LA GUNS photos by Bob Hoeksema for mk ultra magazine and TOM KEIFER photos by Eden Lake for mk ultra magazine
I took the train on a cold November afternoon to Aurora from downtown Chicago to meet up with Bob Hoeksema to take in another hard rock show featuring two of our favorites. I should note that I’ve seen LA GUNS nearly a dozen time over the past 3 years and not once was it in the city. In fact with the exception of the Rockford show which included the regions Johnny Monaco on guitar they’ve always had to be overnight trips for me. For over a decade the Chicago based promoters have ignored hard rock acts and this show again was proof that these bands have a draw. This cities promoters just don’t get it. Reggie’s is a bit of an exception as I’ve seen ANGEL there twice. But ANGEL also played the Arcada on the same week of the same tour earlier in the year. The fact that the two bands we were about to see playing together would be a rare treat indeed.
The Charismatic Entertainment Industry Powerhouse known as Ron Onesti put together a helluva 80’s hard rock show at the Arcada Theater with the one off show of two bands criss crossing the region at the same time. The pairing of L.A. GUN’s and Cinderella’s Tom Keifer was pure genius and the combo naturally sold out. For a reviewer sold out at the Arcada is a nightmare specially when your friend and photographer is in a wheelchair. Nonetheless we enjoyed a rockin show that kicked off with one of our mutual favorite bands LA GUNS.
Onesti came onstage just before 8PM to introduce the evenings performance and brought a young pre teen rock fan, Nina Crowns, onstage to pose with and introduce LA GUNS. It was a sweet gesture and was evidence of just how down to earth the promoter is at heart.
LA GUNS kicked off an abbreviated set (they were opening act with a set list of only 60 minutes) with Hollywood Vampires opening track “Over the Edge” complete with dual guitar so featuring Tracii Guns and Ace Von Johnson and followed it right up with “No Mercy”. Phil Lewis appeared well rested, full on pure adrenaline with top notch vocals. I’ve never seen this guy have a bad night and I’ve seen the band more than any other over the past 3 years.
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About 30 minutes after the LA GUNS set Tom Keifer and his band, #Keiferband, walked slowly out onto a darkened stage and huddled together in a group pow wow or maybe a prayer at the center of the stage and the band opened up with “Touching the Divine” and then started to play the classic Cinderella song “Night Songs” when about 60 seconds into the song Tom noticed that the PA on stage left went out. He excused himself from the stage while the techs rectified the problem and then came back onstage and kicked off with a scream of “I need a shot of gasoline. I hittin’ one sixteen. I get so hot I see steam. Forget the day, cause were gonna scream!” and then the bass and another guitar went deaf. At this point many front men would have thrown a fucking hissy fit, but not Keifer. Showing what a class act he is he gave the techs time to do another fix. Luckily it was a weekend and there was no curfew.
The Devil You Know
Kiss My Love Goodbye
I Wanna Be Your Man
The Ballad of Jayne
Rip and Tear
It’s Not Enough
Somebody Save Me
Fallin’ Apart at the Seams
The Last Mile
Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)
The Death of Me