George Lynch Band Live in Hollywood

By Tokemaster General, Contributor
Tuesday, January 20, 2004 @ 7:50 PM

The George Lynch Band Live at

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Although it was a late addition to the House of Blues concert schedule, I couldn't miss my favorite guitarist, George Lynch, playing in one of the better venues in LA. Although I've seen him play with Dokken and Lynch Mob on several occasions, this was billed as the "George Lynch Band" and I hoped he would concentrate more on some of the songs from his excellent solo album Sacred Groove.

After grabbing something to eat in the Porch restaurant and a couple drinks (by the way, I could be wrong about this, but I think beers were like $4 cheaper in the restaurant than downstairs in the bar) we made it in to catch the end of Gilby Clarke's set. He was playing with a 3-piece band doing a straightforward rock and roll show. His bass player may be the shortest bass player on record, even with his 3-inch platform shoes, while the drummer looked a bit like Jack Black in mascara. Anyway, the band sounded fine, his last three songs were “Cure Me or Kill Me,” which he introduced as his "heavy metal song for the L.A. crowd," a pretty good cover of Queen's “Tie Your Mother Down” and “Tijuana Jail.” All in all, pretty decent guitar driven rock, although nothing particularly noteworthy either.

Next was the wait for George to come on. I spent the next 40 minutes or so pondering how few people were actually there. I knew coming in that this would be smaller than most of the 10-15 shows I'd seen at the HOB, but this was definitely the smallest. I'm guessing only a third filled or so. It's a shame, considering that George is a tremendous talent, however, I admit I was surprised to see that the George Lynch Band was playing the same venue where I last saw Megadeth, Tesla, Kittie, Steve Vai and a few other bands with greater name recognition (even Dokken for that matter).

When the curtains rose, George and the rest of the band were there playing amongst the multicolored fog (which occasionally obscured the view of his guitar playing, but generally made for a nice stage presentation) kicking off with the classic Dokken tune, “Unchain the Night.” Now, the rest of the band consisted of Mike Frowen on drums and Marten Andersson on bass. Both were just fine, Anderson did a particularly good job on the Lynch/Pilson song from the set, “Breath and a Scream.” Frowen sang the one utterly horrible song in the set, which I believe was from a rap rock CD that Lynch Mob put out. However, since I really want to pretend that George never put out a rap rock CD, I'll move right along.

The singer is a fellow named Chaz West. I thought he actually did a pretty good job on both the Dokken songs and the Lynch Mob stuff. Personally, I've never thought much of either of the Lynch Mob singers, Oni Logan or Robert Mason. In my opinion, this guy pulled off songs from all the phases of George's career pretty well. If he could only have kept those damn leather pants pulled up (they almost fell down during one of the songs and he had to go offstage to set down the mic and pull them up), there would have been one less distraction. Now, mind you, I actually had to research the names of the band members on George's website... the reason being that at one point in the show, the singer tried to introduce the rest of the band, saying "and here tonight on bass guitar we have...” -- he only got that far. George cut him off in mid-sentence kicking into the next song. West shot Lynch a dirty look but did not try and introduce the rest of the musicians again. This made me realize that perhaps all of the ego issues and problems between Don and George over the years may have only been half the fault of Don.... but who knows.

One final side note, there were a couple sound problems during the show, several unwanted humms and squeals. The sound crew fixed them as they came up, however, it led my attention to the head sound guy who looked a lot like a haggard older version of Don Dokken, coincidence? I don't know.

Anyway, musically, the band was tight and George played as well as ever. He did a great variety of songs, ranging from Dokken hits “Breakin' the Chains,” “Kiss of Death” and closing with “Tooth and Nail.” He covered the biggest Lynch Mob songs, “River of Love,” “For a Million Years” and “Wicked Sensation,” a great Jimmy Hendrix cover of “Voodoo Chile” as well as two of the songs from his solo album, Sacred Groove: “Flesh & Blood” and “I Will Remember.” I had hoped for a bit more emphasis on the solo stuff, but nevertheless, other than one really bad song, which I discussed above, everything they played was excellent. The highlight was of course the moment when everybody else in the band moved into the backround and George stepped up front and gave us full view of the amazing fretwork involved in “I Will Remember” and of course, Mr. Scary. All in all, it was a great show and highly recommended. However, given the low turn out, perhaps next time a smaller venue would work out better.

Set list:

Unchain the Night
River of Love
Flesh & Blood
Breakin' the Chains
Breath and a Scream
Sucky sucky rap/rock song I believe is called Smoke This
Kiss of Death
Voodoo Chile
I Will Remember
Mr. Scary
Wicked Sensation
Tooth & Nail

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