La Guns, Panzer Princess at S2 (2008)

S2 (Borlange, Sweden)

La Guns, Panzer Princess
I can't say I was thrilled when I read that PANZER PRINCESS were opening for […]
By Erika Wallberg
October 8, 2008

I can't say I was thrilled when I read that PANZER PRINCESS were opening for L.A. GUNS at S2 since they didn't impress me much at 'RockStad Falun'. Musically they were better this time; the sound was a lot better, more distortion on the guitars that made everything filthier and that is something this music genre needs to have. The stage-show though felt a laid-off and lazy. PANZER PRINCESS had far more to go before they can reach the big leagues, that's for sure. They have some good ideas, that new tune played at the end of the gig was absolutely a step in the right direction with its mixture of AC/DC and POISON style, but nothing was memorable. Ok, that can be cured with actually listening to the band but if a band is great they'll have my interest with their live-performance alone. This was just not good enough. Time after time vocalist Kelly Morgue slams people for talking shit about PANZER PRINCESS. He never gives an explanation on what's going on and I'm not intrigued to find out either.

Even if this type of music isn't or has never been my favorite style there's always some bands that stand out from the mass. I've always held L.A. GUNS as one of the best out of this genre; simply because they blew me away opening for SKID ROW back in 1991. Then they were playing the huge stage at Hovet in Stockholm. Now they were on a small club-tour far from that kind of arrangements and stage props. Good quality music can't be let down because of something like tha; but the first thing that struck me was the small size of the stage for L.A. GUNS. They are still an arena-quality band. But it made this even better; it's always cool to see big bands in small places. Just like S2, which is a place where is possible to see a bands perform from a close distance.

The one song that got me absolutely hooked back then has stood the test of time, Over The Edge is still as heavy, dynamic and absolutely as mind-blowing as it was back in the days. Perhaps, it is not particularly Sleazy and that might be the reason to why I like L.A. GUNS so much; their music absolutely is and has always been more towards Hard Rock than Sleaze. Somehow this is a very strange struggle between good and bad. L.A. Guns' style fitted very well into the whole Sleaze thing. It's as filthy, and mean as it had to be. But vocalist Phil Lewis, with his British accent sounds way too polite while talking between the songs. It was almost as swapping channels in commercial breaks but it all turned over to a completely different feel when the music stopped and he started talking. Not that there's anything bad about that, he just doesn't sound like a bad boy of Rock'n'Roll.

Phil's stories about the songs were very entertaining and triggered my interest of what was coming. This is a song about a girl who dumped me, Phil informed us. Two weeks after that we got our record-deal... The song in question was Kiss My Love Goodbye. Sleazy Come, Easy Go tells a true story about a girl who lived in a trailer-park and used to deal drugs. L.A. GUNS brought on a good mixture of new and old songs and everything felt very inspired, the nature of the place didn't matter, nor did the disturbances from a few intoxicated fans that kept climbing up on the stage. Of course, Phil and his band were a little bothered by them but it didn't affect their performance at all. This song is dedicated to Kelly Nickels, Phil said before Nothing Better To Do and left the stage. Kelly (ex-FASTER PUSSYCAT) sang the leads on that song from the Vicious Circle album; this evening Phil handed over the vocal duties to Scott. One More Reason brought Phil back on stage, in one attempt to do some real posing Phil instead he knocked the microphone on one of the girder in the roof that gwent through the premises. Scott and Stacey giggled a little out on their edges of the stage but continued to play. Stacey Blades is actually one hell of a guitar player; it took a while to notice that most in this genre sticks to minor pentatonic scales and Stacey showed off with some really creative playing. His way of doing was not really distinctive in the guitar-hero way, his appearance was much more humble and there were just small licks and variations that showed up a little here and there. But in the total picture that really made a lot for the music.

I would have been really surprised if S2 had been sold out this Wednesday evening but the crowd grew bigger and bigger the further the evening went. Even if this was an all ages show, with the fence between the bar and the stage and no alcohol outside the level of drunk was again ridiculous. No matter what, the crowd responded really well to Phil's encouragements to scream, clap and sing along and I guess that's what counts. Walking away from the venue I'm pleasantly surprised that L.A. GUNS once more managed to prove that they're still a band to be reckoned with. Those feelings of delight and joy I get after a really good concert don't tell lies and I was smiling all the way home.

(photos by Sleaze Rocker Erika)



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