Kentucky’s Sinful Lilly got things started with their own brand of (as Fredi Handshoe the band’s front man calls it) guitar-driven, alternative hard rock. The Richmond natives tore through songs like “Wait Your Turn” “Guilty” “Jack” a new song “Devil Music and the Record Machine”. The band put on a high-energy stage show with Nikki Handshoe (bass and vocal) often leaving the stage to mingle with the audience, while never missing a beat! Trey Bledsoe, who is a wild man on the drums as you will in the photos below, rounds out the trio.
Los Angeles natives Budderside were next on the bill. They have been in direct support of L.A. Guns on this reunion tour and it was really great seeing them here in Hazard! Budderside is made up of Patrick Stone – Vocals, Michael Stone – Bass, Johnny Santoro – Guitar and Rich Sacco on drums. “Open Relationship” and “Genocide” started the set, followed by “Ska Bra”, “Let This One Breath” and “Wide Awake” along with a super nice cover of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues”. Closing out the set was; “The Envelope” “Clear Blue Sky” and “Pain”. All are tracks on their debut CD “Budderside” with the exception of Folsom Prison Blues. If you haven’t heard these guys yet, definitely look them up. They have a great sound and are super nice guys to boot!
The reason for this night of rock and roll was the one and only, L.A. Guns. This reunion tour features original members Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis, with Michael Grant on guitar, Johnny Martin on Bass and Shane Fitzgibbon on the drums. These guys were the reason that so many came out to The Forum, myself included and let me say that L.A. Guns did not disappoint. Wasting no time, they launched into “No Mercy” followed by “Electric Gypsy”. Tracii Guns brought out a bow to play the next solo, then right into “Over The Edge” “Bitch Is Back” and “Sex Action” After a couple more tunes, Michael Grant stepped up and performed a great dedication to the late George Michael with his cover of “Faith”. After a short break, the band was back on stage closing out the night with “Never Enough”, the crowd favorite in “Ballad of Jayne” and finishing it off with “Rip and Tear”. I have seen these guys several times over the last few years, but the twin guitars of Tracii Guns and Michael Grant added something that took this show to another level.
The promoter of this show and numerous others in the Hazard / Whitesburg Kentucky area is Greg Napier of Greg Napier Promotions. He is bringing top quality performers to this area of the mountains and deserves a big hand for bringing culture and music to what sometimes feels like a forgotten area of the state. Get out and support live music here in the mountains, actually get out and support live music no matter where you live!