IT’S NEVER ENOUGH WITH L.A GUNS!
Date: October 22, 2016
Venue: Aetna Hall
Location: Newark, Delaware, USA
Reviewer: Christopher Carroll
Photos: Christopher Carroll Photography
It was over a two hour drive to the Aetna Hall in Newark, Delaware where Pretty Boy Floyd and L.A. Guns were playing but the ride was enjoyable, as I convinced my girlfriend to come along. She’s as fun as she is beautiful and I was in control of the stereo so we had a great time listening to the new The Dead Daisies, some L.A. Guns and Pretty Boy Floyd!
We knew we were in for an interesting night as the promoter had an act perform between sets, poking himself with a knife, laying his face on a bed of glass while a woman stood on his head and even lifted a keg off the ground with chains that were attached to his ear lobes! As we were walking in, we had to make way for the paramedics who were rushing in to care for a concert goer who had been watching this circus show and passed out, hitting his head on the concrete floor.
Being a photographer, I was unhappy to see the lighting. It was fine for the venue but not great for photos. Pretty Boy Floyd took the stage and did all the hits off their Leather Boyz with Electric Toyz album as well as a few others including their two Mötley Crüe covers; “Toast Of The Town” and ended the show with a great rendition of “Live Wire.” I’ve seen Pretty Boy Floyd a few times over the years but not in quite a while. They sounded great!
Kristy Majors kicked these songs out like he plays them every day. The sound at this venue was good and Kristy’s guitar sound was full and powerful. Steve Summers sounded exactly like he does on the albums. He has such a distinctive voice. It’s always recognizable. He seemed to be having a good time and never missed a note. J.K. Famous on bass, and newest member, Ben Graves, on drums, rounded out the band. They are both solid players whose look fit in perfectly.
The Pretty Boy Floyd look has transformed over the years. The look is a little darker than it was before but still fits them perfectly. This was a fun show! Their merchandise table was packed with various items and I noticed a long line filled up immediately. Though the line was long, the guys hung around, signed things and talked to every last person that was in line!
Pretty Boy Floyd are finishing up the recording of a new album and they constantly seem to be adding new shows so stay informed by visiting them on Facebook.
Phil Lewis and L.A. Guns came out ready to hit the stage. Phil walked up to me to say hello, shook my hand and said, “Come on… Have you got your camera? Come with us.” and he led me onstage. I got to shoot from the side of the stage. As I mentioned, the lighting was bad but shooting from the side always adds an interesting look to the photos so that was a plus!
L.A. Guns cranked out all the hits…. “Never Enough,” “I Wanna Be Your Man,” “Over The Edge,” “The Ballad Of Jayne,” “Rip And Tear,” “Sex Action,” “One More Reason,” “Electric Gypsy”… and several more. It was non-stop fun! The band sounded great, as usual and they looked very relaxed, like they were just up there jamming, having a good time. The crowd loved it. Steve Riley was practically in the dark (drummers always have the worst light!) but you could hear him well. He drove the songs without hesitation. Kenny Kweens was killing it on bass while Michael Grant was tearing it up on guitar on the other side of the stage. Michael seems to have a ball onstage. He’s so comfortable with the songs that he performs visually as he’s playing, accentuating the music with his movements. At one point, Phil stepped off the stage in order to allow Michael to play his rendition of Prince’s “Purple Rain.” Michael did a beautiful job singing the song as well.
Phil Lewis is a great frontman. Between the singing, the jokes, the between song chatter, he always seems to be having a great time onstage. He was playing a Flying V that (I believe) was owned by the guitarist in the opening band. It was a sharp guitar and actually fit him well. He joked about probably seeing it on E-Bay the next day with the label “Phil Lewis‘ Flying V’. I’m sure the owner will cherish that guitar even more so now that it has a little bit of rock star stage history!
I’m always shocked at how someone who sings with such grit and energy can maintain their voice for years. Time has had no effect on Phil Lewis’ voice. Every time he’s singing onstage, he sounds like he’s going for broke. You would think it would wear his voice down but each time, he sounds perfect. He doesn’t back down from the high notes as most men who have been singing for years do. On top of that, he still adds just the right amount of strain to his vocals, which adds an infectious intensity to the songs. This is one band that always sounds great and is fun in concert. I’ve probably seen them ten times in the last two years and (pardon the pun) it’s just never enough. I’m always up for an L.A. Guns show!
L.A. Guns are currently out on tour through the end of the year. They just played the Rock N Skull Festival on October 28th so they are off to Michigan, Maryland, New York, Maine, Idaho, Washington state and at the Whisky A Go Go on New Year’s Eve! Catch them when they are near you! You can check their website for tour dates.