Black Stone Cherry and Rival Sons played the HMV forum on the 28th of March at the end of their long tour around the UK and outside the venue, the excitement couldn’t have been greater.
Whilst queing up to get inside the venue, I was speaking to some fans of both bands, and one mentioned that “I’m, not sure what band I’m more stoked to see, I love them both” which just goes to prove how big Rival Sons have gotten recently.
Once inside the venue, I was expecting the standard opening band warm up act that generally comes, but no, Rival Sons (8) came straight on and played a pretty amazing set. I’ve seen Rival sons before when they played the earache records xmas party (review found here) and this was a totally different experience to then. This time, which was an added plus, Jay didn’t have broken ribs so he could actually talk to the audience for once, and the audience was a lot more receptive I found as this was a rock crowd, not a metal crowd.
Jay and Scott (guitar) had a lot of energy on stage although I would have liked to have seen more energy from Robin (Bass). For Rival Sons I only have one complaint really and that is that every time Jay was trying to speak to the crowd, Scott kept on playing licks over him. I cannot tell you how much this irritates me as I like listening to what bands have to say. This for me brought the entire show down a little as it showed a lack of professionalism there.
Now onto the main attraction and my god Black Stone Cherry (10) was absolutely amazing. They had energy, they had charisma, they could work the crowd into a fury and then bring them back down, they were everything I expect a band to be able to do and they did it amazingly well and with style.
When not ripping through their furious classics such as Blind Man or Blame it on the Boom Boom, they brought out armchairs and a stool and played some of their softer songs such as Stay and Things my Father Said. That was actually one of the highlights of the show for me, getting the entire crowd to sing all the lyrics to Things my Father Said, gave the song that much more emotion and made it so much better.
They missed out entire covers, like Rolling in the Deep by Adele that they did at Downlaod last year, but they through in a couple of choruses in there from other songs, such as Rehab by Amy Winehouse, which gave the show that little extra flair.
Chris has some amazing charisma for a frontman as well, making jokes and interacting with the crowd. This is definitely a band I want to see live again and will be buying my tickets well in advance as this tour sold out months in advance.