27 November 2016

Black Stone Cherry – Wolverhampton Civic Hall 22nd November 2016

0 Comment

bsc-2015-1-smrNot the first time I’d seen the guys, having caught up with them when they headlined Ramblin’ Man earlier this year and they blew the stage apart that day.

We attended the Wolves Civic on the evening of 22nd Nov 2016, as part of BSC’s latest tour. This is one popular band, the fact that the venue was rammed to the hilt both upstairs and downstairs was perhaps testament to that, no two ways about it – we were in for a good night.

Hailing from Kentucky in the US of A (even the latest album is called “Kentucky”), BSC have been around since 2001 and during that time have played support to many bands including Alterbridge, Bad Company, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Nickelback and Chickenfoot. That in itself deserves praise.

I digress.

Let’s take a look at the evening in question. There was no support band, BSC came on around 8.00pm sitting in front of a black curtain armed with acoustic guitars. This was to be the first of two sets and at just under ¾ hr, included such classic BSC tracks as In Our Dreams, Hell & High Water, Like I Roll and Big City Lights and it was fairly obvious pretty much from the get-go that the crowd knew EVERY word. During the set, I reckon Chris Robertson could have walked off stage and the audience would have finished the vocal track.

Black Stone CherryAt the end of the acoustic set, the band left the stage for around 30 mins and returned sans curtain which literally blew the roof off the venue. It was at this point the set got interesting as the band ploughed through a greatest hits set which included such classics as Soul Machine, Darkest Secret, In My Blood, Me And Mary Jane (where the stage took on a particularly green hue – wonder why ?) and Blame It On The Boom Boom. We even had a few covers including Bad To The Bone (George Thorogood), Ace Of Spades (Motorhead)-the finale and Built For Comfort (Willie Dixon). At one point I even thought we were going to get BSC’s version of Whole Lotta Love from Zepp !! John-Fred Young gave an astounding drum solo toward the end of the electric set, which went down a storm and proved once and for all that these guys know their shit.

This band “connect” with their audience on so many levels – open, honest and humble, but not afraid to kick ass. If you dig Alterbridge, Halestorm, Shinedown (saw a few shirts in the crowd), Hellyeah etc, you would have totally LOVED this gig. Although Chris is the perfect front-man, the other guys give 120% throughout the evening. This is one set of VERY accomplished musicians who TRULY care about their fans and asked a few times if everyone was having a good time and if they felt their ticket money was well spent – which resulted in a unanimous positive response. So nice to witness a band who aren’t afraid to show their very obvious appreciation and loyalty to their fans.

Black Stone CherryAs I mentioned earlier, BSC headlined Ramblin’ Man in July of this year and they TOTALLY owned the stage then AND now. Ben Wells runs round the stage like somebody possessed, no wonder he’s so toned, John-Fred pounds the skins like a maniac and Jon Lawhon stalks the stage with Ben like a well-oiled machine while Chris (for the majority of the time) stays rooted to centre stage.

Playing off each other and totally into the music, the ambience and audience,  I would recommend ANYBODY, if BSC visit a town/city near you to get on down to the venue, you’ll be guaranteed a night to remember.

Click here for full gallery.


9 out of 10                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Steve Gould (aka The Progmeister)