Black Stone Cherry
Venue: The Brighton Dome
Date: 30th November 2016
It’s not often that venues like Brighton Dome accommodate heavy bands, let alone a rock band of Black Stone Cherry’s calibre, so it was understandably a shock to most people when I told them my plans for that evening. After a slight struggle with the trains and tickets, we eventually got into the venue, only to find out that we’d missed the acoustic set, which, according to security, had been “a beautiful performance”. Nevertheless, we sauntered in with refreshments in hand and high hopes that the electric set that was to follow would match up to the first set that everyone was buzzing over.
The great thing about Brighton Dome is that there’s the option to sit down or stand up, even when you’re allocated standing tickets. Wanting to observe the crowd and soak it all up properly, we sat down and eagerly waited for the show to start. The band’s backdrop and stage décor was extremely aesthetically pleasing; the stage was sporting a classic Black Stone Cherry black and white flag, but the instruments were draped in hundreds of fairy lights, giving it an essence of intimacy that one would expect from ‘A Night with Black Stone Cherry’.
The moment the first member stepped foot onto the stage, the crowd immediately snapped to attention. The band kicked off the set with ‘Devil’s Queen’ and the energy picked up instantly. From synchronised head bangs to Ben Wells’ quintessential country leg kicks, it’s clear that all the years of touring have not been wasted on this band. Not only do they sound exactly like their records, but they also really know how to work a stage. Even the sound engineer was dancing! Wells was an explosion of animation; not once did he stop to take a breath whilst playing, he just bounced around the stage like his life depended on it. It looked like one hell of a work out. It is notable, however, that because of the lenghy setlist, it did feel like the band’s energy peaked a little too early, but the show was still highly entertaining, nonetheless.
Despite the show not being sold out, the audience participation made the place feel jam packed. Ladies were on shoulders, crowd members were throwing banter back and forth with vocalist, Chris Robertson and there was not one moment where they weren’t singing back to the band. The songs that went down the best were obviously ‘White Trash Millionaire’, ‘Blame It On The Boom Boom’ and ‘Me & Mary Jane’, but the cover of ‘Bad To The Bone’ worked a treat as well. Black Stone Cherry clearly know their fan base.
All in all, it was an enjoyable night. Well done, Black Stone Cherry, for proving to me that southern rock can be kind of bad ass.