Mentor, Ohio- The city that keeps on giving gave its local citizens a present in the form of Rock N’ Roll .Not just any gift but a hard rock icon of stellar proportions, they gave us Lita .Lita Ford that is , the music icon who started her career in the 1970’s with the star studded band The Runaways ( which also had members Joan Jett and Cherie Currie ) and continued with her own solo career including hits on MTV and a duet with the prince of darkness himself Ozzy Osbourne .
The weather was perfect after the crazy weather of the summer and the venue of Mentor Amphitheater is a perfect place to hear and watch a show . A show is exactly what this one was, which to a crowd of almost 7000 brought back memories of the big hair days and lots of fun .
The night started with the track ” Gotta let Go ” and continued for almost two hours .Her hits such ” Kiss Me Deadly ” and ” Close My Eyes Forever ” really delighted the crowd . Her versions of ” The Bitch Is Back “, ” Only Women Bleed ” and ” Black Leather ” surprised us but in a good way .
One of my favorite songs is ” Cherry Bomb ” from her old The Runaways days .( I even love the movie )
Lita is so popular still that a little girl in the audience was named after her by her father and it was very cute to see .
Lita’s band is as follows Patrick Kennison on guitars , Bobby Rock on Drums and Marty O’ Brien on bass guitar .
Lima, Ohio -The unique location of Allen County Fairgrounds played host to a veritable who’s who of musical icons over the weekend to the delight and surprise of many of fans .The list of artists was to numerous to repeat but we did our best to catch the feel and vibe of this wonderful event.The inaugural Loud N’ Lima proved to be a success with the fans so much in that organizers Jake Bame and Eric Schaaf vowed to bring it back next year. I have to be honest was it perfect? , no it was not , no event is and it will have growing pains ,this was after all their first festival and no one can depend on the weather in Ohio so muddy it was .
I got to the show late just in time to catch Dee Snyder , formerly of Twisted Sister who’s dedication to the American way of life for ” Were Not Gonna Take It ” was awe inspiring.
Steel Panther continued to prove why they are a draw and just a lot of fun to be around , except live the kids at home it an adult only show !
The only 90’s artist on the line up 3 Doors Down , who played some great songs and thanked just about everyone on the planet !
The rain came Saturday and so did the mud but the music continued , with the Bullet Boys opening the festival .The highlight of Saturday for me was the amazing Steelheart who I have never seen before and I was able to see them perform the songs from the movie ” Rock Star ” one of my favorite albums .The whole band was amazing but to be honest I am biased because Lizzy Borden’s bassist Marten Anderson was handling bass duties that day and the band sounded super tight .
I slipped over to the side stage and watched the very talented band “Kevlar ” tear it up . This band should have been on the main stage , they are that talented.
I really got a kick out of seeing Lita Ford perform as I am huge “Runaways” fan. I was fortunate enough to be at a private party in California a few years ago where I saw her and Ronnie Montrose play together .She is a true class act .
The big headliner Saturday night was none other then Bret Michaels a fan favorite and all around nice guy.This man goes out of his was to use his celebrity to help people and we salute him.
Sunday came and the day dried up and the rain held off .The Metal Gods were at work. The first band on the bill that morning was Love N” Revenge , great pipes on that singer and a sold band , hope to see them again.
Next up was Troy ,I was not familiar with this band but they proved a welcome addition to this mornings set.
To close out the festivities the organizers brought out the big guns .Mr Vince Neal of Motley Crue , who played a lot of his former bands songs to the delight of many in the crowd .His backup band was most of Slaughter and that put a huge smile on my face as Dana Strum is one of the best bassists in music today.
So was it a successful festival? To paraphrase Obi Wan Kenobi ” it all depends on our point of view” So from the point of view of a fan, yes it was , great music , good food and a safe environment and a place to camp all made this a rewarding experience .I really hope to be back next year and see what they can do with the gloves off , time to rock ladies and gentleman .