I would say it’s probably been fifteen years since I’ve seen LILLIAN AXE in concert. Much has changed since then but the one constant is guitarist Steve Blaze and in early September 2009 Rockeyez got to witness a double-shot of LILLIAN AXE as we attended both an in-store record signing and acoustic performance and a full-blown concert later that evening.
As Brian and myself arrived at Vintage Vinyl we strolled around this awesome and huge independent record store in Fords, NJ (www.vvinyl.com) and checked out some of the latest metal releases. Not long after we saw the arrival of the band and as the fans made their way in between the isles of CD’s to get close to the stage where bands perform (yes, they have a full-fledged stage right in the store!). Guitarist Steve Blaze, vocalist Derek LeFevre and guitarist Sam Poitevent tuned up and got ready. They went right into about seven acoustic versions of songs and included both vintage LILLIAN AXE material and new material off the band’s latest release “Sad Day On Planet Earth”. After about a 30-minute set the band then made their way into the record aisles to hang out with the fans and sign some autographs and take pictures with them.
Both Brian and I had the chance to talk with the band members and we learned such things as LILLIAN AXE were already writing new material for another album (as they have a 4 record deal with Blistering Records) and also, Steve Blaze let us know that the band would soon be doing a few shows with the legendary Alice Cooper who they already toured with a couple years ago. As the fans finished up getting pictures and autographs with the band we made our way out of the store and continued our journey on to the club where the band would be playing later on.
Shortly after arriving at Mexicali Live in Teaneck, NJ we got ourselves situated and caught the last few songs of the opening band, New Jersey’s own RAHWAY. Rockeyez hopes to catch more of this band next month when they open for legendary UK rockers UFO here in NJ.
Now it was time for the headline band as LILLIAN Axe took the stage and hit it hard with the almost classic “Crucified” off the “Psychoschizophrenia” album. The band touched on every one of their proper studio albums (“Fields Of Yesterday” was an album of demos and leftovers). The show was heavy on tracks from the new record, the excellent “Sad Day On Planet Earth”, as would be expected. The lineup of the band, which has been the same for the last two albums, is as strong as they’ve ever been. Singer Derek LeFevre bears a more than passing vocal likeness to former singer Ron Taylor so that certainly makes for an enjoyable time when the band touches on their older material. For me one of the highlights of the night was the track “Deepfreeze” from the “Psychoschizophrenia” album. Other highlights were the “Grand Scale Of Finality”, “Jesus Wept”, and “Megaslowfade” (all from the new record) along with the vintage tracks like “Misery Loves Company”, “Nobody Knows” and the heartfelt “The Day I Met You” (I’ve always had soft spot for this song). Another special treat of the evening was a guitar version of the National Anthem courtesy of Steve Blaze.
All in all it was a great night to catch up with a band I have not seen in years. I hope its not another fifteen years before I get see them again