• Sun. May 26th, 2024

L.A. Guns – Sunset Strip Favorites Rocking the House in the City of Sin!

LA Guns Chaotic Resemblance Vamp'd

Saturday night. L.A. Guns. A packed house. Amazing to me for a band that plays here about once per year, when you consider that there are acts from the same era that come to town far less often and don’t get this kind of attendance. I suppose part of it has to do with a built-in weekend crowd mentality. Nonetheless, their live reputation precedes them and rightfully so.

Unfortunately, I missed the openers, a Christian hard rock band called Chaotic Resemblance, who I have heard several good things about, both before and after the headliners took the stage. Another time, I guess. Oz Fox of Stryper produced their debut LP, which makes me all the more eager to hear it.

After a customary pre-recorded intro song, which was oddly funky and poppy, Phil Lewis and company launched into their eponymous debut’s “No Mercy.” This is a band that has always delivered the goods live, no matter which line-ups I’ve seen since ’88, but I’d have to say that Lewis had a particularly great night vocally, while midnight birthday boy Michael Grant on smokin’ lead guitar played up his rock star persona to the hilt on this outing. Having read recently that Tracii Guns himself praises his second replacement Grant is no surprise; the young man is faithful to the lead breaks while adding his own spice and in-the-moment tasty improvisation. Although the fan in me greatly misses Scotty Griffin on bass, seeing Kenny Kweens in that position again was alright by me. And, always the rock-solid skinsman, Steve Riley showed the faithful how he keeps time par excellence in his understated cool manner, as usual.


Vocalist/guitarist Phil Lewis!
Vocalist/guitarist Phil Lewis!


Most don’t know that L.A. Guns has quite the impressive catalog of platters. Aside from several compilations and live releases, their discography includes FOURTEEN studio albums as well as five EPs. The material performed was heavily weighted in favor of their sophomore LP Cocked and Loaded, as well as their aforementioned debut. This is a minor complaint due to the awesome performance, though.

It wasn’t until the sixth song, Hollywood Vampires‘ moody “Over the Edge,” that they slowed their upbeat barrage of favorites. Mixing it up by the eighth song was 2002’s Waking the Dead track, “Hellraisers Ball,” followed by “Gypsy Soul” from 2005’s Tales From the Strip, which was a nice diversion.


Lead guitarist Michael Grant!
Lead guitarist Michael Grant!


It was quite the high energy 14 song set, capped off by an exuberant reading of “Rip and Tear.” Only about an hour long, but what an hour it was. No encore, which was okay by me given the songs performed and the quality of said performance. But a few I spoke with after hoped for at least a one song tradition there.

Hopefully, next time they’ll have new material out to support since it’s been a tad over three years since the solid Hollywood Forever.

As always, if you weren’t in attendance you missed out. Treat yourself next time, as the price is always right, and the venue is as well.


Photos by the author.



No Mercy

Showdown (Riot on Sunset)

Sex Action

Never Enough

I Wanna Be Your Man

It’s Over Now

Wheels of Fire

Hellraiser’s Ball

Gypsy Soul

Slap in the Face

One More Reason

Electric Gypsy

The Ballad of Jayne

Rip and Tear

By Zenon Skyy

Born in Detroit Rock City, Zenon Skyy started several hard rock bands, one of which had 2 songs of theirs receive airplay on a prominent local FM station. Feeling he needed to leave his birthplace behind to accomplish more, Zenon opted to move to the City of Angels the second week (on Elvis' birthday, no less) of 1990 to further his musical endeavors and kick it up a few notches, his last band in L.A. of 3 total even recorded a pro demo with the likes of Ron Keel at the producer's helm, since he was so impressed with the material. Once the writing was on the wall as far as the musical climate changing, he chose to broaden his musical horizons by attending GIT at Hollywood's esteemed Musicians Institute from '94-'95. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Sin City the night the Stratosphere opened. Zenon's also been known to attend rock trivia contests and fare quite well, usually near or at the top of the heap, while humbly accepting accolades for his encyclopedic knowledge of rock/hard rock/metal especially. When he's not attending concerts, doing corporate events, private parties or officiating weddings as one of Vegas' premier Paul Stanley impersonators, he also continues to write original material (music/lyrics) as well as play lead/rhythm guitar and sing lead vocals.

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