In what marked the first occasion vocalist Phil Lewis and guitarist/founding member Tracii Guns have been on stage together in Australia, L.A Guns showed the young guns how it was done last night at Brisbane's Woolly Mammoth.
As a venue the Woolly Mammoth is tailor made for a band like L.A Guns. Dark, compact and oozing with sleaze, the scene was set from the outset with an impressive yet minimalistic stage set up that left little room for showmanship - not that L.A Guns have ever been a band to rely on that aspect of their performance.
Bursting out of the gates with 'Devil Made Me Do It', and 'Electric Gypsy', L.A Guns took us back to where it all began with the first song off their first release, 'No Mercy' and that was exactly what the band did over the rest of the night, showing no mercy and taking no prisoners in an impressive display that proved great rock and roll only gets better with age.
Tracii Guns is just that on the guitar, an imposing presence with enough licks and chops to put most others at shame. His early guitar solo using a violin bow was as breathtaking as it was ambitious, with the shining light being Guns' contentment in purely staying in his own space and zone while ripping out solo's, rather than placing himself in the limelight at every opportunity.
Continuing with 'Over the Edge' and 'Bitch is Back', L.A Guns fired off shot after shot, each one hitting the mark with precision and timing.
The band revelled in each others musicianship with note perfect finishes to songs and a general good vibe permeating from the stage and infecting the good sized Thursday night crowd.
Perhaps the highlights on the night were 'Sex Action' and 'Never Enough', with rhythm guitarist's Johnny Monaco's outing on lead for that tune showing he too has the chops to match it with the best.
The influence of (or is that more influence on) bands such as Motley Crue and Skid Row and of course Guns 'n Roses was never more evident than on 'Bitch is Back', the difference being L.A Guns still does it with as much angst, enjoyment, and attitude as when the song first came out all those moons ago.
Finishing with 'Rip and Tear', Tracii and co. did just that to the ears and souls of all in attendance in an old school rock performance that was probably as close as you will ever get to recreating the sound and feel of the late 1980's.
The show continues to Melbourne and Sydney over the coming days and if you are sitting on the fence of whether to go or not, take that pailing out of your ass and do it. You might never see a show that brings back as many memories as this for a long time to come.
Friday, May 18 - Max Watt's Melbourne
Saturday May 19 - Max Watt's Sydney