Following a successful reunion between former bandmates Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis in 2017, LA Guns returned to Portland on February 3rd, 2018 for a Saturday night show at the Bossanova Ballroom. “It was the reunion, it was beautiful, we’ve moved on and now we’re The Missing Peace,” boasted a smiling Phil Lewis, motioning towards guitarist Tracii Guns while addressing the lively Portland crowd.
Riding high from their 2017 “The Missing Peace” release (Frontiers Records) which can be found scattered over many “Best of 2017” Rock critic reviews including ours, it’s clear the band has taken past success, new members Johnny Martin (Bass), Shane Fitzgibbon (Drums), and Michael Grant (Guitar), and embraced a new energy that could very well carry LA Guns for another decade! During their Portland performance, we would see the band play 5 new tracks from “The Missing Peace,” along with plenty of favored classics, and a timeless cover song led by Michael Grant. Musical support came from openers Madame Torment, Madwagon, and one of my new favorite bands, BREAKER BREAKER.
Things started to get wild when LA Guns hit the stage opening with new tracks, “The Devil Made Me Do It” and “Baby Got Fever,” along with a few classics like “Electric Gypsy,” “Over The Edge,” and “Sex Action.” Once again at the front and obviously happy, lead singer Phil Lewis was all smiles the entire evening which is a great sign. Continuing on with new single “Speed,” plus “One More Reason,” and something Portland knows a little something about, “Sticky Fingers,” the entire band was firing on all cylinders. One thing noticeable by now was the on point chemistry factor within the new lineup. This came to light when new members Johnny Martin (Bass), Shane Fitzgibbon (Drums), and Michael Grant (Guitar) remained on stage to play an amazing cover of Prince’s classic, Purple Rain, while the elders took a smoke and drink break! Although a group effort, Michael Grant’s axe’manship and energetic demeanor really stood out the entire night. Underneath the sleeze rock and leather, that dude easily shreds the blues.
Owning an extensive catalog of hits to choose from dating back to the mid-80’s, the band still had a few numbers to perform. The night closed with a few fan favorites like, “Never Enough,” “Ballad of Jayne,” and “Rip and Tear!” Tracii Guns’ smile was infectious the entire evening, on one occasion just standing there smiling and watching the band like a proud parent at the ballgame after the team just got the win. He definitely seemed at peace with the current lineup! It’s almost like the band is back together again. And after listening to the “The Missing Peace” and with the ticket stub now in hand, it’s safe to say the band is indeed back together. The LA strip is back!
*Note! Please dont take the pictures as professional photography, just a fan and a phone!
Take a trip, back to the strip from 1988 below!