Last updated on August 11th, 2023 at 12:31 pm
The Medina Entertainment Center and a sold-out audience welcomed back Cinderella’s lead singer Tom Keifer with special guest L.A. Guns last Saturday night. Keifer is out on his Live and Loud tour, while L.A. Guns are on their Black Diamonds tour, named after their latest album. We reviewed these two bands nearly four years ago as they paired up wonderfully on this same stage.
Honestly, not much has changed for Guns or Keifer; both bands absolutely rocked the Medina and left the crowd wanting more.
L.A. Guns obliged the crowd from the start with an announcement that the band would start the show 15 minutes earlier than planned. They opened with the high-octane “Cannonball” from their 2021 album Checkered Past before heading into the hits with “Electric Gypsy” and “Over The Edge.”
Fans were treated to the classic “sleaze rock” that Guns is known for, along with some new music. Since Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis reunited a few years back, the band has been putting out a new album on a yearly basis.
Halfway through the set, it was time for both Guns and Lewis to take a break as rhythm guitarist Ace Von Johnson took the lead on a few punk songs, including “Bad Luck” by Social Distortion.
Back from break, Guns and Lewis came out and finished with many of the crowds’ favorites. It seemed Lewis’s voice was a little tired, as he wasn’t pushing himself through the whole set. He’d hit some high notes fine, then come back flat on others. At times he’d push the lyrics off to the fans, like in the huge chorus of “The Ballad of Jayne.” It’s quite possible he was tired from performing his fourth show in under a week.
I’m not sure why Tom Keifer sounds so good at the Medina Entertainment Center. Is it the acoustics of the place, or something else? I got to listen to him at Rocktember last year, where he struggled to hit his normal range and largely came off flat.
In contrast, he was off and running at the Medina, from the opening “Life Was Here” and the classic Cinderella tune “Hot and Bothered,” his voice sounded fantastic. Strangely, I heard from several people that his show wasn’t very good the night before.
I heard no such problems on Saturday as Keifer belted out Cinderella hit after hit, with sprinkles of his newer solo music. During one stretch, the band played 9 out of 10 songs from Cinderella, starting with “Bad Seamstress Blues/Fallin’ Apart at the Seams” and finishing the pre-encore set with “Shelter Me” from the 1990 album Heartbreak Station.
Keifer came back on stage for a 3 song encore, starting with “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone) and finishing out the night with the rocker “Gypsy Road.”
The middle encore song was fantastic, especially considering it’s a cover song and a classic hit. Keifer hit all the feels with a rousing and spiritual version of The Beatles‘ “With A Little Help From My Friends,” which featured the backup singers (Tom Keifers’ wife, Savannah Snow, and Kendra Chantelle) making it feel like you were sitting in on a church service.
As I said, Keifer’s voice never sounded better than inside the Medina Entertainment Center. Now the question is, is it the acoustics? Does he love the venue and seems to sing better there, or is it backing vocals in play? I had a few fans say his voice wasn’t matching up to what he was singing. If it was some form of backing track, would that surprise anyone? It’s so commonly used nowadays. I don’t have a problem with it, as long as it’s not the main form of the music being sung.
As usual, it was an amazing night of classic rock from two great bands from the 80s. Check their tour out if you get a chance. Tom Keifer is rotating opening bands between L.A. Guns, Winger, and John Corabi, which should produce a great time and music all around.