Review by Paul Davis, photos by Rich Ward
With the imminent release of Black Stone Cherry’s fourth album, it was decided to do something a little different for their fans in the UK. Having played arenas with Alter Bridge in recent times as well as headlining second stage at Download, these four shows were of a much more intimate nature, taking in Glasgow’s Barrowlands, Manchester’s Ritz and Koko in London before arriving at the Wulfrun for the final show.
For this ‘Southern Hospitality Tour’, apart from the two new songs, the setlists have been chosen by the fans. They also broke up the set with question and answer sessions. This interrupted the flow a little but added to the sense of occasion.
With no support band, these shows have been all about Black Stone Cherry and some of their favourite fans in the world. Old favourite ‘Rain Wizard’ opens the show before ‘Me And Mary Jane’ is the first new song to be aired. ‘Fiesta Del Fuego’ comes later in the set and both songs whetted the appetite for Magic Mountain.
‘Yeah Man’ is preceded by a ‘Roadhouse Blues’ intro before the first question and answer reveals, amongst other things, that Zeppelin and Sabbath are the bands that Black Stone Cherry would most like to have toured with. Frontman Chris Robertson tells how the band are thrilled with the songs that fans have chosen and they’re having a blast playing songs they haven’t done in a while. The Wulfrun crowd is in fine voice on ‘Peace Is Free’ and even more so on the emotional ‘Things My Father Said’
More question and answer, ‘Which rock star would you like to punch in the face?’ is given a wide berth by most of the band but Robertson doesn’t hesitate: “Vince Neil – that guy’s a dick!”. By the time the radio hits ‘Blame It On The Boom Boom’ and ‘White Trash Millionaire’ appear late in the set guitarist Ben Wells seems to have covered every inch of the stage.
There’s a further surprise element to the evening when a ticket number is drawn and one lucky fan gets to take home the bass drum head from tonight’s show, signed by the band on stage. ‘Lonely Train’ brings the set to a close after a couple of hours with everyone looking forward to welcoming Black Stone Cherry back to the UK later this year.
See more of Rich’s photos here;