by David Gimpel
It has been 18 years since L7 has made new music together. You may be wondering, “What took so long? Why now?” Lead vocalist Donita Sparks answered those questions last night to the rowdy Detroit crowd, “I came back to bitch!” When then. There’s plenty to bitch about in the world right now, and there’s no better way to bash out your frustrations than to some new L7 noise!
L7 still has the same spitfire that made them who they are. (If you’re unfamiliar with the band they have a great documentary streaming online, “L7: Pretend We’re Dead”). However, if you were a teenager in the mid to late 90s, I’d find it hard to believe you’ve never heard them. They were part of the grunge/punk scene. They never sold out, and everything they’ve written, from the past until now, serves a purpose.
They set the tone for the night by walking out to Prince’s “Pussy Control,” only to rip right into “Deathwish,” and “Fast and Frightening” from their 1990 Sub Pop record Smell the Magic. The crowd knew right that L7 was in Detroit Rock City (cheesy, I know).
A bulk of the setlist came from their 1992 release Bricks Are Heavy, the album that catapulted L7 from playing dive bars to big rock clubs. The crowd was hyped all night long especially with songs like “Everglade,” and the show closers “Sh*tlist” and “Pretend We’re Dead.”
It was an onslaught of one fuzzed out punk song after another, including my personal favorite “Fuel My Fire,” which threw everyone into a frenzy. It was nice to see so much energy from the crowd.
Before they played one of their biggest hits, “Andres,” Donita Sparks told the crowd that Andres used to have really long hair, but now it’s short. However, Andres is still really, really nice! Closing the set was “Dispatch From Mar-a-Lago,” a blazing new track that will be featured on their new, which is due out soon.
L7 proved they are back with their performance at St. Andrew’s Hall, and they’re here to bitch…with a purpose.
Fast and Frightening
Fuel My Fire
One More Thing
Off the Wagon
Must Have More
I Came Back to Bitch
Dispatch From Mar-a-Lago
Bloodstains (Agent Orange Cover)
Pretend We’re Dead