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I first saw Black Stone Cherry when they opened up for Def Leppard and Whitesnake at Wembley Arena in 2008 and then even as a support acts they really impressed the huge crowd on the night. Tonight sees them as headliners as part of a European tour along with two great support acts “The Parlor Mob” and Duff Mckagan’s “Loaded”. 1st Band  on  “The Parlor Mob” from New Jersey did their best to warm up the crowd with their progressive rock sound which included some great vocal work by lead singer Mark Melicia along with some excellent guitar work. They ended their set with a track from their album "And You Were a Crow" called "Hard Times" which got a decent reception from the crowd. Duff Mckagan is the world famous as bass player for Guns 'n' Roses and more recently Velvet Revolver, tonight sees Duff with his own band, arriving on stage appearing  everything like the rockstar that he is, looking cross somewhere between Lou Reed and Stewart Copeland. The band  perform numbers from the latest album called "Sick" which sees Duff playing electric guitar and offering lead vocals, towards the end of their set a change to the bass guitar  Duff belts out the unmistakeable intro to the Guns 'n' Roses classic track "It's So easy" much to the delight of the excited audience.

Photo: Duff 'Loaded'

Photo:Black Stone Cherry

As Black Stone Cherry hit the stage no one in the venue could possibly be disappointed with the sheer energy of the entrance with the two guitarist’s running around the stage, the crowd responded and there was a huge surge as the audience all pushed towards the stage to get a better view of the Kentucky hero’s. The set was full of great numbers from their latest repackaged double album “Folklore + Superstition” including the brilliant “Blind Man” and “Peace is Free” which certainly got the enthusiastic crowd singing along. A one point the guitarist “Ben Wells “ bought a tray of a well known brand of American doughnuts and shared them out amongst the hungry crowd. The crowd had created a huge circle pit in the middle of the dance floor and their were a large amount of people flying around all over the place making the most of the fast paced songs.

The obligatory rock drum solo happened half way through the show giving the front men a well earned rest with “ John Fred Young “ working around the all of the drum kit ending with an impressive display using just his hands. The rather emotional number “Things my Father Said” slowed down as the acoustic guitars came out, the song was dedicated to anyone who has lost someone close to them, and many people in the audience were moved almost to tears by this beautiful song and it’s sentiments. There was no encores as the band decided to just stay on stage and keep playing  with the set ended  as it had started in great style with the song “We are the Kings” which included an impromptu Jimi Hendrix guitar solo during the track. Black Stone Cherry have excelled as headliners and I am sure will go on to headline shows in much larger venues as their support grows. 

Set-List: Rain Wizard, Blackwood's Gold, Shooting Star, Cowboys, Yeah Man, Blind Man, Hell Or High Water, Please Come In, Soul Creek, Drum solo ,Peace is Free, Hoochie Coochie Man , Maybe Someday, Lonely Train, Things My Father Said, We are the Kings.

 Video - Blind man
Duff's "Loaded" Dark Days  

Dave Chinery(Chinners)

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