LA Guns, Faster Pussycat, And LA Maybe Concert Review – By Tanis Enos


Location: Amos’ Southend – Charlotte NC

Date: 7/27/2022

While on the Sonic Slam Tour, LA Guns and Faster Pussycat broke away from the Keifer Band to perform a sold out show of their own. Fans of all ages lined up outside Amos’ Southend in Charlotte North Carolina to witness their own piece of 80’s metal history. Members of Faster Pussycat graciously greeted fans as they walked to the connected restaurant for some preshow refreshments.

Doors opened at 7:00pm and fans filed in filling in both levels to max capacity. First to take the stage was Carolina natives LA Maybe. This 5-piece rock n roll band was the perfect way to open the show. These young musicians perfectly captured the old school style of rock that both LA Guns and Faster Pussycat bring to the table. Right out of the gate they had the whole venue pumped and ready to go, playing all original music. Midway through the show, guitarist Driz let fans know that he had rocked so hard he chipped a tooth. As their set came to an end lead singer, Goliath Furr, began to talk about how the band was trying to gain a spot on the upcoming KISS Kruise. Furr turned his attention to drummer, Ryan Fosnow, who was holding up a sign that said “Show me your boobies.” Once he turned the sign over it instructed fans to vote for them on Lamaybe.com/vote. They ended their show encouraging fans to sing along to their original song “Oh Sugar”. After the show the band mingled with fans to watch the rest of the performers.

Faster Pussycat took the stage next and were welcomed by thunderous applause and cheers. Opening the show with “Jack the Bastard” it was immediately clear that lead singer, Taime Downe, still had the vocal strength that made Faster Pussycat just as fierce in the 80’s. Downe stands center stage with such pride and confidence and has an amazing band to back him up. The talents of bass player Danny Nordahl, best known as Slim Tender, and drummer Chad Stewart combine to create an exceptional rhythm section and truly shine in songs like “Bathroom Wall”. The guitar duo of Ronnie Simmons and Sam Bam Koltun really bring the sleaze. Before he even plays a note, you can already tell that Simmons is a true rockstar. His style, both in the way he plays and how he dresses can easily be seen as having inspiration from the Ramones to AC/DC. The punk flair that Simmons provides adds a little extra something to the Pussycat set. The true star of the show, however, was in fact Sam Bam Koltun. He truly is a guitar virtuoso at such a young age. He makes every strum and pluck look so easy and it is safe to say that being on stage and performing truly comes natural to him. Even though there is only one original member left, each musician plays like they were there the day the song was written.

Fans were given a special treat when former Faster Pussycat and current LA Guns guitarist, Ace Von Johnson joined the band to perform “Bathroom Wall”. The fun did not end there, though. Downe took to side stage as Slim Tender had his turn on vocals. The band welcomed LA Guns bass player, Johnny Martin to the stage and Tender sang “Pretty Fucked Up”. This certainly got the crowd even more pumped. Faster Pussycat ended their show with “Babylon” and left fans scratching for more.

LA Guns wrapped the night with a miraculous 16 song set that included songs from a very diverse set of albums. They opened with an explosion performing the first track off “Checkered Past”, “Cannonball”. Lead vocalist, Phil Lewis, immediately had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand. It does not take long to pick up on the fact that Lewis loves what he does. He is a front man that the younger generation will always be able to enjoy as his vocals have remained immaculate even after over 44 years of singing. While having Lewis on vocals is extremely important for their sound, you can’t have LA Guns without founding member and band namesake, Tracii Guns. Guns continues to amaze fans with his iconic technique and sound. Right before playing “Over the Edge”, Guns began to play his guitar with a violin bow. Long time fans of Tracii know that he is a very big Led Zeppelin fan and this is evident to be a tribute to Jimmy Page with a Tracii Guns twist. This was the first tour to feature Shawn Duncan on drums. Duncan, who also played in BulletBoys, melded so well with the rest of the band, you would have thought he had been with the band from the beginning. A ball of energy was personified in the form of Johnny Martin that night. Martin was in everyone’s face playing his absolute heart out on bass. It was quite the sight to see as he and Ace would bump into each other or play back to back throughout most of the set.

The fun did not stop there, as both Lewis and Guns stepped aside and welcomed Koltun back to the stage as guitarist Ace Von Johnson took over on vocals to sing a cover of “New Rose” by The Damned. Ace started the song with a small speech stating “Do something fucking nice man, this world is fucking numb as it is. There’s too much fucking negative shit man, do something cool”. As a well known animal advocate this type of thing is not out of character for Ace, and the speech was met with a very intense positive reaction. Though Ace is better known for his guitar work, his love for punk rock showed through in his vocals and wowed everyone. As the show came to an end the band took their final bow and, to lighten the mood, began to dance around the stage to a cover of “So Long, Farewell” By The Vandals. Fans cheered and screamed for more as the band excited the stage.

After the show 4 out of 5 members of Faster Pussycat made their way over to their merch table to take pictures with EVERYONE. Ace also made his way into the large crowd of fans to take pictures. Faster Pussycat and LA Guns are perfectly matched to tour together. The crowd’s energy was constant during both bands. Even though the Sonic Slam Tour has come to an end, it is safe to say that this is not going to be the last time we see Faster Pussycat and LA Guns together.

Tanis Enos

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