hmv.com reviews... Black Stone Cherry @ Glasgow's SSE Hydro
Hearty hard rockers Black Stone Cherry blitzed Glasgow on Saturday night (October 25th) and we were there to take in every moment...
American hard rock outfit Black Stone Cherry on their first ever arena headlining tour, in support of their new record Magic Mountain (which you can preview on the right of the page).
The Hydro, the massive arena that you might have seen during the Commonwealth Games coverage during the summer.
Any good supports?
Support bands eh? This is a Roadrunner Records bill so you're not just getting support bands, you're getting two acts from the label's roster hand picked to give you more bang for your buck.
First up were Theory of A Deadman plugging their new album Savages, with a short, sharp set that got a great reception from the crowd.
Following that were Aussie nutters Airbourne. They filled the stage with Marshall amps, plugged in their guitars and left the crowd in no doubt about what they were getting, 50 minutes or so of high intensity rock and roll, the kind that seems to be in the water down under.
Singer/guitarist Joel O'Keeffe is a bona fide showman, capable of both turning an arena this size into a outback pub on a Saturday night and necking a bottle of Buckfast wine!
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
The venue was heaving, both tiers of the bowl-like arena were open and the standing section was rammed. Having two well known opening acts worked very well and the crowd were up for it from early doors, especially when Joel O'Keeffe ventured through the crowd on someones' shoulders to play his solo from atop the sound desk.
So what was the set like? What did they play?
With a top five album to plug, Black Stone Cherry's setlist leaned towards Magic Mountain, but it was great to see 'Rain Wizard' back in its rightful place of set opener, 'Blind Man' from sophomore album Folklore & Superstition quickly followed before 'Me & Mary Jane' got the new album up and running. Mass sing-a-longs play a major part in any Black Stone Cherry show and 'In My Blood' was the first of several .
So many of Black Stone Cherry's songs have great hooks in them that it's hard to pick favourites, but 'Like I Roll', 'White Trash Millionaire' and 'Hell & High Water' all excel. 'Lonely Train', described by lead singer/guitarist Chris Robertson as "The first song that we ever wrote together" closed the main set, before Robertson & other guitarist Ben Wells came back out on their own for 'Peace is Free' which the crowd mostly sang for them, allowing them to stand back and soak it all up.
Any good between song banter?
Black Stone Cherry are well known back in their homeland, but not to the extent of their popularity in Britain and Ireland, so most of the banter was about how grateful the band were for the support that they get. It was pointed out from both Robertson and Wells that it was seven years and one day since they played their debut Scottish gig at The Cathouse Club in Glasgow, with Wells going further by saying "From The Cathouse to the Barrowlands to the Academy to the Hydro. Never in our wildest dreams..."
Did they put on much of a show?
This was the band's largest production to date, complete with massive classic American western backdrop, plus ramps on either side of the stage as well as the back were well used by both Wells & bassist Jon Lawhon. The crowd lapped it all up, esepcially the curtain drop, it's best way to start a show for sure!
What was the highlight of the set?
Two stand out... a special mention must go to drummer John Fred Young. There is a reason his drum riser was placed high abd centre for all to see, he is incredible, a blur of hair & muscles, twirling drumsticks, tossing them sky high, throwing a drum skin into the crowd, he is an animal...in fact he is Animal, especially pleasing when we can remember him standing up at the debut Cathouse gig mentioned above and clattering his head off of the low ceiling.
Secondly it was heart warming witnessing how humble the band were about how Britain has taken to the , nothing false or pretentious here, just four guys from Kentucky revelling in where their music has taken them to...arenas.
Where can I catch them next?
Catch them in Sheffield tonight, followed by Cardiff, Birmingham and Manchester before the tour finishes in London. Get down if you can.