Black Stone Cherry - Manchester Academy, 18.03.2012
After their fantastic support slot with Alter Bridge on their arena tour, Kentucky rockers Black Stone Cherry are back and ready to rock the UK once more on their own headline tour. Tonight they play Manchester, with Rival Sons joining them, looks like it is going to be a good one!
Kicking things off early are LA band, and LTMDTT favourites Rival Sons. They have already made quite the name for themselves due to overwhelming support over the last year from the likes of Classic Rock etc, but tonight they are here to win round some new fans which I don’t think they will have much difficulty in doing. The minute they take to the stage they rip through a 30 min set of raw, energetic rock and roll. Jay Buchanan’s voice silences the academy as he hits each note perfectly, whilst Scott Holidays guitar work is mesmerising. By the time they end their set with Get Whats Comin, I think the crowd have got it. The cheers are loud, hands in the air, they got the job done.
Next up are tonight’s headliners Black Stone Cherry. Now, I have heard some strange intro music in my time but I never thought I would see such a band walk on to some 90s RnB. I was wrong, as the sounds of Blackstreets No Diggity rings around the place. The band walks on and storm straight into Change, Maybe Someday and Blind Man.
The set tonight covers material from the bands three studio albums; everything from Rain Wizard, to White Trash Millionaire, to Things My Father Said, with such an impressive selection to choose from it is hard to pick the best. They also include a blinding acoustic set which sees them cover snippets of Rape Me by Nirvana, Adele’s Rolling in the Deep and even Oasis’ Champagne Supernova, which being in Manchester, goes down a storm.
The energy from the band tonight is incredible and the banter nonstop. Guitarist Ben Mills leaps around the stage enthusiastically, encouraging the crowd, while Chris Robertsonwows everyone with his vocal. Considering he had a scare with his voice only days earlier, he sounds on top form this evening.
They finish the set with the comically sleazy Blame It on the Boom Boom, and the encore of Peace is Free and Lonely Train, and the crowd love it. Singing along with every word, the place is really moving. The band just seem to be getting better and better with time and they put everything into their live performances, you can clearly see they love what they do which is wonderful to watch.
More big names added to Sonisphere
Midnight saw the announcement of another round of names for this years Sonisphere festival.
Glassjaw and Hundred Reasons have been added, and both will be playing special ‘album sets’. Glassjaw will perform their classic 2002 album Wordship & Tribute in its entirety during their set, while Hundred Reasons will play their 2001 debut album Ideas Above Our Station from start to finish during their slot.
Also joining them will be the mighty Skindred, Black Stone Cherry, Crowbar, Alestorm, The Getaway Plan, Electric Wizard, New Model Army, Kvelertak and Seether.
Joining the likes of KISS, Queen with Adam Lambert, Faith No More and Marilyn Manson, they are really spoiling us this year!
The merry month of March!
The gigs are picking up, and here are our recommendations for March!
Black Stone Cherry
Southern quartet Black Stone Cherry are returning to UK shore after a hugely successful tour with Alter Bridge last November. Full of dirty, gritty rock n roll, they are always a brilliant watch; and not only that, they have the brilliant Rival Sons in support! Tickets and dates here.
The glittering foursome are heading over later this month after an awesome set supporting heroes Motley Crue and Def Leppard. Not only will you get brilliant music but I can guarantee you will laugh so much it hurts! They also have great support from Cambridge lads The Treatment. Tour info can be found here.
The Answer/The Union
The Answer and The Union are embarking upon a joint headline tour this month and it is set to be an evening of hard, bluesy rock; what’s not to enjoy?! Dates and tickets can be found here.
After clearing our doubts whether metal and dubstep would be a good mix, Jonathan Davies is leading his troops across the UK for more earth shattering performances. Always a great live band, they are well worth going to see! Info here.
March has got a lot of bluesy rock n roll on offer, and a band we feel really shouldn’t be missed is Graveyard. Hailing from Sweden, this quartet have got the essence of blues music completely right. At less than a tenner a ticket, you’d be a fool to miss out! Tour info here.
Black Stone Cherry - Leeds Met, 28.11.11
Whilst on the road with Alter Bridge, Black Stone Cherry managed to sandwich in some of their own headline dates on their days off. Between Glasgow and London, the guys dropped by Leeds.
