An impressive venue and solid show made this evening a success. As I drove home that night, I contemplated the longevity of Lita Ford. A consummate musician who continuously puts her fans first, there is no doubt her career will continue.
My December 9th trek to see Lita Ford at the Brauer House (1000 N Rohlwing Rd, Lombard, IL 60148) was full of surprises. I left late for the event hoping I might get a response from my contact in regards to my interview request. Unfortunately, the metal gods were not on my side. I was prepared to drop a text if an opportunity arose. There was a slight fear I might find the gig was sold out.
The Brauer House is a small bar but the food is good and the drinks are reasonably priced. I arrived on the scene with TMC editor/cameraman Roger Schultz not knowing what to expect. I noticed a lot of cars parked outside but when we went inside, the place seemed empty. I approached the bar with ease and noticed a family eating a table that normally held the stage. “Are we here on the wrong night?” I asked Roger. He shrugged his shoulders and we ordered a drink. While looking around, I noticed a group of people walking through a wall. It was like something out of an Indiana Jones movie! There was a doorway cut into the wall that used to be the stage! People were lining up to go through it! A LSD flashback came to mind as I got in line with my drink. Who knew what I was waiting for? It could have been a bathroom but it seemed exciting so I wanted to check it out. Beyond the wall was a kick ass arcade filled with pinball machines of Kiss and Metallica as well as stand up video classics like Donkey Kong but this was not what the people were waiting for. Unbelievably, the line went even further! We went through the arcade and down a long hallway, I could hear music beyond. I sent a text to longtime friend and TMC cameraman JD Peterson, ‘Are you at the venue?’ He responded ‘Yes!’ almost immediately.
I considered the situation, since I didn’t see JD on the way in that could only mean one thing, the Brauer House was expanding! We eventually found ourselves in a promising venue, very clean with great sound and a huge bar! It reminded me of the Concord Music Hall (2047 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647) but cut in half and minus the balcony.
I closed my eyes and pictured Cannibal Corpse playing on stage. If booking shows ever becomes a priority for the Brauer House, watch out! This place has the ability to re-shuffle the deck. The money is in the suburbs and this building is close to the expressway with a capacity that doubles both Reggie’s Rock Club and The Forge. No quick sellout here, just a bigger opportunity.
Lita Ford appeared to be the first artist to capitalize. There was a large crowd on hand and the place was still filling up as the opening act, Downtread, hit the stage. There was an exciting buzz in the air. We talked to some hardcore fans and found out Lita had arranged some ‘meet and greet’ sessions. As soon as I heard the news, I knew there’d be no chance of interviewing Lita tonight. I sent a thank you text to my contact and suggested a few alternatives, we’ll see what happens…
As an artist, Lita Ford has rubbed shoulders with some of the ‘80s greatest metal icons like Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy Kilmister. She knows aside from having great songs you need to have a great back up band. Lita’s band was great, especially longtime metal veteran drummer Bobby Rock. His drum solo was amazing! I left the venue later that night racking my brain trying to remember where I’d heard his name before and then it hit me. He was a part of Vinnie Vincent Invasion and later a member of Slaughter. It was great seeing this glam metal giant wrecking his drum kit!
Lita seemed to feed off the crowd and it was clear she still has the charisma to work it. We were treated to a show filled with Lita’s hits and so much more. I especially liked the Motorhead cover of “Can’t Catch Me”.
An impressive venue and solid show made this evening a success. As I drove home that night, I contemplated the longevity of Lita Ford. A consummate musician who continuously puts her fans first, there is no doubt her career will continue. Lita is only one studio album away from ten full length efforts. In my mind, a fitting conclusion to any career. This evening proved metal and its followers haven’t forgotten their icons or the music that makes it special! \m/
Lita Ford are:
• Lita Ford – Guitars & Vocals
• Patrick Kennison – Guitars
• Marty O’Brien – Bass
• Bobby Rock – Drums