Splice Magazine

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LA Guns + Budderside

Asheville, North Carolina (February 21, 2018) – legendary rockers, LA Guns, brought their raw energy rock show to The Grey Eagle in Asheville, NC tonight.

Having reunited with Phil Lewis (vocals) and Tracii Guns (guitar), the current lineup also includes Michael Grant (guitar), Johnny Martin (bass) and Shane Fitzgibbon (drums). The LA Guns have released 11 albums and have had hit songs such as, “Rip & Tear“, “Kiss My Love Goodbye“, and “It’s Over Now“. The band formed back in 1983 by Tracii, has an extensive history. Through the years the band has consisted of members from other notable 80’s band members like W.A.S.P, Scorpion and Faster Pussycat. Rocker Axl Rose fronted the group for a brief time bringing in members from his former band, Hollywood Rose to join some of the LA Guns to form what was the original line up for the Guns ‘n’ Roses. With Billboard hits and platinum albums, tonight’s show is sure to be a truly amazing step back in time.

The opening band, Budderside, hailing from California is a very energetic and eclectic group. These guys have a sound that’s hard to define by just one genre. They’re definitely rock ‘n’ roll all the way through but do very well at blending many influences from pop, blues and even a little bit of ska music. They’re fun and edgy and you can tell these guys love what they do. Having been handpicked by the late, great Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead to be the first band signed to his label, Budderside has released three singles and three music videos. The band features lead singer/guitarist Patrick Stone who fronted Steven Adler’s (Guns ‘n’ Roses) group Adler’s Appetite, Michael Stone (bass), Colon Reid (guitar) and Rich Sacco (drums). Playing songs like “Genocide” and “Pain” from their self-titled album the band quickly captured the attention of the room filled with many people who had not heard of them before, including myself. The song “X-Girlfriend” was one of my favorites with its down and dirty guitar riffs; as well as the softer ballad-esque “Clear Blue Sky” with its powerful lyric content. Budderside left the stage having won over a room full of fans who definitely wanted more.

© Michael Bragg. Please do not alter images.

Next up was the LA Guns who are currently touring in support of their newest 2017 album release The Missing Peace“. The band came out with a voracious attitude holding nothing back right into the newer “Devil Made Me Do It” backed by the classic “Electric Gypsy“. Fists in the air and head banging, the crowd instantly became as much a part of the show themselves. Phil Lewis filled the room with his powerful vocals, alongside Tracii Guns burning up the fretboard. Guitarist Michael Grant took his moment in the spotlight when the band did an instrumental segment titled “Jelly Jam“. Johnny and Shane held down one solid rhythm section all night long keeping the crowd moving.

A standout moment of the night was Tracii Guns bow solo, reminiscent of Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, that led into another “Guns’ classic “Over The Edge“. The song “Malaria” featured a solo with the use of a rarely seen Theremin. The band covered many other hit songs throughout the night, “One More Reason“, “Don’t Look at Me That Way“, and “No Mercy“; as well as “Speed” and “The Flood’s The Fault of The Rain” from the newest album release, The Missing Peace“.

© Michael Bragg. Please do not alter images.

After an hour of music, the LA Guns left the stage only to be called back out for a four-song encore filled with some nostalgic rock anthems. Kicking it off with “Never Enough“, into a band instrumental jam session, and then the song everyone was waiting for…

Phil Lewis softly entranced the audience with a sense of delicacy in his voice as he broke into the hugely popular “The Ballad of Jayne“. The only time the crowd was silent all night just listening and taking it all in until Phil motioned for a sing-a-long on the chorus. The night ended back on an energetic fan favorite with “Rip & Tear“.

Leaving The Grey Eagle tonight you could overhear many fans expressing how great the show was and how honored they felt to have watched the LA Guns perform…hoping their rare appearance in the southeast is as prolonged the next time around.

LA Guns


The Grey Eagle

Photojournalist: Michael Bragg

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