Status Quo @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham – Sunday 6th March 2022
Given that Status Quo have made more appearances at the NEC than any other artist Francis Rossi might have been forgiven for thinking he was at the wrong venue at the weekend. But even if the Quo’s days of headlining arenas are in the past, they delighted the capacity Symphony Hall crowd who were on the feet right from the moment the band took the stage and launched into ‘Caroline’. And after a two-and-a-half-year break, the longest in their 50 something years, it was pleasing that Quo, and Rossi in particular, seemed reinvigorated. The more intimate setting also allowed for considerable interaction with the front rows, notably the very young headphone wearing fan who got the opportunity to play a few notes on Rhino’s bass.
The set list hasn’t changed much of course, it rarely ever has with Quo, but it was pleasing that they included four songs from 2019’s well received Backbone, their last studio album to date. Rossi wryly introduced these as the ‘Help the Aged’ part of the set, when those who needed a comfort break could be back in time for the classics, but ‘Liberty Lane’ and ‘Backing Off’ still have that unmistakable shuffle and boogie. Now firmly part of the band since he took over from Rick Parfitt in 2016, Richie Malone did a decent job of handling the lead vocals on ‘Little Lady’ and ‘Mystery Song’ and his rhythm playing was spot on. The ever-dependable Andy Bown pulled double duties on keys and additional guitars and its sometimes easy to overlook the fact he has been part of the band since 1976.
This was a show that proved as long as Rossi still has the appetite to tour then the audience will still come out in force to live in the moment and enjoy old favourites ‘Down Down’, ‘Whatever you Want’, ‘Paper Plane’ and ‘Rockin’ All Over the World’ yet again. If you are seeing them for the first time, the fifth time or the fiftieth time then Quo are still delivering the goods.
Beginning of the End
Hold You Back
Get Out of My Head
What You’re Proposing / Down the Dustpipe / Wild Side of Life / Railroad / Again and Again
Cut Me Some Slack
In the Army Now
Roll Over Lay Down
Whatever You Want
Rockin’ All Over the World
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