So roughly a year after one of my favorite interviews with her I was catching LITA FORD live at last. And as an added bonus my good friend Patrick Kennison from HEAVEN BELOW was playing guitar in her band for this run. With the aid of one half of The Wonder Twins (Ryan from Ardent Owl Media) we hit our favorite club Trees Dallas for a night of guitar-driven kickass metal! And as is always the case when I’m there I made a new friend in about 30 seconds; someone who A&GS will be doing some work with in the near future. But I digress…
So, there were three local openers on this bill and I have to say not a single one of them resonated or made any kind of impression with me. I’m not saying they sucked, but they did absolutely nothing to grab my attention. This could have something to do with the fact that I had LITA on the brain and little else. And after grabbing a drink with Patrick pre-show, and hanging for a bit with Steven from SON OF SWAN (great guy in an extremely kickass band!!) it was time for the Rock Goddess herself to put her boot up some asses!
Just like on the A&GS Top 25 of 2013 live record she opened up with “The Bitch is Back” which bled right into “Hungry” from the Stiletto album. Two things were obvious while Lita, Patrick, thumping bass madman Marty O’Brien and pile driving drummer Bobby Rock were busy ripping the balls off the place: the first is that you could see how much fun everyone was having by the looks on their faces and how they moved with one another. The second is that THIS needs to be the line-up for every single LITA FORD album and tour from here on out. The chemistry this band has together is something that doesn’t come along very often. Take it from someone who sees a lot of bands, these four were tight, tight, and tight!
Next up, from 2012’s Living like a Runaway we got the title cut (a favorite) and “Relentless”. Patrick’s harmonies on “Runaway” and all night were simply terrific. Have I mentioned how well he and Lita work together vocally and guitarilly (shut up, it’s now a word!!)? Because they really do.
Dancin’ on the Edge made an appearance with “Gotta Let Go” taking us for a ride in the Way Back Machine before “Larger Than Life” amped up the speedometer, driving us down the Heavy Metal Highway circa 1992. This has long been one of my favorite rockers from her, so I was overjoyed. Another new song “Devil in My Head” followed, serving up more chunky-style riffs. If you don’t have this record or The Bitch is Back…Live you are severely missing out on some fantastic stuff from Ms. Ford, case closed.
An extended guitar jam during “Back to the Cave” got the faithful moving and grooving some more, followed by “Can’t Catch Me”, another choice cut from 1988’s Lita, and featuring an unbelievable Bobby Rock drum solo that shook Trees to its foundations. Beast doesn’t do the guy justice. Now it was time for my all-time favorite LITA FORD jam: “Out For Blood”.
Since I was 15 years old I have worn out copies of this album and song over the years because it’s so fucking awesome I can’t help myself and live it was inspiring to say the least. Of course, we couldn’t forget about Lita’s RUNAWAYS stuff, so we got a double whammy of “Cherry Bomb” and “Black Leather”, both sounding ageless and balls-out!
Smash hits “Close My Eyes Forever” and “Kiss Me Deadly” capped off an amazing show and only confirmed what some of us already knew. LITA FORD, like a fine wine, only gets better over time. If you’d told me back in ’88 that at age 41 I’d be getting my hair blown back by this gorgeous lady and her outstanding group of players I would have sworn you were high. Well, that is EXACTLY what happened, and if they come to your town you’d better damn well go. Don’t be the one who misses out on a REAL rock and roll show, people!
LIVE PHOTOS: ARDENT OWL MEDIA (More insane photos HERE!!)