On Friday April 5, Riverfront Live hosted a jammed evening with two bands from California’s warm, Western shores. The Darbies and L.A. Guns brought the goods, with the young blood starting the evening in up and coming fashion.
The youth gone wild from L.A. started the show with four guys keeping the music of the ‘70s alive with headliner-in-the-making showmanship and performance. The spirit of Zeppelin flew free with bits of AC/DC inspired old-school among them as vocalist Jani Jakko carried the shamanship of Jim Morrison. Guitarist Ronny Dave definitely had some Jimmy Page in him and Rico could be the reincarnation of Bon Scott on drums.
That night they both brought it and sold it. Playing a short collection of tunes, they incorporated a blend of blues, funk and vintage rock, time-warping the audience back many decades. It was encouraging watching young dudes pay tribute to the rock gods and giants who paved the way for modern music.
Sermons of Sympathy stood out carrying a classic Stones groove with some honky-tonk mood in the strings. In a virtual, digital era, they’re a fresh breath love letter of modern-vintage to a time when music was more authentic and harder to make, without keyboard strokes.
L.A. Guns lived The Strip scene and are still around to tell the tales. The Sunset era has become legend whether you were there or lived it through MTV.
With a 14-song set, they covered a nice, equal mix of Lewis-Guns history, delivering the classics as well as new material from The Missing Peace and this year’s The Devil You Know. Of course, there were the tunes which, according to Lewis, they couldn’t leave without playing.
Excluding a few entertaining props, the music still did the talking, keeping the crowd excited and engaged with Lewis ever the showman communicating feeling, ideas and jokes with a single look or gesture. Throughout the show he seemed genuinely pleased and touched by the response. Tracii Guns’ face smiled and contorted, displaying and feeling each note played.
Old-school opened with fresh and new on No Mercy and Rage. Sex Action, the dramatic roller-coaster ride Over the Edge and guzzling Electric Gypsy conjured the first memories of West Coast highways and hair-sprayed sunsets. The crowd sang along as new songs brought out the Devil in Lewis. The Skynyrd-like The Floods the Fault of the Rain gave the next 5-6 minutes an epic feel as fans sang along to Never Enough.
Lewis said of The Darbies, “It’s great to see kids putting down phones and picking up guitars.”
Adrenaline hit fast with high velocity Speed, with guitars spellbinding with the alluring Crystal Eyes as Jayne winked her immortal kiss goodbye. They gave the crowd one more punch to the eardrum digging into Rip & Tear. L.A. Guns’ current line-up includes Lewis (lead vocals), Guns (lead guitar), Ace Von Johnson (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Johnny Martin (bass guitar, backing vocals) and Scot Coogan (drums).
Facebook – www.facebook.com/L.A.GunsOfficial/
Website – www.lagunsmusic.com
Twitter – https://twitter.com/laguns
Website – www.thedarbiesband.com
Twitter – https://twitter.com/TheDarbies