TRACII GUNS’ L.A. GUNS(?) ROCKS WARSAW
Show Date: March 2, 2012
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Venue: Progresja Club
Reviewer: Fat Peter
Band Website: lagunsofficial.com
One thing must be said about Tracii Guns — for quite some time he seemed really motivated to follow his vision of a band he formed almost 25 years ago. Being the only consistent member, and changing line-ups quicker than some musicians change girlfriends, he somehow managed to keep the name of L.A. Guns alive, even if he was the only member of this project who lasted more than a few months.
Last year was pretty tumultuous one for Tracii Guns. He released a mainly critically disregarded acoustic live CD with one of his zillion former singers, Jizzy Pearl, (albeit one with whom he managed to record an album earlier), being left by the said singer only a moment after the album’s release, thus making the CD even less relevant in some people’s opinions. He next moved on to hiring an American Idol finalist named Dilana, making her the first girl to front a band notorious for their lewdness, just to dispose of her in less than three months, creating a completely new line-up for about the millionth time. It was this particular version of L.A. Guns that came to visit Warsaw, Poland.
The show on March 2nd consisted of a parade of bands, where about seven groups graced the stage with their presence. The majority of the acts were unknown US hard rock groups, with the complete oddity of a Polish black metal band opening the show (to which the audience was completely dumbfounded). Of the band’s supporting Tracii Guns, the ones that stood out were Hollywood Dirtbags, with their genuine honesty in delivering no-frills attitude to the rock hungry audience, and Death Bed Confession, who played some ultra-catchy songs while having great contact with the audience. All these acts aside, everybody was waiting for the headliner.
Once the main act showed up two things were clear — the band was ready to kick our asses, but also had very little to do with the original L.A. Guns style, mainly due to the new lead singer. Now don’t get me wrong, the lead man Scott Harris really delivered, showed a huge vocal range, and had some cool interaction with the crowd, but he in no way had the vibe that Phil Lewis brought with his performance. One of the attendees told me that the vocalist reminded him a bit of Robert Plant, but at the same time his style didn’t fit in too well with L.A. Guns‘ original material. To Harris‘s credit though you had to acknowledge he did show some good technique — it was ok that he didn’t try to impersonate Lewis — but his vocal style was, in my opinion, way too polished for a b(r)and of such notoriety as L.A. Guns.
The setlist consisted of the legendary L.A. Guns material mixed with some classic rock covers. The cool thing was that the drummer Doni Gray sang one of the songs, a cover of the Jimi Hendrix hit “Hey Joe”, and it really had a great vibe. Apart from this, the majority of the audience was focused on Tracii‘s guitar playing and didn’t really pay attention to the rest of the band. In fact bass player Johnny Martin was basically invisible, although the bass lines were on the spot.
The show was done after an hour and a bit — Tracii and his band didn’t play any encore and just retreated to the dressing room as soon as they finished the last song. They didn’t even return for a meet ‘n’ greet or swag signing after the show, which left a bit of a bitter aftertaste.
All in all it was a so-so show. Tracii killed, but after the concert I understood why some attendees were a bit disappointed when they found out that the ‘L.A. Guns‘ band that was performing that night was Tracii‘s version and not Phil‘s. I can understand why people were frustrated — it just didn’t feel like there was that much ‘L.A. Guns’ in this L.A. Guns show.