The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
LA Guns Live in Concert DVD review












LA Guns was always one of my favourite bands from the late eighties who somehow managed to endure despite the changes to the music scene that prevailed with grunge. Forgiving a few false moves along the way and an eventual split into two factions I actually still enjoyed seeing them live in whatever format, but as a fan of Phil Lewis from his ‘Girl’ and even ‘Tormé’ days it was always his unique voice that shone through for me. Now of course as the Highlander famously said ‘there can only be one’ and as Tracii’s version of LA Guns is laid to rest for new projects. Phil’s version (now the only LA Guns) on the strength of this video is going from strength to strength.



Filmed at that true mecca for eighties rock fans (now that Festivals like Rocklahoma have embraced all ages of rock) - the famed M3 festival; LA Guns are on fire. They sound great and they even look pretty good too, and whilst the camera work on opener ‘Sex Action’ might be a little workmanlike it’s pretty decent footage when you consider what we are seeing is pretty much the live feed from the day. Despite the fixed shot of drummer Steve Riley (hey who watches a drummer except drummers anyway?), it's mixed pretty well too.


Initially I thought that the vocals were a bit low in the mix, but they seem to jump out more by the time we get to second track ‘Never Enough’ one of the classic LA Guns tunes. All told there’s little to be disappointed by here and it’s as good a live set as you'll get at a festival – with nine tracks that make you wonder why these guys didn't surpass bands like Poison and some of their other contemporaries that made it bigger. The older songs here have clearly stood the test of time and retain all of that characteristic attitude and sleaze.


It’s also great to see a band ‘of a certain age’ not afraid to play the new stuff, rather than concentrate on the tried and tested. Listening to the tracks from latest album ‘Hollywood Forever’: “You better not love me” and “Sweet Mystery” it’s clear that creatively the band hasn’t lost the ability to put together a great song, that can stand up against earlier more cherished output.


It's hard in nine songs to summarise a career but LA Guns shine throughout, the house is packed too which helps and long may they continue.


The DVD doesn't end here though - there are three videos from ‘Hollywood Forever’ which are nice to have, but the real highlight is the bonus ‘Making of Hollywood Forever’ documentary: an interesting insight into their first album in 7 years.


Sadly Stacey Blades has now left the building meaning that a new era of LA Guns is on the way. This video is a fitting footnote in a story we hope continues on. A must for fans but also well worth checking out if you are curious what all the fuss was all about!



By Jo Rockpit