It’s been forty years since Lita Ford first began to take rock music by storm. What began with a sixteen year old lead guitarist for the all-female rock band The Runaways alongside founding member Joan Jett has since evolved into a whirlwind career for the Guitar Glamstress.
With eight studio albums to her credit, Ford has built a solid following across the globe as a brutal lead guitarist that’s earned her the well deserved title “Certified Guitar Legend.”
Ford came into Florida to headline the first night of the Leesburg Bikefest. This epic venue, in its nineteenth year, has been biker central to millions of attendees since 1997.
This year was no different as the Leesburg Bikefest boasts attendance of a quarter of a million people each year during the three day event. The event itself was run quite well and I have no doubt it will continue to be a major destination for bikers and rock fans for many years to come.
Ford would take the Towne Square Stage on the front lawn of city hall before thousands of anxious hard rock and glam metal fans filling the entire town center.
Clad in skin tight white, Ford took immediate control of the stage as she entered to the “Balls to the Wall” intro by German heavy metal band Accept.
In a Lita Ford concert, fans find themselves having to keep up with the high energy catalogue of tracks that include captivating vocals and formidable guitar work.
The crowd would be inundated with a strong set list of Ford’s body of work that included “Relentless” [from the ‘Living Like A Runaway’ studio album], “Falling In and Out of Love” [from the self- titled studio album ‘Lita’], “Shot of Poison” [from the ‘Dangerous Curves’ studio album], “Hungry” [from the ‘Stiletto’ studio album], and “Kiss Me Deadly” [also from the self-titled effort]; all of which caused the capacity crowd to erupt.
The highlight of the concert happened when Ford informed everyone that Ozzy Osbourne was not with her. With that little hint, she then said, “Close My Eyes Forever it is.” Cheers and screams came from the crowd for the song that to date is Ford’s highest placed single on the billboard charts, originally sung as a duet with The Prince of Darkness on Ford’s 1989 album ‘Lita.’
Filling Osbourne’s shoes for such a classic melodic anthem was no easy feat, but Ford’s fellow guitar mate, Patrick Kennison, not only proved to be an accomplished guitarist, but he nailed “Close My Eyes Forever” alongside Ford.
Lita Ford’s supporting cast of band mates were impressive, playing to each of the guitar queen’s memorable tracks as if it were their own. The capacity crowd was treated to melodic solos not only by Ford herself, but also by fellow guitarists Patrick Kennison and Marty O’Brien; while Bobby Rock was a tempest on drums.
The band connected well with the crowd as Ford took them on a musical journey through her impressive career of memorable rock anthems. Ford is very engaging with fans and at no time was there a lull in the concert. The guitar legend gave fans and new listeners alike everything they came to see, and then some.
Ford’s signature sound in a live show like this left no one in attendance disappointed and the concert was a huge success. A headliner like Lita Ford shows that the promoters of the Leesburg Bikefest raised the entertainment bar as it were and it will be very interesting to watch how they’ll outdo themselves next year.