By Erik De’Viking, Rock At Night London
An amazing night of rock came to London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire when the Black Star Riders came to town. Despite the miserable weather, the rock faithful were in good spirits as they queued for the triple bill, which featured the Wayward Sons, Stone Broken, and headliners Black Star Riders.
Up first, Toby Jepson and his Wayward Sons gave us a headline performance which got the near capacity crowd rocking out with wild abandon. Opening with ‘Any Other Way’ off the brilliant new album, The Truth Ain’t What It Used To Be, which dropped on Friday, the band blazed their way through an incredibly tight and energetic set which included ‘Don’t Wanna Go’, ‘Ghost’, Little White Lies’, ‘Small Talk’, current single ‘The Jokes On You’, and ‘Until The End’.
Up next were Stone Broken. It only seems like yesterday that this incredibly hard-working band of friends were playing clubs and other small venues, and now they’re storming the bigger stages with all the presence of a band that’s been at this for decades. Opening with ‘Stay All Night’ the band played on through a setlist of fan favourites which included ‘Doesn’t Matter’, ‘Heartbeat Away’, ‘I Believe’, ‘Let Me See It All’, ‘The Only Thing I Need’, ‘Wait For You’, ‘Worth Fighting For’, and ‘Not Your Enemy’. Having recently re-released All In Time the set was split between that and their most recent album, Ain’t Always Easy, much to the crowd’s obvious approval.
As the interval started to come to a close, AC/DC’s ‘For Those About To Rock’ blasted out of the speakers, and was met by rapturous cheers and singing. When the last note fell, and the lights went dark, they we’re replaced by a red glow. Smoke began to trail onto the stage like the first fingers of fog and mist on an autumn morning, and suddenly a rumble of a war drum sounded off accompanied by a burst of light and smoke at the back of the stage. Growing in intensity as the pause between them decreased, the lights came up and the Black Star Riders came bounding onto the stage performing a bombastic rendition of ‘A State of Grace’, title single for their latest album. Putting on an absolute masterclass in stage performance, the crowd went absolutely wild. To be honest it was pretty crazy in the photo pit with the level of activity on stage, and the throng of photographers attempting to get the money shot for the night. Playing an incredible career spanning set, the Black Star Riders made it clear why they are one of the premiere rock bands in the world at the moment.
Featuring a cadre of legendary performers, it was a joy to behold the chemistry the guys had with one another. Scott Gorham is still a monster on the guitar, and he was shredding away all night long, while owning every inch of the stage. Ricky Warwick is an incredible front-man, and while I have always enjoyed his duties as vocalist for Thin Lizzy, it’s with the Black Star Riders that he truly shines. As the night wound on and their set came to a close with the most excellent ‘Kingdom of the Lost’ and ‘Bound For Glory’, it was clear we were treated to something special. If this incredible line up of bands hasn’t hit your town yet, but they’re going to, do yourself a favour and get out to see them. You will not be disappointed!
Any Other Way
Don’t Wanna Go
Little White Lies
The Jokes On You
Until the End
Stay All Night
Let Me See It All
The Only Thing I Need
Wait for You
Worth Fighting For
Not Your Enemy
Black Star Riders
Another State of Grace
The Killer Instinct
All Hell Breaks Loose
Testify or Say Goodbye
Tonight the Moonlight Let Me Down
Ticket to Rise
In the Shadow of the War Machine
Why Do You Love Your Guns?
Ain’t the End of the World
When the Night Comes In
Underneath the Afterglow
Dancing With the Wrong Girl
Kingdom of the Lost
Bound for Glory
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