L7 rocked the first night of their 2016 tour in Dallas with opening act Sealion.
15-July-2016: The Granada Theater is always a great place to attend a concert as they host new bands, established artists and everything in between. The staff is always ready to help anyone who walks in the door.
The crowd started slow on a Friday evening at the historic Granada Theater but began building as Sealion opened the show. The four-piece band played a short set of punk and power rock.
The audience grew tremendously by the time L7 came onstage. The four women got back together in 2014 after being on hiatus since 2001, but no one could tell they’d been apart. The older attendees remembered them from days past while a slew of new fans was just becoming aware of them.
Vocalist Donita Sparks opened the concert by saying, “Let’s party,” and they did their part. Bassist Jennifer Finch was a whirlwind of movement all night, dancing and jumping with unlimited energy. Both highlighted the opening song, “Deathwish.”
It was the first night of their new tour and Donita again spoke to the crowd, saying, “We came to Texas to get messy.” By a unanimous vote, everyone in the audience was in complete agreement.
Guitarist Suzi Gardner then sang “Andres” as Donita and Jennifer took over the stage. They performed a synchronous dance and dual head bob as members of the crowd reciprocated. Jennifer then took a turn on vocals for “Everglades,” a rock song that continued the party atmosphere.
Suzi sang the punkish “Monster” as Donita performed an electric solo on guitar. The audience then jumped, screamed and danced as Donita sang an early highlight of the night in the hard-rocking “Scrap.”
“Fuel My Fire” had a Joan Jett influence to it, always a crowd-pleasing touch. Donita added a chicken-scratch ending to the next song that made the audience yell in delight. Suzi sang a hard anthem before Donita took the mic again for “Freak Magnet.” The crowd jumped in unison to her jumping to the rock n’ roll beat.
An excellent light show and a solo by Sparks pushed “Shove” into a highlight song. Jennifer shined on a solo in “Shirley.”
The crowd exploded in cheers to their anthem of love gone wrong, “Shitlist.” It’s always a fan favorite, and they sang along at the tops of their lungs. The headbangers got a chance to bang their heads before Demetra finished the set with a pounding solo.
After a short break, they returned to the stage to blaring applause for their encore. A bass intro preceded Donita’s version of “American Society.” The Eddie and the Subtitles cover was a great song to start the extra music.
She then sang their largest hit, “Pretend We’re Dead.” Jennifer was still flipping her hair, and the audience jumped with more energy than they had all night. The band ended the song with a jam that rocked the crowd.
This segued into the rocking “Fast And Frightening,” as Sparks took over the stage with her movements. All the band members are rockers, but Donita Sparks effuses the look of a rock and roll star. She is fun to watch, as is the rest of the band.
L7 came out of Seattle and was labeled as part of the grunge movement, but they’re rockers. The older fans enjoyed their comeback, and they’re making a lot of new fans with each show. They had a lot of fun and energy onstage, which the fans absorbed and gave back to the band.
See L7 on tour in North America through mid-August; then they embark on an international leg through October.
Photographer Joe Guzman of National Rock review was on hand to record the event.