Live at Fremont Country Club

May 2, 2023 by Steve Allen

Around the craziness that was this year’s Punk Rock Bowling, there were several bands that played small club shows. It was a very pleasant surprise to see a band of the magnitude of L7 play one of those intimate venues.

Despite years of inactivity, Donita Sparks (vocals, guitars), Suzi Gardner (guitars), Jennifer Finch (bass), and Demetra Plakas (drums) reformed L7 in 2014. They released “Scatter the Rats” in 2019, their first full-length album in 20 years, and are touring for the 30th anniversary of “Bricks are Heavy.”
After a late start due to a barricade issue interrupting Rancid’s set at the main festival, all club shows got off to a late start. The delay ultimately pushed L7’s start to 1:40 a.m. meaning their set ended about 3 a.m. What happened in between, that is the kind of stuff legends are made of.


Formed in Moscow, although now based out of Rome, openers The Svetlanas came out and started their set as if they had so much pent-up energy from the wait. However, if you have ever seen them live before, you know this is a freight train that doesn’t stop. You have run alongside and jump to get on, or you’ll get run over. 

Olga Svetlana was swinging her long blonde hair and each song from their set was delivered as a scolding to be a better person or they’d tell you to “fuck off.” Don’t be an asshole; I call it tough love with a shock stick. It was another energetic and entertaining performance.
As mentioned, L7 has been touring in celebration of their third and biggest-selling album, 1992’s “Brinks are Heavy.” They just played a fantastic show at The Glass House in Pomona, and on this leg of their mini-tour, L7 has been opening their shows playing the smash-hit album in full, start to finish.

When Sparks, Gardner, Finch, and Plakas walked out on stage, a loud cheer erupted from the crowd. Any fatigue from the late night was forgotten and everyone was ready to dig into L7’s classic album.
They blasted right into “Wargasm” and the crowd was into it from the get go. Into “Scrap,” and the monster hit that made them famous to the mainstream, “Pretend We’re Dead.” Sparks proclaimed “Mr. Integrity” was one of her favorites and the crowd was into “Shitlist” and “This Ain’t Pleasure.”

After “Bricks are Heavy,” they followed with a second set with different songs. Tonight had to be cut a little short, but we did get nine songs and quite a few other gems thrown in from “Hungry for Stink,” “Scatter the Rats,” and “Smell the Magic.”
The band was tight, energetic, loud, and seemed as happy as L7 can appear to be. After all, they are activists and serious about the causes they believe in with many of their songs reflecting their angst about such matters. 
May 28, 2023

Some of the crowd favorites were “Wargasm,” “Monster,” “Stadium West,” “One More Thing,” “Shitlist,” “Dispatch From Mar-a-Lago,” and of course, “Pretend We’re Dead.” During all songs, the pit was a mixture of pogos and lots of side to side, back and forth moments of movement.

It was obvious the fans in attendance were longtime, truly-dedicated fans that were passionate not only for their music, but about the band’s history as well. They knew the songs by heart and sang along all night – well, morning.

As many artists honor album anniversaries, not all can keep up with their “youth.” L7 proved they can kick their 1992 version’s ass by putting on an incredibly energetic and powerful performance.


by Steve Allen Photography



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