The gig once again gave me chance to see the wonderful Sons of Icarus as support. Full of life, this was the biggest crowd they’d ever played to and handled it very well. From the audience’s reaction, they enjoyed them just as much as I did.
Black Stone Cherry took to the stage around 9:30pm with the instantly recognisable riff of Change. The crowd went into a frenzy, and they never really let up! They led straight into Blind Man, involving crowd sing a longs with lots of encouragement from frontman Chris Robertson. Before paying In My Blood, from their latest album Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (review here), Robertson explained how much the song meant to the group and he hoped everyone would join in. The crowd sang along accordingly and it was a special moment in the night. Rain Wizard broke up the two slower songs, Things My Father Said being the second, a dedication song to a friend. A small story of how White Trash Millionaire nearly didn’t make the record until their manager suggested they made it ‘skanky rock,’ hyped up the crowd prior to its start. The track has everyone in the room moving and joining in. Peace is Free gave Robertson a chance to showcase his powerhouse vocals with just Ben Wells solemn guitar tones to accompany. Throwing the chorus over to the fans, the room echoed with their voices and the emotion displayed on Robertson’s face showed his appreciation. He broke the song off to thank the crowd saying that due to them not being on the road for a year, they feared European fans had forgotten about them. Tonight they proved that not to be the case! Finishing up with Maybe Someday, Blame It On The Boom Boom, and the immensely popular Lonely Train, both the band and the audience left full of enthusiasm.
Despite having a year out, Black Stone Cherry verified that they are still very much worth going to watch and the fans hadn’t forgotten that!
Don’t forget you can catch them on tour in March with Rival Sons in support! Tickets on sale now!
Photo’s by Laura Woodhead.
Alter Bridge - LG Arena, Birmingham, 22.11.11
It’s been a long road for Alter Bridge, with plenty of struggles along the way, but the band have finally arrived at the top and are playing their first ever arena tour. There is an air of excitement, not just for them, but for the support acts.
First up were Theory Of A Deadman, appearing onstage to South Park’s Blame Canada, I am pleased to say that they have a lot more charisma than their latest album suggests and were fun to watch. Their half an hour set gives an opportunity for the crowd to sing along with some old songs thrown into the mix. Huge cheers erupt for Kentucky quartet Black Stone Cherry, having them on the same bill is really something special. They burst into Change and it is clear they are going to provide a high energy, entertaining set. Vocalist Chris Robertson is sure to thank the fans and let them know how grateful they are for their support. He gives is raw, powerful vocal a chance to shine in Things My Father Said, a heartfelt moment for all present. Once again their cover of Adele’s Rolling In The Deep makes an appearance, before a string of fan favourites, ending on their biggest hit, Lonely Train.
The lights go down and the eerie intro to Slip To The Void rings round the room. Myles Kennedy slowly makes his way on stage to sing the opening verse. One by one the band members appear to fully kick into the track. They go straight into White Knuckles, much to the crowds delight, and even include some early audience participation with Myles splitting the crowd to see who can cheer loudest. Alter Bridge have no fancy tricks or massive displays, they’re all about the music but; seeing as this is an arena tour, they do have a web of lights covering the back of the stage. Myles has three strategically placed microphones so he is able to connect with all sides of the audience, switching between them. After a trio of songs from their first album, Myles is left alone onstage, accompanied by a stool and acoustic guitar, to play beautiful renditions of Wonderful Life and Watch Over You. This solo performance really give the audience a chance to hear just how stunning Kennedy’s voice is and the emotion he puts into these songs. The epic Blackbird follows with a flawless solo change over between Kennedy and Tremonti, before the frantic Ties That Bind. The band make an extra effort to keep the crowd involved, always engaging them in their performance. There’s also a nice little note at popping their arena virginity! Finishing on Isolation, there is plenty of chanting and stamping feet to get the guys to return. Open Your Eyes and Rise Today are the chosen songs with a guitar duel sandwiched between.
Alter Bridge truly are a fantastic live band. They sound amazing, they love to get fans involved and they are nothing but grateful to each and every person. Along with two great support acts and USB so you can take the show home, you really shouldn’t miss it!
Photo’s by Laura Woodhead.