Lita Ford took the stage this past Friday night at the Pompano Beach Amphitheater and reminded everyone why she is still one of the baddest women in rock-n-roll! Call it nostalgia, call it a throwback to a better day in music, but for me, it’s what going to a concert is all about. Good music from talented artists, who just happen to be doing this for the better part of 3 plus decades. L.A. Guns opened the show with classic tunes like “Over the Edge”, “The Ballad of Jayne”, “Never Enough” along side other crowd favorites. The band fronted by Phil Lewis accompanied by Steve Riley, Kenny Kweens and Michael Grant, sounded as good as when the band first made it to popularity in the late 80’s. The city of Baltimore also made a contribution to the 80’s music movement, in the form of a band named Kix.
They took the stage to an ever-growing crowd of holdovers from an era of music in which the fans actually gave a shit about whom they listened to. Granted the crowd had less aqua net, spandex and fishnet clothing, the feeling was still there, as everyone in unison sang along to all the hits. The biggest hit Kix had was “Don’t Close Your Eyes” which made it to number 11 on the Billboard hot 100. Power ballad or not, they can still rock and put on a show. After a slight rain delay, thanks to Erika, which thankfully missed us, Slaughter took the stage to a larger crowd and a roar of applause. I have to say, as great as all these bands still sound, the artist/musician that stole the show was Mark Slaughter’s drummer Zoltan Chaney.
In the 35 years I’ve been going to concerts, he is by far one of the most ridiculously talented and entertaining drummers I have ever seen smash the skins. His timing, theatrics, stick twirls, stick throws, and all around skill behind the kit is nothing but masterful. As Mark and the band ripped through a great set of songs, “Wildlife”, “Burning Bridges”, and several others as well as their mega hit “Fly”, the show and my focus was on Zoltan. At one point, the band members brought 2 young audience members up on stage and let them sit on the drum riser while the band jammed. Pretty cool for those kids, they had the best seats in the house, if only for 5 minutes.
As a founding member of one of the first kick ass all woman groups back in the late 70’s, Lita Ford along with Joan Jett, Jackie Fox and Cherie Currie, formed the Runaways. After a few years, and some changes in musical direction, the Runaways disbanded, and everyone went their separate ways. Lita spent the early 80’s continuing to develop her hard rock sound and forge ahead as a solo artist. Following several years of touring and album releases, she finally made it in 1988, with the release of her self titled album LITA.
Garnering a handful of hits, she made her mark as a badass guitarist and vocalist. Fast forward to Friday night. She took the stage with as much energy as she did back in the day. Her 10+ song set was loud, rocking and a small catalog of the history Lita has in rock-n-roll. From “Kiss me Deadly”, “Close my eyes Forever”, “Cherry Bomb”, “Black Leather”, she lit the stage on fire and her band was right there fueling the flames with her. It was a good night for music.
Pompano Beach Amphitheater, having had shows sporadically over the years, has decided to schedule more shows this year, and hopefully for years to come. It’s a great outdoor venue, when the weather cooperates, which is up to Mother Nature. That being said, it’s a good venue that will hopefully attract some great bands to Central Broward. Go to their website, check out their show schedule. Always support live music!