[LIVE REVIEW] Black Stone Cherry W/ Chase The Sun@ The Corner Hotel, Melbourne 23/04/2017

Review Cassandra Hale

After a long overdue catch up with friends old and new, it was time to hit the stage and get prime position for the nights’ proceedings. The carpet in the iconic Corner Hotel in Richmond is still as sticky as the long lost cough drop in the bottom of your handbag, but it just comes with the territory. With no pit for the photographers we were practically on top of the stage, and while this was great for us, the photographers were left to duck and weave their way through the crowd and hopefully get off a good shot or two.

After a five-year hiatus, Sydney trio Chase The Sun were in blinding form, a very fitting warm up for Kentucky’s best Black Stone Cherry.  Their new single Live it Up is out now and it’s an absolute cracker. Think blues mixed with a lot of rock and a whole lot of passion for amazing music and you have Chase The Sun. Guitarist and lead vocalist Jan Rynsaadt is hands down one of the best guitarists I have seen for a very long time, spellbinding to watch. I found myself drawn in instantly and sometimes unable to look away. So much barefooted talent on one small stage. Not to take anything away from drummer Jon Howell who does happen to look a lot like Zac Galifianakis, his chops were stand out and his expertise of his instrument evident with every stroke. Ryan Van Gennip rounds out this threesome on the bass and I am still amazed at how much sound they pumped out to the enthusiastic crowd. If you enjoy soul and blues rocked up to 100 check out Chase The Sun you will not be disappointed. I will definitely be hunting them down in the future, that is a certainty.

Chase The Sun (15)
Chase The Sun (26)

After a quick break, it was on to the boys from Edmonton, Kentucky, opening with Devil’s Queen to thunderous applause, the heat was definitely on and we knew we were in for a night of good old fashioned sweaty rock.  Soul Machine rang out and the rowdy mob spelled it out at the top of their voices, some not quite in tune but giving it a red hot go! A wicked cover of Bad to The Bone followed by Darkest Secret, Soulcreek and Killing Floor had everyone pumping, it was a really well-behaved crowd just there to enjoy a night of kick arse tunes from the Kentucky quartet.

White Trash Millionaire set the place on fire, clearly a fan favorite, and definitely one of mine, pocket rocket guitarist Ben Wells is an exceptional entertainer, his unending stamina brought so much energy to the show, and kicked it up another level as they transitioned into the Led Zeppelin classic Whole Lotta LoveCheaper to Drink Alone off the latest album Kentucky was sensational, fists were pumping, fans were chanting and the atmosphere was phenomenal, it reminded me why I love live music so much.

Things My Father Said simmered the crowd but only briefly as the familiar intro to Me and Mary Jane rang out. Vocalist and guitarist Chris Robertson is a first class front man, his soulful sound, and bluesy guitar licks definitely worked up a sweat, so much so that he could have put out a fire with what was dripping off his hat! Bass player Jon Lawhon bounced from side to side, swapping microphones with ease, not a clash of guitars to been seen, given the size of the stage that was no mean feat.

John Fred Young blew the roof off with a balls-and- all drum solo which was appreciated by all, I loved the harmonica added in for extra effect at the end, it played well to the blues theme of the night. The drum tech was on stage all night with lots of tuning and running repairs, I am not quite sure why as it sounded great from my vantage point, and believe me when you live with a drummer you are quick to learn what sounds good!

Black Stone Cherry (25)
Black Stone Cherry (29)

A highlight of the night was Ben and Chris performing the acoustic version of The Rambler, so beautifully performed, a credit to both of them, you could have heard a pin drop as we all soaked up this phenomenal ballad. Blame it on the Boom Boom had everyone rocking again, another great song for a sing along with the fans.  Lonely Train saw the night out, or so we thought?? The roadies started stripping down the drum kit and turning amps off but with the chant of ‘one more song’, the boys returned for just that.  A blistering rendition of Voodoo Child boomed out with the boys playing their guitars behind their heads by the songs end. A fabulous finish to a sensational night of bluegrass rock at its best.

We can only hope to see this awesome southern band back on our shores again, and while they tell us it’s cheaper to drink alone, we will make sure we bring along a mate or two to enjoy the show!