American Grunge Punk Queens L7 Live in AZ

When you hear L7’s tour is stopping in your town, you drop what you’re doing and you run to the venue to catch the show, especially when there are only a few dates in the US left. Donita Sparks (guitars/vocals), Suzi Gardner (guitars/vocals), Jennifer Finch (bass/vocals) and Dee Plakas (drums) are back at it, hitting a few stages across the US, including the Punk Rock Bowling Event before heading for a short tour in Australia that starts off in Auckland Dec 6th. running through a 2-day stint at Thornbury mid-December.

The dubbed American Grunge Punk Queens are celebrating the 30th anniversary of Bricks Are Heavy and performing the album in full. The band’s formation in 1985 to their reunion and subsequent tours, L7 is out rocking stages and reconnecting with their long-time fans.

Whether you’ve seen the band live in the late ’80s, at the height of the grunge punk rock of the 90s, on the last few tours or anywhere in between, it’s always a great show and you leave wanting more.  I was able to catch the show a few nights ago at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe Arizona and L7 did not disappoint.

The show started with openers Fairy Bones, a Phoenix-based band that formed in 2013, released two albums and several singles between 2015-2019 and hit the scene again in 2021 with a few new members. Fronted by Chelsea Louise (vocals/rhythm guitar), the band also includes long-time bassist Chad Foos and newest members Daphne Greene (guitar) and Jared Fron (drums). I enjoyed the Fairy Bones’ set and thought they were a great fit for show opener.

L7 hit the stage after a short montage of classic hits of the 90s covering all genres. It was evident I was surrounded by many long-time fans as they sang every word, while the band played the Bricks Are Heavy songs in album order.  After Donita’s warning of “don’t you dare leave after this next song” the band went into Pretend We’re Dead as the 3rd song on the album and the 3rd song on the setlist that night. The fan-filled crowd sang every word.

Being a fan since I was actually first exposed to the Bricks Are Heavy album which was originally released April of 1992 and produced by Butch Vig and the band, I was surprised to see such a diverse age group in the crowd that night. It was cool to see groups of late teen and early 20s jamming along to the show right along with us “seasoned” fans who remember hearing a new song when it was released on the radio or your insightful friend shoved a new vinyl at you and told you to play.

It was another great night of live music blaring from the Marquee Theatre on a nice warm night in Arizona. For a band that has toured together on and off over the years, the comradery on stage shown through at this always fun rock show with the always punk-vibe, let’s just kick everyone in the ass attitude that we love and expect from L7.  This is a band that you should catch live every chance you get.  Hats off to you Donita, Suzi, Jennifer and Dee for a killer show!

Check out live shots from the show below!


Fairy Bones:

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