L7’s 1992 album Bricks Are Heavy turned 30 this year. In honor of this momentous occasion, Suzi Gardner (guitars, vocals), Donita Sparks (vocals, guitars), Jennifer Finch (bass, vocals), and Dee Plakas (drums, vocals) stopped by Metro in Chicago on Oct. 15 to perform to a sold-out crowd of lucky fans.
The evening unfolded in two sets. The first was dedicated to playing Bricks Are Heavy in its entirety from cover to cover and the second celebrated songs from the band’s entire career. Before diving into the anniversary album’s lead single, “Pretend We’re Dead,” Sparks shared her expectations with fans.
“Okay, we’ve been warning crowds, if you dare to take off after this next song we will hunt you down, all the way down the street and embarrass you,” she said before strumming the iconic intro to the grungy hit. Soon Sparks and Gardner were shredding together as Finch took the lead vocals on “Everglade” while Gardner did the vocal heavy-lifting on “Slide,”dedicated to her and Sparks’ exes.
“Suzy and I wrote this one about our exes because we used to date real winners back in the day,” Sparks explained.
Plakas attacked the beat all night long with “One More Thing” standing out as an especially thunderous jam. “Monster” – colored by Gardner’s fiendish snarl and witchy laugh – introduced itself with fiercely imposing snares as Finch’s bassline warned that the best was yet to come. “Shitlist,” which was not dedicated to fans, was a cathartic sing-along and, before you knew it, the Bricks Are Heavy celebration concluded with its final track, “This Ain’t Pleasure.”
“It’s challenging to play an album from front to back because you don’t want to fuck up and it takes a lot of concentration especially for us – the hardest two songs are the first one and the last one,” said Sparks between sets. “Now that we got that monkey off our back, I think we can let loose a little more so let loose with us.”
In the L7 vernacular, letting loose means dropping a new banner with the classic encircled L7 logo and, without so much as taking a sip of water, blasting into another full set with the fuzzy, repentant classic at is “Andres.” “Fuel My Fire,” “War With You,” and Scatter the Rats‘ “Stadium West” also appeared on the second setlist.
San Antonio’s own Fea kicked things off with a punk-fueled set of their own that proved yet again that L7 – who had Radkey along as support at Metro in 2016 – picks the best openers. Guitarist Adrian Conner was relentless and songs like “Veins” and “You Can’t Change Me” set the tone for a good old-fashioned rock and roll dance party.
Check out photos of L7 and Fea performing at Metro below and click here to pick-up tickets to see L7 elsewhere on the Bricks Are Heavy 30th Anniversary Tour. More information can be found at L7theband.com.
(Photos by Laurie Fanelli)