Friday, August 2, 2019

Guns were blazing in Greensboro!
By Douglas White
     The historic Cone Denim theatre in downtown Greensboro, NC roared to life Saturday night, 13 July 2019. The L.A. Guns took to the stage in support of their new album 
"The Devil you know".
    If you're not aware, L.A. Guns have been around with various members, including Axel Rose (playing under his real name William Bailey), since 1983. Traci Guns and lead singer Phil Lewis, (most recently of the "Girls") have performed together off & on since 1987. Their collaboration has produced two Gold records and has sold over six and a half million albums. The Guns lineup has changed more than a professional hockey team. To say that the relationships have been tumultuous is an understatement. Thankfully Lewis & Guns have reunited to create an album that shows neither  has let age hamper their talents. It's only enhanced them. 

      I photographed the Guns in 1990 in Buffalo, NY at a time that Guns and Lewis were playing together.  We all were a bit thinner and had less grey hair, but from what I remember, they haven't skipped a beat. Guns played with such intensity he was burning up the strings and revved up the crowd. Phil Lewis's vocals, while a little older, were strong and he was able to hit all the notes without any problems. The consummate professional's dealt with a technical problem they encountered during the first song. Lewis opened with "Over the edge." Within seconds his mic failed, but Guns immediately stepped up to his mic and took over while Lewis scrambled to fix the problem. With the mic changed Lewis resumed and launched back into his lead.
     All members on stage were completely amped up. Ace Van Johnson, on rhythm guitar and back up vocals, was hopping around like a little kid on a sugar rush. Johnny Martin on Bass and Shane Fitzgibbons on drums rounded out a lineup that was firing on all cylinders. They'll be busy for the rest of the year with 30 plus appearances ending out the tour on New Year's eve at the Whiskey a Go-Go in Los Angeles. 

     Opening the evening was the 'American Hair Band." They got the crowded Cone Denim patrons revved up to various cover songs.  Darrin Fitch on lead vocals led the group through a variety of rock tunes from the eighties.

     When the Guns took to the stage, the crowd was primed and ready for them. Having worked out the initial problem and the gremlins that had plagued the crew during warm-up, they launched into the intro song from their Hollywood Vampires LP.  Without giving the crowd a chance to catch their breath, they launched into the second number "No Mercy" from the 1988 self-titled album. "Sex Action" was third, and they then launched into the title song "The Devil you know." 

Aging is inevitable, wrinkles get a little deeper, and knees and fingers get a little stiffer. In spite of this, the L.A. Guns have managed to keep their sound their own but fresh, plus provide their loyal fans a show that doesn’t disappoint nor to be forgotten any time soon.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Great Job on Pictures and Write up. Keep it going guys we all get older but age is only a number it is how you feel.

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