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LILLIAN AXE In Houston, TX With Photos!

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Friday, December 8, 2023 @ 11:12 AM


Band Returns To Houston After 4 Years At The Concert Pub North

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All Photos By Larry Petro/Petrofyed Photography

The first time I ever had the opportunity to catch LILLIAN AXE live was back in 1994 when the band would play what would be the final show of their Psychoschizophrenia tour before going on hiatus. Regrouping in 1999 the band would play Houston numerous times between then and the late 2000s, of which I personally saw at least a dozen of them incuding the show where the band recorded their Live 2002 album. Admittedly I skipped most of the band's shows in the past decade or so, mainly because they were playing at places that were the farthest distance from me but once they announced a show on Houston's north side at the Concert Pub North I couldn't pass it up, even more so given the fact that the band hadn't played H-Town in about 4 years.

A lot has changed since my last LILLIAN AXE concert, most notably the band's lineup. The band's lineup has completely changed with new drummer Wayne Stokely (INFIDEL RISING, MILLENIAL REIGN, PRETTY BOY FLOYD, PROPHETS OF ADDICTION), vocalist Brent Graham (SLEDGEHAMMER) joining the band and original LILLIAN AXE bassist Michael "Mad Maxx" Darby returning to the fold. Only longtime rhythm guitarist Sam Poitevant and founder and mastermind Steve Blaze remain from the lineup I last saw. The band released a new album, From Womb To Tomb in 2022 as Blaze continues to be probably the most underrated guitarist/songwriter on the planet.

Opening the festivities on this night was 1% SKYNYRD, a LYNYRD SKYNYRD tribute band whose name is a nod to the band's early name THE ONE PERCENT before changing to LYNYRD SKYNYRD. Though not a big SKYNYRD fan myself I have to say that these guys absolutely nailed it in their performance of hits such as "Gimme Three Steps", "Saturday Night Special" and the one song everyone clamors for, set closer "Freebird". Had you closed your eyes during their set you would have been hard pressed to distinguish them from the real thing.

Next up was local glam/sleaze metal group SWINGIN' BOTTLES, who only a year ago had made their live debut and also was one of the opening acts for Finnish rockers SANTA CRUZ's Houston show that year. They played a solid, spirited set of their original material and despite last minute fill-in drummer and friend Phred Williams only knowing 3 of their 8 songs and hacing to 'wing it' as he told me prior to their show, he performed admirably.

LILLIAN AXE took the stage at almost 11:15, opening with the track that first got me into the band, "Misery Loves Company". The band was tight and on fire as they rolled through an hour and a half of the band's greatest songs like "Ghost Of Winter", "All's Fair In Love And War", "Nobody Knows", "Crucified", "True Believer" and "Letters In The Rain". Two songs from the latest album, From Womb To Tomb also made the set, that being first single "I Am Beyond" and "Dance Of The Maggots" and "Death Comes Tomorrow" from the 2012 release XI The Days Before Tomorrow. The band closed out the evening with the song/video that put them on the map, "Show A Little Love". I personally had not listened to any LILLIAN AXE music in at least 6 or 7 years (I know, shame on me) but listening to their material on the way to the show I was glad I hadn't because it gave me a whole new appreciation of how good this band really is and this was certainly a great show, with frontman Brent Graham doing a fantastic job of doing justice to the band's back catalog.

Steve Blaze revealed a few tidbits toward the end of the show, the first being the recently announced GIRLSCHOOL U.S. Farewell Tour for which LILLIAN is tapped as the direct opener. The first set of dates released only covered the East Coast. Blaze confirmed that the next set of dates to be released would start in Texas and head out to the West Coast so all you GIRLSCHOOL fans take note and be looking for those shows to be announced soon! He also went on to state that the band would begin recording a brand new studio album in January and that 'if you love LILLIAN AXE music then you will absolutely love this new record'. In addition, at some point next year the band would also be arranging an album of the band's classic tracks with a full orchestra, so there's lots of thing on the horizon for LILLIAN AXE!. Stay tuned to KNAC.COM for the news as it becomes available!

Setlist:

  • "Misery Loves Company"
  • "Death Comes Tomorrow"
  • "Stop The Hate"/"She's My Salvation"/"Innocence"
  • "Ghost Of Winter"
  • "All's Fair In Love And War"
  • "Waiting In The Dark"
  • "Nobody Knows"
  • "Those Who Prey"
  • "Crucified"
  • "True Believer"
  • "Dance Of The Maggots"
  • "Deepfreeze"
  • "Letters In The Rain"
  • "Waters Rising"
  • "Show A Little Love"
Check out some more photos from the show!
All Photos By Larry Petro/Petrofyed Photography


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