Back with our splendid hosts at 170 Russell tonight and the air throughout the day has been one of calm. A few familiar faces line up in the early hours, determined to obtain their stage front locale. And their wait was quite a lonely one as compared to some more recent gigs. Later, pre-gig the lines, if you could call them so, were quite subdued and quiet. Perhaps the break between meet & greet calmed the masses. But that was all about to change. Most likely show goers were getting in extra rest for the appearance of Buckcherry live in Melbourne. After all, there was no shortage of love on the social pages.
We get ready as Electrik Dynamite calmly arrive stage front and take up positions. The presence of a Keytar prompt timely reflection that we may have been mistaken with the correct night and line up. But then Electrik Dynamite bust into action. Those familiar with this sensational band will be quite familiar with the regrettable departure of Dan Brittain from the front position, but life is full of unplanned interruption. Fortunately Luke Toomey has taken on the role and in brilliant form. Electrik Dynamite are aptly named, with their tremendous musical creations, but more appropriately due to their stage presence and showmanship. They blast out their brilliance with an accompaniment of individual performer flare that truly brings their music to life. Collectively their live music become contagious and whether you are an Electrik Dynamite virgin, or proud follower of their work over many years, you are dragged helplessly into their tremendous performance. Tracks like Hot Blood Cold Steel are certainly favourites, but more importantly, are demonstrative of the professional show they deliver each, and every time. Of course despite each performer’s larger than life delivery, it’s difficult to look away from our keytar wielding siren of rock, Sarah Lim. Her vocals are equally as brilliant as are her unique moshing manoeuvres. Keytar positioned on the right leg, placed for optimum mosh effect as she blasts us into the musical majesty that is Electrik Dynamite. Their guitar symmetry and instrumental symbiosis are truly inspiring, as is the vocal delivery from Luke. Fantastic stuff..
As proceedings progress, the unmistakable and welcome Tim Henwood comes into view, and all present know that the temperature will be turned up as Palace Of The King blast out their sensational signature sound. Putting all aside for just a moment, I must make mention of the incredible feeling of excitement that takes hold of you, every time that the percussive powerhouse that is Travis Dragani, takes to the kit. Whether you enjoy the soulful injection of drum groove he injects into the music of Mere Machine, or watching him rock with Bruce Kulick, the vast experience of this brilliant performer always instils a feeling of imminent enjoyment. And tonight is no exception as Palace Of The King blast into Take Your Medicine, the extraordinary opening track from their most recent release, White Bird/Burn The Sky. And if this was your first exposure to the tremendous Travis with Palace Of The King , and were expecting his look to be accompanied by the ‘Animal’ style drumming, you would not have been disappointed because this is exactly where Sean Johnston takes on that particular role. It’s quite difficult for photographers to catch a mid-performance pose from Sean as his Mozart-turned-maniacal alter ego is released. He is an incredible performer and musician but his keyboard stool rarely catches contact with his arse, and seems of little use. A prime example of bringing music to life. Palace Of The King are collectively a formidable gathering of utterly sensational musicians, with a vast amount of individual musical experience that has developed into something utterly astounding. Andrew Gilpin may very well be developing the look of Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn, but his skilful bass style and delivery are fast becoming equally famous, as the assembled crowd chant his name. Sorry Andrew, but “if the shit fits, wear it”. And those familiar with Tim Henwood, would be acutely aware that it’s going to take some sensational guitarists for him to hand over that particular duty, to concentrate of vocals. And that’s exactly what he has in his axe wielding brethren.
We cannot experience the Led Zeppelin heyday live any longer, but for me, Palace Of The King carry exactly the same excitement. Their creativity, sound excellence, tremendous diversity and the individual skill assembled during a live performance, are the stuff of legend. Are really, it is my sincere hope that they are just getting started to deliver a long legacy of sheer musical excellence.
And so, with no further ado, it’s on to the art of Buckcherry, all accompanied by the roar of the crowd and the push stage ward to get closer to these dazzling rockers of worldwide acclaim. Josh Todd, larger than life and right here before us, brings those stage front to a frenzied fervor as he launches into Lit Up. And what a commencement to put to a thoroughly killer show. Probably the first Buckcherry track that many present had heard, being the opener for their debut album. And really, why break with tradition now?
Broken Glass, and Bring It On Back launch the celebrations to new heights as the crowd try to deliver much thanks to the lads for coming out to see us yet again. Josh’s stage presence is so very unique, that is really is beyond compare. Whether your are mesmerized by his mannerisms, his famous collection of ink art, his vocal prowess or his transfixing gaze right into your eyes, it’s difficult to look away. That is until a guitar pick delivered from Keith Nelson slaps you sideways, and your attention is reminded that there some more monumental performers present. We had a great time chatting pre-tour Keith, but how you managed to land a pick right down my shirt is beyond me. The grin back left me in no doubt that his sensational guitar delivery is equaled by his plectrum sharp shooting. Xavier at the kit was gleaning as much enjoyment from the show as yours truly, with a tremendous performance accompanied by an ear to ear grin on more than one occasion.
What a sensational treat to watch Buckcherry live yet again. It is a pertinent reminder to those rock inclined, what an essential component of ones gig going remembrances a Buckcherry show really is. As Josh removes the jacket and reveals the famous king of hearts back piece, the crowd roar with equal love and desire. Before long, and after an incredible collection of fan favourites, we arrive at the essential Tight Pants and the crowd is bouncing in celebratory unison. Gluttony, Wrath and Rain’s Falling simply enhance even further, the varied celebration of the expansive Buckcherry catalogue, just before Crazy Bitch send the crowd off yet again. There’s screaming, there’s much woo hooing, there’s some buffoon trying to crowd surf a gig where the complete attention of all present is engrossed by the Buckcherry finery being delivered stage front. The cries for more are obligingly met with a brilliant encore of Say Fuck It and Too Drunk… And sadly, it’s all over way too soon, but in fairness, you can never get enough Buckcherry, and you could enjoy their performances for hours on end. A monumentally killer show as the opening gig of the Australian tour, full of magical riffage from Keith and Stevie D, a bass masterclass from Kelly LeMieux and an all-round performance that will continue on in my fondest of gig memories. The individual members of Buckcherry are larger than life, but collectively, and playing like it’s just for you, is simply sensational.