Review and photos by Jay Rubinstein
Ever since the age of 9 when my parents took me to Madison Square Garden for my first concert (KISS) I’ve understood the energy and excitement about seeing bands live. Today, I still get that thrill—and it is something everyone should experience.
On Sunday March 10th we turned our clocks ahead, but on April 9th we turned back time as veteran Rockers Tracii Guns & Phillip Lewis rolled into town with their band L.A. Guns for some high octane 80’s rock n’ roll.
Once again, Debonair Music Hall in Teaneck, NJ stepped up their game bringing another top-notch hard rock band into town. Gone are the days of the mega arena rock shows that made bands like L.A. Guns famous. But now we get to see what made them up close and personal.
Their current lineup includes original members Tracii Guns & Phillip Lewis, accompanied by bassist Johnny Martin and newcomer guitarist Ace Von Johnson, with Scot Coogan on drums.
I love getting to shows early to get the vibe of the evening and right away I knew this was going to be a fun evening. Touring with L.A. Guns on this stretch of their tour is the L.A.-based rock band The Darbies. Retro looks and a modern 70’s sound make these high-energy stars perfect to kick off the evening. The Darbies are Jani Jaakko (Vocals) Ronny Dave Castro (Guitar) Nico Castro (Drums) Joe Galate (Bass).
***CLICK HERE for more photos of The Darbies ***
With a packed house I stood my ground in the front pressed up against the monitors center stage waiting with anticipation to be transported back to 1984… Let the games begin!
Right out of the gates you can see/hear the chemistry between Phil Lewis & Tracii Guns. It is something not to be missed—two old friends out on stage doing what they love, making kick-ass rock n’ roll.
Lewis’s voice is fresh & outstanding while Tracii’s guitar playing will blow you away. It’s so refreshing to just hear gritty Rock N Roll played to perfection. Thumping bass, screaming solos, hard driving rhythm and melodic vocals describe L.A. Guns. Out touring their new album “ The Devil You Know”, L.A. Guns has not missed one beat in time with this new album as you would never know if it was done in the 80’s or just yesterday. So many bands lose their edge but this lineup with Tracii Guns (Guitar) Phillip Lewis (Vocals) Ace Von Johnson (Guitar), Johnny Martin (Bass) & Scott Coogan (Drums) round out L.A Guns to perfection.
The set list include both old and new tunes, opening with No Mercy and powering through such classic hits as “Speed”, “Sex Action”, “I Wanna Be Your Man”, “Never Enough”, “Electric Gypsy”, “The ballad of Jayne”, (New tune) “The Devil You Know” and finishing with “Rip & Tear” are just a few that riled up this Jersey crowd.
Before I knew it the show was over… and I must say, I felt like I was 16 again and just stole my parents’ car—driving it pedal-to-the-metal down a back road with police chasing me.
I often wish I could put my camera down at shows but then again once I get home and review my images, I know why I do what I do & Rock N Roll will always be part of me.
Next up, keep an eye out for my review of Nita Strauss—or better yet, check her out on May 21st @ Debonair Music Hall.
***CLICK HERE for more images of L.A. Guns***