You can only imagine my excitement when I found out that L7 was coming back to Big D. I saw them several years ago at The Granada Theater in Dallas. When the gig was over, I hung out at the back of the theater and waited with everyone else, and we got to meet the band. They took the time to say hello to everyone and get photos with their fans. They were fantastic, so much fun. This time it was Trees Dallas who had the good fortune.
Two days after the gig I am still on a high. It generally takes me a couple of days to get over a late night, dragging around and whooped, but not this time. I’ve been on a spiritual elation for two straight days. I absolutely LOVE these ladies in concert. Scatter the Rats is their latest release. It’s been 20 (read “twenty”) years since their last album. That’s a long time. They have toured, but just not produced any new materials. I know lots of people who, like me, are thrilled they have new material out.
If you don’t know about L7, they were founded in LA in 1985. A mix of punk, pop and grunge, L7 is Donita Sparks (lead vocals/guitar), Suzi Gardner (guitar), Dee Plakas (drums), and Jennifer Finch (BETTY BLOWTORCH) on bass. I’ve not been a long time fan as I only discovered them about five years ago, but I can assure you, they have one hell of a cult following, because they sell out gigs all the time. The house was packed at Trees.
Warming up the stage was LE BUTCHERETTES from Guadalajara, Mexico, led by Teri Gender Bender who dons a 1950’s style feather duster head dress and red veil, dressed all in red, and under constant red light on stage. Unfortunately, this makes a good photograph a bitch, quite honestly. They are a very unique band and I’m grateful to their management in getting me a photo pass to the gig. Bender is quite theatrical on stage, sometimes she even uses a real head of a pig up there (not this time, thankfully. How bad would that smell??).
Intro, 30-seconds of “Pussy Control” by PRINCE. You knew right away this was going to get good. L7 freestyled their way across the stage into their respective places. They tuned up and cranked it out. Beginning with “Deathwish”, the ladies performed a total of 18 (plus three encore) tunes over the next 90 minutes. Favorites of mine were “Andres”, “Everglade”, “Fuel My Fire”, “Scrap”, “Slide”, “Shove”, “Freak Magnet”, “Shitlist”, and “One More Thing”.
Doesn’t really matter, I like them all. I’ve not found a tune by L7 that I don’t like. Off of Scatter the Rats, we heard “Fighting the Crave” (which is my favorite) and “Stadium West”. “Dispatch From Mar-a Lago” was their first single which they published a year or so ago and it also made the setlist. The mosh pit was stirring, but it came alive on this one.
Old, young, bald, six-inch mohawks, male, female, black, white, you name it, L7 has a great following. Not politically correct and definitely lean to the left, they had a blast. The crowd was psyched and no one was ready to go home. The place was full from the stage all the way back to the bar area and for Trees, that’s a bunch of folks. It’s always great to see the band have as much fun as the fans.
Jennifer Finch, showing her California roots, did a bit of surfing (on the crowd) at the end of the gig. Donita just happened to find a camera and take a photo which included the bottom of Finch’s foot (yeah that was her position). I hope to find this picture somewhere and would have loved to have been at that exact spot when she took a dive. Good times. Salude’.
LIVE IMAGES AND WORDS: MARK “\M/ETAL \M/ESSIAH” EHRLICH/M EHRLICH PHOTOGRAPHY