TVD Live Shots: LA Guns at the O2 Islington, 3/25

When it comes to Sunset Strip metal in the ’80s, Appetite For Destruction is always hailed as the crown jewel of the genre. While that record was, of course, a brilliant piece of work that was ahead of its time, there was another—the self-titled debut masterpiece from LA Guns.

Released in January of ’88 and clocking in a just over 30 minutes it was the “Never Mind the Bullocks” of hair metal. It had a sound that was distinct given the killer vocals of Phil Lewis, and monster riff after riff from arguably one of the best guitarists on the planet, Tracii Guns. Rough around the edges, every song led perfectly into the next, giving birth to instant classics in the form of  “Sex Action,” “Electric Gypsy,” and “No Mercy.”

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-13

LA Guns took it up a notch on their second record with Cocked and Loaded and continued successfully until Nirvana arrived and single handily murdered the genre. It was a shame that LA Guns got looped into that mess of hair metal at the time because they had the substance that many of the others lacked. Either way, many years later the band would later dissolve into two versions, one led by Phil Lewis and the other by Tracii Guns. 2016 found the two back together again and I absolutely had to see this for myself.

The result was nothing short of spectacular—a headlining gig at the O2 Islington Academy where I had just recently seen Queensryche perform. The first thing I noticed was that both Phil and Tracii looked fantastic, the second was—holy shit they sound amazing. So much so that I kept looking at the guy next to me saying, “Can you believe how fucking great they sound?”

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-8

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-23

Tracii Guns is an absolute beast on guitar. I thought at one point he and his Les Paul were going to morph into one single entity. It was like a natural extension of his arms and fingers. Jesus this guy is good, and he hasn’t missed a beat. And Phil Lewis, his voice is holding up—well, I wouldn’t even say holding up—it’s flawless and I think he actually sounded better than the record at this point.

Either way, these guys were on fire and blasted through a set of LA Guns favorites and the place went nuts. It would have been nice to see them play the first album in its entirety but I would guess they are saving that for next year when the record turns 30. And that’s OK because they are recording a new LP for 2017 and it’s rumored to be some of the band’s best work to date—something I wouldn’t be surprised about after seeing the chemistry between these two reignited.

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-3

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-5

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-2

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-4

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-5

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-6

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-7

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-8

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-9

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-10

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-11

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-12

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-14

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-15

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-16

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-17

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-18

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-19

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-20

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-21

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-22

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-2

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-3

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-4

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-7

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-9

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-10

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-11

LA Guns Photographed by Jason Miller-12

Check out hi-res shots from the show in the gallery here.

This entry was posted in TVD UK. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text
  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text