WORDS BY DAVID TAYLOR AND PHOTOS BY ROBERT A CHADWICK | Go Venue Magazine
It’s been a long time since I rock and rolled. The last concert I went to was a month and three days ago, so I was foaming at the mouth for a concert that I was interested in covering and, behold, on Wednesday, July 19, Tom Keifer and L.A. Guns, rolled into town to play the Steelhouse in downtown Omaha.
L.A. Guns were up first. I’d assumed they would play around 45 minutes or so, but they went just over an hour, making it an unofficial co-headlining set, courtesy of Tom Keifer letting them play a little longer. When talking about L.A. Guns, it might be confusing for some. So, to clarify, this is the L.A. Guns with guitarist Tracii Guns and lead singer Phil Lewis at the forefront. They came out onstage to “Diary of a Madman” by Ozzy Osbourne, and I think I heard Tracii Guns playing along to some of it, which was really cool. They were a fun band to watch live. Phil Lewis was very charismatic and looked good without a shirt. Tracii Guns is such an incredible guitar player, one of the best to come out of that LA metal scene of the 1980s. I love that he wears his influences through his guitar playing, whether he’s playing a Van Halen lick or an AC/DC riff, you can tell he is still a fan. There was amazing musicianship going on with this band. Be sure to check out their latest album, Black Diamonds.
And, finally, Tom Keifer and his band were ready to close the night. Tom Keifer, whom you may know from his prior main gig fronting the band, Cinderella, has made his own as a solo artist for ten years. He looked very happy to be onstage singing the songs he made famous with Cinderella, as well as a handful of his solo material. It was also so cool to see him having backup singers, including his wife, Savannah. Everyone talks about Tom’s unique voice, which is great, but no one talks about his guitar playing, which is also very amazing. He played songs like “Hot & Bothered”, which I remember from the movie, Wayne’s World, “Nobody’s Fool”, and “Shake Me”, and ended the main set with “Shelter Me”. Then, they came back with an encore, starting with probably their biggest hit, “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)”, with Tom playing the piano. They then went into the Joe Cocker version of The Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends”, an excellent rendition. And then they ended the concert playing a ripping version of “Gypsy Road”. I’m so glad Tom Keifer is still continuing to play music live and that the Steelhouse could accommodate to him. Great night of rock n’ roll, overall!