Friday night. The Reading Eagle Theater…HALESTORM on the opening night of their headlining Into the Wild Life Tour right in their own backyard. How could this possibly get any better? Oh wait, I know!! LITA FORD as special guest!! BOOM! I was all in as soon as this gig was announced, having seen both bands before. I knew I, along with everyone else in attendance, was in for a surefire treat. Also, can we talk about the venue for a second? It was my first time there, and it’s gorgeous. The place is immaculate, the staff is friendly and super-accommodating, and the beer was ice cold (and cheap!).
I got to my seat a little late, so LITA FORD and her band of incredible musicians had already started opener “Gotta Let Go” but thankfully I didn’t miss too much of it. If you haven’t seen her live yet, allow me to educate you. On the bass is Marty O’Brien, a walking groove machine. On the drums is the modern-day equivalent of Thor the Thunder God, Bobby Rock. Long one of my favorite drummers, it was a pleasure to watch him work this night. Handling guitar duties and back-up/lead vocals is none other than my friend Patrick Kennison from HEAVEN BELOW (check them out ASAP!!). Last but certainly not least is singer and original Guitar Goddess herself, Miss LITA FORD, still kicking ass and looking as jaw-droppingly stunning as ever. Clad in a white leather outfit and rocking an impressive array of guitars, clearly she meant business.
“Larger Than Life” from 1991’s Dangerous Curves was next. This is one of my all-time favorites from Lita and Co., especially live, and she followed that up with her rockin’ cover of “The Bitch Is Back”, which is always great, and “Living Like a Runaway” from the 2012 album of the same name. Speaking of THE RUNAWAYS, you know she had to bust out “Cherry Bomb” which fans old and new ate up like a last supper. Taking a moment to honor fallen comrade Lemmy (R.I.P.), Lita then led the band into “Can’t Catch Me”, which she co-wrote with the legend himself. This led into Rock’s drum solo that I could feel in my stomach with each hit. The guy’s amazing!
The absolute highlight though, was “Close My Eyes Forever” with Patrick taking his lead vocal part and knocking it not only out of the park, but into the next fucking zip code! When he and Lita sang together it was pure magic. I love the way this band works together and plays off one another. Everyone had their cell phone flashlights up for the entire song, me included, and I sang every word loudly not giving a damn who heard me. My friend Moira who never heard her stuff before said to me, “His voice is beautiful!” regarding Patrick, which made me really proud. Sadly this awesome set had to come to an end, and it was time for “Kiss Me Deadly” the worldwide megahit from 1988 that had everyone around me up and shaking it.
This was my second time seeing LITA FORD and it was sheer perfection. Ford, O’Brien, Rock, and Kennison all fit together seamlessly, and as I’ve said before, THIS is the line-up that needs to tour from now till the end of time, or until I get TEN Lita shows under my belt…whichever comes first. You can check HERE for tickets and upcoming shows in your area. I strongly suggest you take in this first-class rock show for yourselves; you won’t be disappointed. LONG LIVE LITA!!
(Up next – Friday Night Rock Part II: HALESTORM)
LIVE WORDS: THE MAESTRO
LIVE PHOTOS: MIKE SIEVILA PHOTOGRAPHY