Pickle Park – Minneapolis, MN
Marq Torien brought the BulletBoys back to the Twin Cities bringing Tracii Guns and his latest project Gunzo with. It’s been just shy of a year since the BulletBoys brought the rock to Pickle Park and in that time they released the album Elefante’, a record full of enough rock to keep even the most haughty Geologist engaged.
I’d heard a bit about Gunzo but not enough to know what to expect. It was sort of surreal sitting 8 feet from the stage when unexpectedly and without introduction Tracii Guns was just sort of there. Looking like some sort of Gypsy Zohan, a true man of 1,000 faces he alerted the audience that the show was beginning as he tore into the aptly titled “Rip N’ Tear.” Rudy Sarzo who has been in more bands than Tracii’s had hairstyles brought the bass to Gunzo. Rounded out by singer Keith St. John and drummer Shane Fitzgibbon, Gunzo tore through a tight if not too brief set of mostly covers. The band stretched out 7 songs for almost an hour. Two songs by Ozzy (“I Don’t Know” and “Crazy Train”), two Montrose songs (“Bad Motor Scooter” and “Rock Candy”) and three L.A. Guns songs (“Rip N Tear”, “Ballad of Jayne” and “Never Enough”). In a way, I would’ve preferred a more L.A. Guns heavy set but the crowd seemed into it and Tracii, while possibly days from his most recent shower, never looked happier. I got the sense that Gunzo was largely put together as a way for Tracii to play just for the sake of playing with none of the bullshit.
Next up BulletBoys took the stage and reminded me why I enjoyed their show a year ago so much. I can confirm the band has only gotten better. A show that featured songs from every era including a few tracks off their latest Elefante’. Speaking with Marq before the show I joked that us old timers have a rough time with these Sunday night shows, but fuck man, it’s one night right! Enjoy the moment and catch up your sleep later. Sadly my little joke may have been a harbinger. The crowd wasn’t bad as much as you could almost feel the fatigue. And Marq took notice. Which was probably a good thing as he took time to remind them that being into the show isn’t a bad thing. Getting them fired up as they tore through the rest of their set.
I’m told the opening song was “Born To Breed” off their 10 Cent Billionaire album so I’ll soon be off to track that record down. The rest of the show was a mix of hits, new songs and little surprises like breaking into Journey’s “Lovin Touchin’ Squeezin’” in the middle of “Hell On My Heels.” The band was in top form as was Marq whose voice doesn’t seem to be slowing down. And while not quite the packed house that was there to see them last year, I was encouraged by the strong showing for a Rock Show. I mean it was a Sunday night after all (Sarcasm off).
Some (Marq around the release of Elefante’) may not agree, but I am a defender of BulletBoys and more specific Marq Torien. If we’re going to compare him to David Lee Roth why not compare vocal talent? Why not compare how they sound today? Why not compare how we judge Marq‘s actions to Dave‘s? Marq is everything I want in an 80’s leftover (not my terminology). He shows up. Looks good. Sounds Good. And gives you a show. If you don’t like what he’s doing now, then you don’t like him. You don’t like his music. Elefante’ and the current band prove the only reason you shouldn’t like it or them is because you don’t like them or him.
There’s a handful of dates left on this leg. If they are coming your way I would encourage you to check it out. And for our readers in Europe I am told they are coming your way next. So look for that as well. Thanks as always to John Weiderman and Viking Rocker Productions for bringing these shows to the Twin Cities.