Guitar Wolf 5.30 LBC Review

Guitar Wolf ignited the stage at Alex’s in Long Beach with their high-octane, Jett-fueled garage punk on May 30th. From the moment they hit the stage, the air was charged with an energy that only Guitar Wolf can bring. The Japanese trio, known for their ferocious and raw live performances, did not disappoint. These guys are the pure embodiment of the spirit of rock n roll.

Seiji “Guitar Wolf ” (Albert Licano)

This was my fifth time seeing Guitar Wolf, but my first time seeing this current lineup. I was a bit hesitant to witness a new Bass Wolf and Drum Wolf , but – this was maybe the best lineup I’ve ever seen! They tore through their set with a relentless intensity, Gotz the new bassist (he’s been around since 2018, but I last saw 2017, so he’s new to me) is fucking phenomenal. He is one hell of a frontman in his own right, sneering and swaggering, getting the crowd involved, stage diving, and even singing lead on a couple tunes.

Gotz “Bass Wolf” (Albert Licano)
Gotz “Bass Wolf” (Albert Licano)

The setlist, a blistering array of jet rock ‘n’ roll anthems, had everyone in the venue moving. You can’t help but bounce up and down and spin around to these tunes. We got the classics of ‘Jet Generation’, ‘UFO Romantics’, and ‘Wild Zero’. Plus the snottiest covers of ‘Summertime Blues’ and ‘Kick Out The Jams’ ever played. It was a night where the spirit of ’77, met the heart of Tokyo’s jett rock underground, and the result was explosive high-octane rock n roll!

Gotz “Bass Wolf” (Albert Licano)

Thee Toe Tags and Tenement Rats opened it up, but we had an issue at the door and didn’t get in until Hans Condor was on, who is currently on tour with Guitar Wolf. (PSA: Alex’s door person – if you’re reading this – try giving literally just one fuck , that’s all we ask, even just the essence of a fuck) Anyways, Hans Condor kicked ass. The guitarist was playing on the bar when we walked in (a feat in itself, but was ultra complete with the crowd holding the mic stand up for him to sing!) They set the stage ablaze for sure and got the crowd riled up. Full throttle dirty rock n roll. I hadn’t seen them before, but will definitely have our eyes peeled for more of their balls out Nashville garage punk.

Hans Condor (Albert Licano)

But – Guitar Wolf owned the night. Their performance was not just a concert; it was an assault that reminded everyone that garage punk will never die. As the feedback from the last chords faded, the crowd was left with ringing ears one can only earn by experiencing Guitar Wolf live. Their performance at Alex’s Bar was more than just a show; it was a statement. A statement that punk rock, in all its raw, unadulterated glory, is still kicking and screaming into the 21st century. A night where Guitar Wolf proved once again that they are the true beasts of rock ‘n’ roll.

Seiji “Guitar Wolf” (Albert Licano)

All words @ Alex Napiwocki. All pics @ Albert Licano

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