Tom Keifer Band

Sonic Slam Tour Featuring the Tom Keifer Band, L.A. Guns and Faster Pussycat Bowls Over Buckhead Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, Thursday, July 28, 2022



The historic Buckhead Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, played host to the Sonic Slam 2022 tour featuring the Tom Keifer Band, L.A. Guns and Faster Pussycat on Thursday night. Built in 1930, this 1,800-capacity venue was originally designed in a Spanish baroque style and has a general admission floor setting with an upper, seated balcony area.

Driving down early, I was pleasantly surprised to see the double-line of fans stretched down the Roswell Road sidewalk by the time the doors opened at 7pm, with a large portion of them having stood in the late afternoon 90-degree heat for over an hour. I appreciate the fact that The Stadium Tour has sucked the oxygen out of the summer touring news (and probably fans’ discretionary budgets, too), but it was nice to see that a dedicated fan base came out en masse to support this triple-bill of ’80s metal mainstays.

This was also the third city in three weeks that All Music Magazine has had the privilege of visiting on this tour – with prior coverage in Ormand Beach, Florida (read review here) and Detroit, Michigan (read review here) – and it was clear to me by night’s end that this tour simply continues to deliver at every stop.

After witnessing the early crowd attendance, I was not surprised to find the theatre nearly packed by the time Faster Pussycat’s founding member and lead singer Taime Downe kicked off the night at 8pm with “Jack the Bastard” off their 1992 album, Whipped! Downe, backed by guitarists Sam Koltun and Ronnie Simmons, along with bassist Danny Nordahl and drummer Chad Stewart, blazed through a number of fan favorites, including “House of Pain” (video below), “Poison Ivy” and “Bathroom Wall.” Disappointingly, Faster Pussycat left their Carly Simon cover of “You’re So Vain” off the evening’s setlist (posted below), but on the upside, they did bring out Tony Higbee (Tom Keifer Band guitarist) and Ace Von Johnson (L.A. Guns guitarist) to jam at the end of their set. Who doesn’t enjoy watching four heavy metal guitarists at once?


Faster Pussycat:

Taime Downe – Vocals
Sam “Bam” Koltun – Guitar
Danny Nordahl – Bass
Ronnie Simmons – Guitar, Vocals
Chad Stewart – Drums



1.) Jack the Bastard
2.) Cathouse
3.) Slip of the Tongue
4.) NOLA
5.) House of Pain
6.) Poison Ivy
7.) Don’t Change That Song
8.) Bathroom Wall


With the equipment almost swapped out in time for their 9pm set time start, L.A. Guns guitarist Tracii Guns strolled out onto the stage to take photos of the pumped up Atlanta crowd. It was a subtle but cool moment, not only to see Guns taking it all in, but it also really amped up the fan energy as the lights went dark.

Having never seen any incarnation of L.A. Guns live before, I knew I was going to be in for a treat when the band launched into their thunderous song “Cannonball” from their 2021 album release, Checkered Past. Ever the charismatic performer, lead singer Phil Lewis sounded as good as ever, delivering upon a setlist primarily pulled from the band’s first two releases, the self-titled L.A. Guns (1988) and Cocked & Loaded (1989). Guns and Lewis, joined by Ace Von Johnson (guitar), Johnny Martin (bass) and Shawn Duncan (drums), exuded the raw and raunchy L.A. Guns sound I had hoped to hear after all these years.

L.A. Guns slowed down mid-set to perform arguably the band’s biggest hit, “The Ballad of Jayne” (video below), and their eight-song, show no mercy performance ended with the energetic “Rip and Tear.” Given the fan reaction as they exited the stage, the touring demand for longer L.A. Guns shows in the future was excitedly evident.


L.A. Guns

Tracii Guns – Guitar, Vocals
Phil Lewis – Lead Vocals
Ace Von Johnson – Guitar, Vocals
Johnny Martin – Bass, Vocals
Shawn Duncan – Drums




1.) Cannonball
2.) Electric Gypsy
3.) Over the Edge
4.) Sex Action
5.) The Ballad of Jayne
6.) Speed
7.) Never Enough
8.) Rip and Tear


As the capacity crowd pressed forward in anticipation of Tom Keifer and his band taking the stage as it approached 10:15pm, the Dokken song “It’s Not Love” was blasted over the house speakers. While the lyrical sing-along/sing-in-response-to-the-pause seemed spontaneous at the time, in reading our coverage of the Detroit show, it appears this behavior was a bit more premeditated. However, perhaps unlike Detroit, the Bon Jovi song “Raise Your Hands” was also squeezed in. Either way, it was a fun transition into Keifer and his mates huddling in front of the drum riser before starting their night off with “Touching the Divine” from the album Rise.

In full disclosure, I am a huge Cinderella fan. In fact, I recently found my faded April 28, 1989 ticket stub ($17.50!) from the Long Cold Winter headlining tour with Winger and the Bullet Boys in support. Keifer fans have continued to be supportive and appreciative of his considerable musical talent and longevity for over 30+ years, and he repaid them Thursday night with a setlist (posted below) primarily anchored by Cinderella hits from their first two releases, Night Songs (1986) and the aforementioned Long Cold Winter (1988).

Backed by Higbee, Luis Espaillat (bass), Kory Meyers (keyboards), Jarred Pope (drums), combined with backing vocals from his wife, Savannah, and Kendra Chantelle, the Tom Keifer Band provided a complete musical escape back to the mid/late ’80s, including a phenomenal rendition of “Coming Home” (video below), one of my all-time favorite songs. Keifer wrapped up the memorable night shortly before midnight, with the band returning to the stage for an encore performance of “Gypsy Road” after ending their main set with “Shelter Me” from the 1991 Heartbreak Station album.


Tom Keifer Band

Tom Keifer – Lead vocals, Guitar
Tony Higbee – Guitar, Vocals
Luis Espaillat – Bass, Vocals
Kory Meyers – Keyboard, Vocals
Jarred Pope – Drums
Savannah Keifer – Backing vocals
Kendra Chantelle – Backing vocals




1.) Touching the Divine
2.) Night Songs
3.) Coming Home
4.) It’s Not Enough
5.) Somebody Save Me
6.) Rise
7.) Nobody’s Fool
8.) Solid Ground
9.) Fallin’ Apart at the Seams
10.) The Last Mile
11.) Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Till It’s Gone)
12.) Shake Me
13.) Shelter Me

14.) Gypsy Road






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