Concert Review: Lita Ford

Vinyl, Jan. 10

Photo by Glenn Brogan

The ex-Runaway kicked off a rowdy, guitars-revved set with Elton John cover “The Bitch Is Back,” a song on her 2012 comeback disc Living Like a Runaway. Looking fit, voice in fine shape, six-string prowess razor-sharp, Lita Ford thrilled a sizeable crowd with recent material—for example, “Relentless,” she and guitarist Mitch Perry harmonizing leads to dramatic effect—and ’80s MTV hits like “Gotta Let Go” and “Hungry.” Her band, which includes drummer Bobby Rock (Vinnie Vincent Invasion) and bassist Marty O’Brien (Disturbed), is savage and airtight. But the surprises in the set list arrived with “Can’t Catch Me,” written with Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister. Then she strapped on her black Gibson Explorer guitar, saying she’d “pulled it from storage and dusted off the cobwebs,” before digging into the Runaways’ “Cherry Bomb” and Sex Pistol Steve Jones’ “Black Leather.” The Explorer sounded thick, heavy, a gnarly instrument for Ford, who at 55 remains a shredder. Happy to again be in Vegas (where she often participates in Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp), the hard-rock queen was at ease—even with a guitar jack in her pretty teeth as she switched axes while covering Deep Purple’s “Burn.” ★★★☆☆

Photos by Glenn Brogan

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