W.A.S.P., L.A. Guns

Feigned ironic excitement and flat-out ridiculing people who never left the Headbangers' Ball are probably the two most common reasons to attend this pairing of less-interesting G'N'R predecessor L.A. Guns and shock-rock also-rans W.A.S.P., but there are other angles. There's the semi-obscure conflict: Play up the angle of bad (fake) blood between the bands, considering it's only been 20 years since drummer Steve Riley totally ditched W.A.S.P., best known, of course, for "Animal (Fuck Like a Beast)," to join L.A. Guns. However, since this L.A. Guns incarnation is the one without Riley behind the drum kit — yes, there are two groups currently touring as L.A. Guns — Wednesday's concert could be construed as an up-yours to Riley. But better still is the underexploited political angle. In 2002, L.A. Guns released "OK, Let's Roll," a tribute to the doomed passengers of United Airlines flight 93. W.A.S.P.'s latest album, last year's Dominator, is reportedly a condemnation of America's leaders and foreign policy ("Deal With the Devil," "Heaven's Hung in Black"). So this show is really a reflection of our ongoing national identity crisis. Which says more about America circa 2007: a burnt-out hair-metal band paying tribute to 9/11 victims, or the fact that our Commander-in-Chief has fallen to the point where 50-year-old dudes in buzz-saw codpieces now feel free to take potshots?
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Jeremy Martin