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Friday, July 3, 2009

Lita Ford

Tonight @ M&I Classic Rock Stage, Summerfest, 10 p.m.

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It’s hard to believe that it’s been well over 30 years since Lita Ford led the seminal all-group group The Runaways. What is perhaps even more remarkable is that, after 15 years without a gig, Ford finally returned to the stage in July 2008, playing before a raucous group at Rocklahoma, in Pryor, OK. The experience seemed to re-energize Ford, as the self-proclaimed “Queen of Heavy Metal” has recently announced an extensive summer tour and a fall release date for her upcoming album, Wicked Wonderland—her first new U.S. studio album in 18 years.

Judging by such song titles as “Piece (Hell Yeah)” and “Indulge,” one can safely assume that Ford has not forgotten the formula that made songs like “Kiss Me Deadly” such commercial successes in the 1980s. Yet Wicked Wonderland also includes a song called “Betrayal,” which will be featured in the soon-to-be-released video game “Brutal Legend,” a heavy-metal action game created by Tenacious D members Jack Black and Kyle Gass in collaboration with video game developers EA and Double Fine Productions. Ford will actually be a character in the game, as will be Rob Halford (Judas Priest), Lemmy Kilmister (Motorhead), and the members of Tenacious D. While it’s unclear if all of these musicians appear on Ford’s cut (how cool would that be?), it is clear that Ford is not interested in making any sort of half-hearted return into the world of rock and roll. Ms. Ford, it’s good to have you back. (Michael Carriere)