One thing about Hollywood, it never disappoints—who would think you’d find completely sleeved hard and heavy hitters mingling with those in board shorts and Van’s or those wearing chapeaus…and all ages (those old enough to drink of course) represented in the ocean of colorful characters strolling back and forth; drinks in their hands and fedoras all around on a warm summer night; there is no question…you’re at the House of Blues; the vibe smooth and comfortable.
It’s been seven years since L.A. Guns’ last studio album but they haven’t missed a beat staying true to the rock roots developed through the “blood, sweat and tears” this band has seen over the years. Phil Lewis’ vocals were spot on, while guitarist Stacy Blades held his own with memorable riffs. Scotty Griffin’s solid bass playing and the dynamic drumming of longtime L.A. gunner Steve Riley, rounded out their ass-kicking rhythm section. When the house lights finally went down and the smoke cleared from the front of the stage, Lewis broke into the bands’ first song, Hollywood Forever, wearing a crotch cup, like the character, Alex DeLarge, the uber-violent yet charismatic protagonist from A Clockwork Orange. The phallic symbol he wore on his face looked pretty cool too! The band played five songs off Hollywood Forever: Hollywood Forever, You Better Not Love Me, Sweet Mystery, Queenie and Crazy Tango.One of the most unforgettable tunes of the night, The Ballad of Jayne, was the last time the band would be playing that particular offering; Lewis stated they were retiring the song from their set-list and we at the House of Blues got to hear it for the last time, live!
By the time they finished the last song of their set, Rip and Tear, the pumping fists and “Dio” horns in the air looked tremendous from the back bar peering out into what truly was a rockin’ evening with L.A.’s own Hollywood Vampires.