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LIVE: L.A. GUNS w/ Tracii Guns & Phil Lewis – October 27, 2017

| 2 November 2017 | Reply

Venue: The Open Chord

City: Knoxville, TN

Date: October 27, 2017

Review and Photographs by: Rachel Craig (

L.A. Guns brought their reunion tour to Knoxville, playing a sold-out show at the Open Chord. The small, intimate venue features a bar and music shop — and it doesn’t often see sold-out shows of this kind. However, this was a unique chance for fans to get close to some of their favorite rockers from the Sunset Strip metal scene — Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis. The show began with Charlie Bonnet III and the Folkin’ Gasholes. You could probably assume from the name that this band is pure southern rock. They even had a song called “Too Drive to Drunk,” which pulled plenty of support from the crowd. Local music came from HardWired, a female-fronted rock band. This band was a great addition to the lineup as they focused on classic rock covers, but I wish there had been more original music. Frontwoman Cheri Spinazzola has an incredible voice. Budderside’s Hollywood roots really contrasted to the first few bands, but they were the perfect lead-in to L.A. Guns. Budderside seems like a band that needs a bigger stage than what was offered at the Open Chord. Between frontman Patrick Stone’s stage presence, Rich Sacco’s large drum kit, and the politics-filled intro track, Budderside showed plenty of maturity and experience. The band also has connections to Motorhead — they were signed to Motorhead Music by Lemmy himself.

And finally, it was time for L.A. Guns. The band took the stage in front of an audience thrilled to see Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis reunite after nearly 15 years. Despite the long wait, the band’s chemistry was perfect. I found myself thinking that this was better than the time I saw Motley Crue perform at a massive arena. Tracii Guns is incredible on guitar, pulling out screeching guitar solos and even playing with a violin bow at one point. Frontman Phil Lewis provided vocals that haven’t aged since the band’s origins in the 80s and brought plenty of energy to the stage. The band also gave some recognition to their other members — Guitarist Michael Grant performed an incredible cover of “Purple Rain,” giving fans a chance to pull out their lighters. Not only did they pull out some older music that long-time fans would love, but they gave a lot of attention to songs from their new album. Hits included “Electric Gypsy,” “Bitch is Back,” and “Sex Action.” Brand new material included “The Devil Made Me Do It” and “Speed.” Overall, I’m torn over if this was the right venue for this show. It was cramped inside the small space, and I saw a few people escape outside to get away from the crowd. However, the Open Chord always provides an intimate setting and great sound. The venue is dedicated to good music and good times, and this show definitely fit the bill.





Category: Live Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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