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Lit at the House of Blues in Anaheim Last Night

By Andrew Youssef, Mon., Jan. 31 2011 @ 2:51PM

It was fitting that Lit helped to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the House of Blues in Anaheim, as they opened the venue a decade ago. A sold-out HOB was a solid testament to Lit's continued ability to fill venues. Big things are in the works for Lit, as they prepare to release a new album and go on tour to promote it.

With two spotlights and a giant illuminated "Lit" logo, it was a full-on rock show from the outset, as the band electrified the crowd with "You Tonight." Rock & roll doesn't go out of style, and Lit have studied the playbook very well. Face-melting guitar leads by Jeremy Popoff and rumbling bass by Kevin Baldes set the stage for A. Jay Popoff's cocksure vocals.

The band debuted a number of high-octane new tunes that seamlessly blended with their older material. Jeremy used a number of Fender Telecasters to peel off some screeching leads, while the newest member, Ryan Gilmour, added some rhythm guitars to make the sound extra-thick. The swirling, phased guitar intro of "Lipstick and Bruises" had fists and beers hoisted high in the air.

Another new addition to the Lit family is Nate Walker on drums, who admirably fills the throne for Allen Shellenberger, who sadly passed away in 2009. Former KROQ staple "Zip-Lock" featured an extended outro punctuated by a hot guitar solo. "Miserable" brought back flashbacks of their Pamela Anderson-starring video, which dominated MTV back when they showed videos.

The most touching moment of the evening was the orchestral-backed "Here's to Us," which paid tribute to Shellenberger, with television screens showing pictures of Allen through the years. New song "The Broken" channelled a classic Def Leppard vibe, with its over-the-top guitars and foot-stomping beat. "My Own Worst Enemy" still can be heard on the radio today, and A. Jay didn't need to sing, as the crowd was deafening. Judging by this performance, Lit very well could be playing the 20th anniversary of the House of Blues when it comes around.

Personal Bias: Lit is one of my favorite straight-up rock & roll bands.

Crowd: A good mix of young and old fans ready to rock with Lit.

Overheard In the Crowd: "These new songs rock!" was screamed by an approving fan.

Random Notebook Dump: "See you at the after-party at the Slidebar" was a nice plug by bar-owner Jeremy Popoff at the conclusion of their set.

"You Tonight"
"Something to Someone"
"Too Fast for a U-Turn"
"Looks Like They Were Right"
"She Don't Know"
"Lipstick & Bruises"
"Over My Head"
"Same Shit"
"Miss You Gone"
"Here's to Us"
"Happy In the Meantime"
"The Broken"
"My Own Worst Enemy"