Black Stone Cherry & Rival Sons
02 Academy, Newcastle 19 March 2012
You knew this gig was going to be something special, when, from the pub across the road, you could see the queue stretching right around the block, also it had been sold out for a fair while.
As the never ending crocodile wound it’s way inside, the excitement was building. Once inside the waiting continued. It seemed like forever, but then support band Rival Sons took to the stage and WOW!!!, from the first song they wooed the audience with an intriguing yet powerful blend of musical styles and influences, which they have taken and made their own.
Vocalist Jay Buchanan is an accomplished Bluesman and reminded yours truly of Jim Morrison. Indeed I could definitely find some Door’s influences here. Scott Holiday, Guitarist, plays Blues with style and I enjoyed this set enormously from 'Torture' and the brilliant 'Burn Down Los Angeles', to the soulful and funky 'Pressure and Time'. These guys are definitely making their mark and if you missed this gig, I urge you to catch a performance soon.
When Black Stone Cherry finally arrived on stage they got a fantastic reception and as they launched into 'Change', the response was amazing. The huge crowd were appreciative and attentive. From 'Maybe Someday' through 'Blind Man', 'Such A Shame', 'Hell and High Water', to 'Soul Creek', Chris Robertson’s powerful, soulful, bluesy voice carried the songs like a beacon, buoyed by accomplished musicianship, and it seemed like almost everyone knew the words to their songs, as they sang them back at the band, sounding positively choral.
Then came 'In My Blood', this is a song of regret and longing. It stirred everyone’s emotions and the response was huge. 'Rain Wizard', 'Like I Roll' and 'Killing Floor', led up to the sassy 'White Trash Millionaire'. Again the audience sang along with gusto.
John Fred Young’s energetic drum solo was the prelude to an acoustic section, which surprised and delighted the crowd, in addition to 'Stay' and 'Things My Father Said'. There were short but fantastic covers of 'Rape Me' (Nirvana), 'Champagne Supernova' (Oasis) and 'Rolling in the Deep' (Adele).
Then getting into down and dirty blues with 'Devil’s Queen' before finishing with the raunchy and eminently sing-able 'Blame It On The Boom Boom', and sing we did ... “If You Wake Up In The Morning In Somebody Else’s Room“...
As if this wasn’t pleasure enough the guys were back for an encore. First an acoustic version of the beautiful anthem that is 'Peace Is Free', again we sang ... “Everybody Feels Blue Sometimes, Don’t Bring Your Sadness Down On Me, When Peace Is Free" ... and the final song, the wistful and haunting 'Lonely Train'.
This band have made a huge name and reputation for themselves, and listening to their marvelous blend of Blues, Country, and Heavy Rock, this is no surprise. Add to this the ability to write songs that stir the soul and tug at the heartstrings, (songs that their fans can sing along to), and you have a winning formula.
This was an outstanding gig and for me one of the best I have ever been to. These guys certainly know how to please a crowd and if by some strange chance there are some of you out there who don’t know what Black Stone Cherry are all about, then catch them as soon as you can, and in the meantime start listening, because you don’t know what you are missing!
Gig review by: Alison Bear