Artist: Lillian Axe
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Label: Love & War Records
Lillian Axe is a band that has gone through some significant and interesting changes over the years since they first showed us what they can do as a Glam Rock band. Back during their original heyday if one can use the term for the band, I was not really following nor really even that interested in what they were doing. It was nothing personal of course and more based on my having my hands full with bands I was more passionate about. That being said I can safely say that I enjoyed to some extent their re-built lineup and the recordings that came out over the last few years. Tonight the band would be celebrating a couple of different things and the first would be the release of their newest album “Deep Red Shadows” and to welcome to their ranks the vocal talents of Ronny Munroe. Munroe replaces the bands own Derrick LeFevre and while I enjoyed Ronny’s register in Metal Church I was surely curious as to how he would do as the singer for Lillian Axe. It would be interesting depending on the set list that the band would decide to play this evening and even more so about how the new vocalist would do after only being a member of the group for about ten days or so.
Tonight’s show would be at B.B. King’s over in Times Square and this place had a busy week to contend with as we had Y&T only two days ago and coming up in another couple would be Night Ranger. If you were a Hard Rock fan of any kind and vacationing in NYC at this particular time, then you would have been in love with the place. I really enjoyed the chance to see this many shows in sequence at the venue and tonight’s gig would be my first time ever catching Lillian Axe and guitarist Steve Blaze in action. I had to say that I also felt a slight amusement at the thought of this show being on the date of “eight”, “nine”, “ten” as well but silly things like that seem to affect me. The show started at about 9pm which was a little bit of a surprise considering there was no opening band to speak of and without sounding mean I did not detect a whole lot of overall buzz about their doing a show here among my usual circle of concert going friends. They kicked off the night with the tune “Misery Loves Company” which is a number that dates back to the bands earlier Glam Metal days and was a solid opening tune. They would follow with “Crucified” from “Psychoschizophrenia” and I had to admit that some of these tunes would be new ones to my ears since I never followed the band. They were off to a good start as the guitars of Blaze were in a simple word “blazing”. He is a solid guitar player and has a good technique to him. As I watched it became clear that he is another one of those great axe-slingers that not too many people are aware is out there and that’s a shame. Munroe was keeping up and appeared to be doing a good job while at the same time enjoying himself. He was mugging up the stage for the folks with the cameras out or their phones as some video was captured and since there was no barrier between the audience and stage, the people were able to get right up close. In my opinion his vocal register was working out for him with this music and that was a good thing since he was doing the songs of the three vocalists that preceded him in the bands lineup. For those who don’t know the bands full story, it is only Steve Blaze from the bands earliest history. With his being the primary song writer, the direction and style of the group is able to morph as he sees fit.
Musically speaking the set list seemed to touch upon their three recent albums with songs from “Deep Waters”, “Sad Day On Planet Earth” & “Blood Red Shadows” being the most prominently featured but they would go way back to their Glam Metal repertoire and present some treats from these as well. The guys would offer up some homage to the passing of Ronnie James Dio by doing “Children Of The Sea” which was a nice touch. It was also great to have them not do the expected “Holy Diver” or “We Rock” which many bands are offering up. Lillian Axe will be the second band I have seen in the recent months to do a Dio song and I am sure that many more lay ahead of me. This was truly a terrible loss for the Metal genre and one whose impact will be felt for a long, long time. As the night drew to its inevitable close the Glam vintage was called upon again as “True Believer” got the crowd moving and shaking their tail feathers. The last tune would be “Show A Little Love” from the “Love & War” album and the audience members were counted on to help the band deliver the choruses. After the show ended there was a meet and greet held by the band and it was open to all the members of the audience that were in the venue. The down side was how this was not a very well attended show and I feel that a number of reasons were to blame. The first would be the recent Y&T show which would have pulled some similar fans and the same applies to the coming Night Ranger show. While the band has a fan base, there is not enough support for their sound but this could have been rectified by their opening up a show instead of acting as the headliner. The city would also have its dose of “Big Metal” as Slayer, Megadeth and Testament were doing a gig this coming Thursday. Despite this, I had a fun time as did the people I attended the show with. It was another case of those who missed out, missed out. Good luck to Lillian Axe with their new album and new singer. I will be watching for your next move.
My B.B. King’s Hard Rock triple play would end on Wednesday with Night Ranger who were making a return trip to the venue almost a year to the day from their last appearance. Having enjoyed their music for so many years I was really looking forward to it. “Motorin’” you say? Damn straight.
1. Misery Loves Company
4. Under The Same Moon
6. Jesus Wept
7. Waters Rising
8. The Grand Scale Of Finality
9. 47 Ways To Die
10. Deep Freeze
11. Intro – Ghost Of Winter
12. Children Of The Sea (Sabbath)
13. Intro – All’s Fair
15. Nocturnal Symphony
16. Those Who Prey
18. True Believer
19. Show A Little Love – Outro
I know that Lillian Axe performed at the sister club of the venue at the Highline Ballroom a couple of years ago but we missed that one. To my knowledge this was the bands first appearance at the now legendary Times Square venue and a headlining one at that. It is because of this that I post their name in the lights.
I didn’t manage to take too many “behind the scenes” shots which actually surprised me for this one but oh well. I did snap a little of the stage decor since I felt some of you might like to see what was up there. The image is the cover of the bands newest album “Deep Red Shadows”.
Even though I normally post the set list photo in the main gallery of these show report narratives, I decided to post it in the blog leader as well since there were clearly too many people who missed out on this one. Now they can hate themselves all the more a little faster than they would by the time they completed reading the review.
We caught our long time buddy in Metal Mr. Steve “Buckshot” Seabury who is former of Dirty Rig and currently in Moth Eater. He was hanging around for the show and killing a couple of cold beers so I snapped a shot of him as he toasted a good night of Heavy Rock and Roll that the band was playing.
Also, the Metal fans who cook might be interested in the fact that Seabury is putting out a book called “Mosh Potatoes”. It’s a Heavy Metal cookbook with recipes from several dozen notable musicians. Here we see Buckshot holding one of the pre-pressed editions of the book. He had to give it a once over first. It looks really great.
Official Website: http://www.lillianaxe.com