by the rambunctious “Rip And Tear”, a song where the band just lets it all out was a good place to end the show as the band generally does. With many of the sparse crowd calling for an encore, the tour manager announced the band was done performing for the evening but will be out for a meet and greet with their fans.
Having seen this band in many incarnations, I must say this lineup is one of the strongest yet. This band however deserves a better fate. At this stage in their career they should easily be able to fill a small club and then some. Whether the band is mismanaged or needs to find a good PR company, one thing remains certain and that is this band still delivers a powerful, blood and guts show. Many bands would kill to have the energy and drive that I see this band possess each time I see them perform.
I Wanna Be Your Man
Over The Edge
You Better Not Love Me
Kiss My Love Goodbye
Ballad Of Jayne
Rip And Tear
Special thanks to Ross Catalino from Back II Back Entertainment