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Stephen Pearcy, LA Guns, Faster Pussycat, BulletBoys Concert Review, November 22, 2014

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useratt-flayerNight #2 of the eyeliner and hairspray weekend took me to Houston, TX to see Stephen Pearcy, LA Guns, Faster Pussycat, and The BulletBoys at the sold out Warehouse Live.  I had booked a room at the famed Sam Houston Hotel in downtown.  What a nice hotel.  The rooms have been fully modernized and while small, they are very comfortable.  I’ll likely stay there again when the opportunity presents itself.

This show was a free show and all you had to do was RSVP tickets.  I was supposed to be on the VIP list as well (thanks to Faster Pussycat) but it didn’t happen.  No big deal.  One of the reasons I was going to this show was to get The Book signed by Phil Lewis and Steve Riley of LA Guns and hopefully Stephen Pearcy.  More on these developments later.

My friend from Houston picked me up and we went to grab a quick dinner near the hotel and ended up at Frank’s Pizza in downtown which was delicious.  From there we went to the venue and got in about halfway through BulletBoys’ set.  This place is open and spacious and the sound was probably as good as you could get in a giant concrete room with very high ceilings.  Bulletboys sounded good again and the crowd was very into it.  I ran into some other Austin friends there and we all hung together for most of the night.

Next up was Faster Pussycat.  They are one of the few bands of this genre that I’ve always liked.  I think their scenes in The Metal Years softened it up for me.  I had played with them back in Virginia about 12 years ago and always love seeing them live.  Taime is a character and does his job as front man very well.  They opened up with Cathouse and blew right into Slip of the Tongue.  They played 9 songs including 2 covers (Supersuckers and Betty Blowtorch).  They were very tight, which is no surprise as this unit has been together for the better part of 18 years.  It’s always a good time seeing them.

After a quick set change LA Guns took the stage opening with Show No Mercy, Sex Action and Never Enough.  Their set consisted of everything you’d want and expect to hear from Phil and the guys.  Their lead player is a total badass, too.  That guy shreds.  Phil’s voice sounded great.  I was super glad to see them since I missed them in Austin a few months ago as I was going out of town very early the next morning.  Twelve songs total and it was a lot of fun.

Then Stephen Pearcy comes on.  Look, I’m a pretty big Ratt fan and it was never really about his voice.  I love the riffs and solos those guys used to lay down (minus the silliness of songs like Way Cool Jr).  Pearcy never had a great voice although it was unique.  I saw Ratt with the Scorpions in 2010 and his voice sounded pretty good.  Saturday night not so much.  I want to be careful to not dog him out as I don’t know if he was just having a bad night, can’t sing anymore or just didn’t care to try.  He seemed to be phoning it in.  His backup band sounded good but the voice was killing me and many others.  We decided to leave about mid-set during I’m Insane.  We weren’t the only ones.  People were rolling out steadily and you could hear lots of people saying how poorly Pearcy sounded.

During Pearcy’s set, I went to the merch booth to see Shawn and the Bulletboys guys as Marq hadn’t signed the book yet.  He thought it was great and cheerfully signed it.  Hanging out with him 2 nights in a row did change my perspective a little bit.  Aaron Samson (Odin) was also at the booth and while both he and Shawn had signed the book a few years back at an Odin show in LA, he hadn’t signed my rare Odin Caution! EP.  Shawn and Jeff signed it for me a few months ago before sending it to me.  Aaron was glad to see it.  I still needed Phil and Riley from LA Guns though.  I went over the VIP area to chat with Sean a bit while Pearcy was still playing and Phil came out.  Chad Stewart, Pussycat’s drummer, grabbed Phil to come over and meet me to sign the book.  He signed the band photo and flipped though it a little bit and asked where he could get a copy.  I told him I’d send the link.  Pussycat’s guitarist, Xristian Simon, was looking backstage for Riley and couldn’t catch him before he bailed out to the hotel.  No biggie.  Guns come to Austin every couple of years and I’ll be sure to get them next time.

All in all it was a great night with my friend, Myra, and my Austin friends.  I was tired, so tired, and just needed to get back to the hotel to crash out and that’s exactly what I did.

Here are some great photos taken by Jamie Miller! Please visit his page!

BulletBoys

Faster Pussycat

LA Guns

Stephen Pearcy

BulletBoys Concert Review, Austin, TX, November 21, 2014

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usetitleI will go on record to say that most of the music from this genre of hard rock/metal didn’t do it for me in the 80s.  I found the hairspray and makeup quite silly and still do.  There were a few bands that did stand out and I took a liking to, but BulletBoys were not one of them.  Smooth up in ya?  Puhleaze!  That over the top, bombastic pretty boy type stuff just made me want to puke.  I had even seen them a few years ago when from pal in Arsis was in town on tour and freaked out knowing that BB was playing next door, so I subjected myself to it and didn’t pay any attention to the show at all.  “Another shot please!?”

Fast forward to 2014.  My friend, Shawn Duncan, who plays drums for DC4 and Odin (yes, that Odin), let me know that he was touring with BB this year and that they were coming to Austin and Houston.  Shawn’s one of the nicest dudes out there and I was stoked to be able to hang out with him again.  We didn’t get to hang out on my last couple of trips to LA so I was happy to get to see him here in Austin.  He let me know that for the Austin and Houston shows, Odin bassist, Aaron Samson, was also playing.

I work near a Guitar Center and the band’s manager had asked me to pick up some sticks and strings for the band if I was near one.  Luckily I work right around the corner from one so I grabbed their stuff and went right downtown after work to catch them at sound check and to try and grab dinner with them.  There were several issues related to the promoter in getting an actual backline, hotel, food etc and the band decided to just go back to their hotel until showtime.  Fine by me, I needed a nap anyhow!

After getting some rest, I catch my ride back downtown and get ready to see the band.  Again, I am not a BB fan and was only there to hang out with Shawn and Aaron.

But I got surprised big time.  I thoroughly enjoyed the set besides Smooth Up In Ya and For the Love of Money.  Those still give me an MTv hangover.  But the band was as solid as they could be.  Marq Torien’s voice was strong and he handles most of the guitar solos these days.  Homeboy can play and he’s a really good front man.  I love watching Shawn play drums.  I always get a Cozy Powell vibe.

There were about 50 or so people there, with a lot of them being fans of the band singing every song.  That was good to see and I could tell that the band was having a good time.  I had a great time as well and would definitely go see them again, even if my friends aren’t in the band.  I’m still tired as that was night #1 of 3 straight shows.