It didn’t matter that it was a Tuesday night, fans packed The Machine Shop in Flint, Michigan on February 27th early, for some good ole rock n roll. This night featured headliners L.A. Guns who brought along Budderside as support.
The first thing I noticed arriving to the venue was how full the parking lot was, so I knew then that people were ready to rock. Up first was the group, Budderside, who fittingly hail from Los Angeles, California as they have that gritty rock sound that L.A. bands are known for. Fans were wrapped into lead singer Patrick Stone as he led the crowd with his vocals and guitar. With Michael Stone on bass, Colin Reid on guitar and Rich Sacco on drums, these guys have a great chemistry that shows as they jam. Budderside gave a fitting introduction for tonight’s show.
After a short intermission, fans were amped and ready for L.A. Guns. I’m sure the energy was buzzing even more since lead singer Phil Lewis and lead guitarist Tracii Guns have reunited. The combination of Lewis’ vocal prowess and Tracii’s guitar mastery, it’s easy to see why fans flock to see them perform. Surrounded with excellent talent, Shane Fitzgibbon who is a beast on drums, Johnny Martin on bass guitar has the energy and hair that’d make him a fit for The Ramones and guitarist Michael Grant oozes charisma and vocals chops, especially on display when he sang a solo of Prince’s “Purple Rain”.
L.A. Guns rose to fame back in the late 1980’s during the glam rock craze and solidified themselves with hit songs, “Ballad of Jayne”, “Rip and Tear”, “Never Enough” and “Electric Gypsy”, all of which were played amongst others that included material off their latest album, ‘Missing Peace’, which came out October 13th 2017. The songs, “The Devil Made Me Do It” and “Speed” indicate that L.A. Guns isn’t resting on past success as the new material rocks and the crowd absolutely feels it.
L.A. Guns has been through a roller coaster of ups and downs that included two versions of the band performing for several years and numerous lineup changes, but tonight was testament that things can get better over time. As Tracii displayed awesome guitar riffs and Lewis commended the fans for coming out and reiterated what a great time he had at The Machine Shop, this was a great night of rock and roll that had the fans singing along, head banging and leaving with smiles on their faces. Let’s hope this lineup keeps it going, because there’s plenty of rock n rolling to be done by L.A. Guns and the fans will be there in full force.
– Mike Shaler, Go Venue Magazine Photojournalist [All photos by Mike Shaler]