As many of you already know there’s almost nothin’ I love more than a kickass live album. Whenever I hear that one of my bands is putting one out, the anticipation grows within me like a set of twins until I get my mitts on it. So it was with bated breath that I waited for Lita Ford’s live show captured for all the world to hear in the form of The Bitch Is Back…Live, featuring an hour’s worth of some of her best stuff. There’s something here for everyone, and that night at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, CA from October 2012 sounds like it was tons of fun. The energy level is high, Lita’s voice is in top form throughout, and the band sounds tight.
Since she was touring in support of Living Like a Runaway, an excellent record in its own right, she made sure to play some killer cuts from it like “Relentless”, the title track, the darker “Hate”, and “Devil In My Head”. As it happens, those are four of my favorites from that album, so color me very happy. And she mixed them into the set with some goodies like “Hungry”, and her awesome cover of Elton John’s “The Bitch Is Back” which was the show opener. Way to make a statement, Lita! Another cool thing is the ease with which she talks to and involves the crowd, giving the show almost a Storytellers vibe, especially when she regales them with the story behind her and Lemmy writing “Can’t Catch Me” after some nights of debauchery.
Another terrific highlight for me was the inclusion of “Out For Blood” from her first solo album of the same name. I used to play that song over and over when I was 15 till the tape wore out and I had to buy a new one! It sounds every bit as good now as it did then, and drummer Bobby Rock really anchors the groove tightly. Mitch Perry and Marty O’Brien on guitar and bass respectively also provide a nice sonic canvas for Lita to paint on, and quite frankly, they all sound like they’re having fun up there on that stage.
This is also evidenced by the casual introductions to songs like “Back to the Cave” and “Dancing On the Edge”. She just calls out the songs like it’s band practice and we the audience are ringside. I love this about her. Totally unpretentious, and no bullshit. She came to rock balls and that’s it! Of course the show closes with Lita’s two biggest hits, “Close My Eyes Forever” and “Kiss Me Deadly” which she introduced in a very lighthearted manner while poking fun at the media. It was funny and tasteful, and the crowd sing-along was just great! All in all, The Bitch Is Back…Live earns my stamp of being a KICKASS live album, featuring the best of Lita Ford old and new, and I recommend this one highly.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Out For Blood”, “Can’t Catch Me”, “The Bitch Is Back”, “Kiss Me Deadly”, “Living Like a Runaway”