Written by Bobby Miller
FEAR was scheduled to take the stage at 11:00. They were already on the stage at 10:40, tweaking their gear and doing what most bands have techies do. Alas, there were no techies to be found, as FEAR are still about as old school as old school punk can get. DIY or don’t do it at all. The most glaringly apparent fact was that this band was going to start their set on time, unlike any other band on the Sunset Strip on any given weekend night. At 63, Lee Ving came to kick some ass and then make it home in time for a rerun of SNL.
By the time 11:00 rolled around, Lee Ving and FEAR had two songs under their belt. They then proceeded to assault the crowd with an hour long set of familiar material from their short, albeit memorable catalog. No frills punk rock is what this show was all about. Lee seemed to embrace the occasion, this being the 50th anniversary of the Whisky-A-Go-Go. The venue has been the stepping stone for many successful bands and FEAR is no exception.
Filled to near maximum capacity, the Whisky was wall to wall with punks old and new. Both youngsters and older folks were elbow to elbow to witness Lee Ving and FEAR do what they do best – incite mayhem. I opted for an upstairs vantage point and was glad I did. I was able to clearly see everything transpire onstage as well as the madness that developed on the floor. From the opening chord, mania erupted in front of the stage and the slamming rarely ceased until the band was finally done.
The scene could have easily been from a gig 30+ years ago. If you closed your eyes, it may as well have been. Lee Ving sounded just as vibrant and vital and packs as big a ferocious vocal punch as ever. The band he has assembled, although not original members, interprets the music and songs in its truest of form. FEAR is a well oiled machine.
Simple lyrics. Simple chords. Simply a good old time.