ALICE IN CHAINS | 16.06.18 | Leeds O2 Academy

ALICE IN CHAINS | 16.06.18 | Leeds O2 Academy

Alice in Chains – 16th June 2018 – Leeds O2 Academy

Even before the lights finally go out the chants of “Jerry, Jerry, Jerry” are frequent throughout the O2 tonight so when the band arrive there is a suitably massive roar to welcome them! Alice In Chains are here in the UK for just two dates before they head to European festivals. They could have easily played the larger, less intimate venues but in many ways I’m glad they didn’t.

They open with Bleed The Freak which for a lot of bands would be an odd choice being a slow-burning number, but not AIC nor their fans as it sets everyone up for a classic night visiting tracks from every release they have made. That riff from Check My Brain still hits me like it did on first listen and I think it’s as good as any “big” song they have written in the past As I said they play something from every release but the set leans very heavily towards Facelift & Dirt (4 & 5 songs respectively) and that suits the crowd just fine ! Them Bones & Dam That River still sound just huge and the lighting rig /video wall just adds to the intensity of the two. It’s hard to believe how long William Du Vall has actually now been fronting the band (12 years I believe) but he has certainly earned the respect of fans and critics alike especially on some of the more subtle lesser paced tracks like No Excuses and Nutshell.

Jerry Cantrell is absolutely on top form though nailing every solo and riff almost effortlessly and his harmony vocal as always shows just how much of the AIC sound was down to him as well as Layne.

This is no disrespect to the people of Leeds as the crowd were class but at one point (I think it was We Die Young) they went so mad that for a split second I almost made the note “this Glasgow crowd are as up for it as ever” there were probably a good few folk who had travelled for the gig (lots of Toon pals definitely made the trek) but even so it was a sweaty lively lot!

The band were in a great mood and Jerry even led a quick jam of Halens’ Running With The Devil but the double hit of It Aint Like That and Man In The Box just hit all the senses bringing the main set to a close

Returning to the stage William breaks into a verse or two of Summertime Blues and being an old codger I smiled wondering if it was a nod to The Who’s Live at Leeds album where they absolutely kick the shit out of that track πŸ™‚

A four-song encore saw the new song The One You Know being aired and if it’s an indication of the album to come then sign me up as it fits right in with the rest of the set no bother. That familiar bass line of Would? once again had the throng singing their hearts out but they all still had enough left in them to boom out the melody of Rooster to finish the night off in style.

I hope the new album sees a return for a full tour as I know they can easily fill more than just two venues in the UK but as my sweaty knackered old body left the O2 I had a massive smile on my face happy that I managed to get to this one.

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TERRORVISION | 20.05.18 | Newcastle O2 Academy

TERRORVISION | 20.05.18 | Newcastle O2 Academy

Terrorvision – 20th May 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy – Extended photo gallery

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

To add to Kevs review for Britrock Must Be Destroyed; someone must have forgotten to tell Tony and the boys it was only 6:30pm on a Sunday night the way they took the place apart!!

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REEF | 20.05.18 | Newcastle O2 Academy

REEF | 20.05.18 | Newcastle O2 Academy

Reef – 20th May 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy – Extended photo gallery

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

To add to Kevs review for Britrock Must Be DestroyedΒ here are some photos from Reef. They played a cracking set if somewhat a different paced one!

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THE WILDHEARTS | 20.05.18 | Newcastle O2 Academy

THE WILDHEARTS | 20.05.18 | Newcastle O2 Academy

The Wildhearts – 20th May 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy – Extended photo gallery

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

To add to Kevs review for Britrock Must Be Destroyed; Ginger and the boys played an absolute banger filled set for the home gig !! ‘Nuff said here’s a ton of photos πŸ˜‰

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SUPERCHUNK | 27.05.18 | Stereo Glasgow

SUPERCHUNK | 27.05.18 | Stereo Glasgow

Superchunk – 27th May 2018 – Stereo Glasgow – Review and photos

Lately, I seem to be saying ‘I never thought I’d get to see these!’ a lot in my reviews. Superchunk are another bucket list band of mine, they rarely play the UK and I’d quite honestly thought there’s no way I’d ever get to see them! Well, maybe London one day but as a gig destination, it’s far from my preference. There’s just something about those audiences, they get so many great bands thereΒ that they don’t always appreciate it, spoiled for choice I suppose? Well, I couldn’tΒ believe my luck when this tour popped up! They announcedΒ Glasgow and Leeds shows! Sadly poor financesΒ denied me from going to bboth, so I opted for Glasgow. Glasgow is one of the best gig cities on the planet in my opinion. The audience are always well up for a party and I love wandering around the city with my camera in hand. So, Glasgow, it is!

We had the added bonus of Rev Magnetic being added to the bill, so I ensured I was down early to catch their set. The left me a bit overwhelmed, genre-wise they don’t really fit in with the headliners but that doesn’t matter. Musically they are something remarkable, denselyΒ layered and I think their music will be more relatable with repeated listens. They went down really well with punters.

Superchunk dropped a surpriseΒ album earlier this year; What A Time to Be Alive. Songs from it will feature heavily on the setlist tonight, alongsideΒ some stone-cold classics as requested by fans.

Opening with Hyper Enough the energy and sheer joy they have for playing is inspirational, putting bands half their age to shame! I danced all the way through the set. There’s something infectious about their sound and it is a delight to witness. Mac McCaughan stalking the stage with his energy and charisma enticing the audience to sing along.

It is the new material that really grabs my attention. It’s a really strong album and shows absolutely no signs of the band slowing down. They have much life left in them yet. Break the Glass stands out as an instant classic, fans down the front singing along word for word.

Setlist;

  • Hyper Enough
  • What a Time to Be Alive
  • Reagan Youth
  • Lost My Brain
  • Learned to Surf
  • Package Thief
  • Seed Toss
  • Animated Airplanes Over Germany
  • Black Thread
  • Hello Hawk
  • Break the Glass
  • Erasure
  • Driveway to Driveway
  • The First Part
  • Me & You & Jackie Mittoo
  • Slack Motherfucker
  • Digging for Something
  • Cloud of Hate
  • Fishing

I stayed down the front for the entire set, normally I’d retreat after a few songs but I was glued to the spot and having the time of my life. Glad I did as it allowed me to get this shot at the end Jon Wurster and Mac sapped duties for the outro to Fishing, adding a medley of cheesy cover songs which had everyone in stitches!

Thank you Superchunk for playing here. You’ve made some fans very very happy! This will easily make my top ten gigs of the year and I’ll remember it for years to come πŸ™‚

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