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Thursday, 24 November 2011

Live & Dangerous 20: Alter Bridge, Black Stone Cherry, Theory Of Deadman

Alter Bridge, Black Stone Cherry, Theory Of Deadman (Motorpoint Arena Cardiff)

With doors open at 6:00 Theory Of A Deadman came on promptly at 7 and played a short half an hour set plagued with sound problems to a relatively small crowd. This was a godsend as they are not the best live band in the world; the songs were generic and laboured with the majority of the set focussing on their more commercial latest album. The band also made the mistake of covering JJ Cale's Cocaine something that really can only be done by Old Slow hand himself Eric Clapton. With that boring most of the crowd they resorted to the opening of G'N'R's Paradise City to get the crowd growing (and adding a rubbish Axl Rose joke) before finishing with Bad Girlfriend which was the only passable track of the set. A poor showing from these Canadians. 5/10

No such problems Black Stone Cherry who managed to sell-out the Cardiff Solus on the day before their Download set this year. Playing to a bigger crowd than TOADM the track list differed little with a mix of new and old entering the set, the band seemed to be having a ball onstage with even frontman Chris Robertson channelling his inner rock god and guitarist Ben Wells and bassist John Lawhon running around the stage like mad men. New tracks Blame It On The Boom Boom, White Trash Millionaire fitting perfectly with the rockier older tracks like Blind Man, Maybe Someday and the heavy as led Rain Wizard (which was introduced with a quick run through of Sabbath's Iron Man). It was there raucous cover of Adele's Rolling In The Deep that provoked the biggest cheer of the set however. If I were to have a criticism it would be that there were maybe a few too many ballads for a 45 minute set. Other than that another great performance from these Kentucky rockers. 8/10

When a band features the one of the best guitarists in the world and possibly the best vocalist in the world today the shows are never going to be lacklustre and the Cardiff show was anything but. Kicking off with new track Slip Into the Void and oldie Find The Real the band came out all guns blazing, the rhythm section blitzed with the drumming and bass playing superb, Tremonti was dazzling on the guitar with Myles being no slouch himself in the guitar area. However it is his voice that makes the man, he was on form despite the sound problems and forgetting the lyrics to One Day Remains. The band filled the majority of the set with their brand of upbeat turbo rock with I Know It HurtsWhite Knuckles and the thrash riffage of Metalingus. He is also quite a showman when not attached to a guitar, letting the crowd sing when needed and commanding the stage. His voice was at its best on the solo acoustic tracks he played which interspersed Watch Over You and Wonderful Life these two showed he could be introspective without the pomp before the epic Blackbird caught the full majesty. The band then revved the engines on Before Tomorrow Comes, Ties That Bind and Isolation ended the main set. The encore consisted of Open Your Eyes before a guitar duel between Mark and Myles which Mr Tremonti won by a country mile despite Myles giving an impressive display. The final song was the fantastic Rise Today which left the crowd in good spirits. Another great show from one of the best modern bands around, festival headlining beckons. 9/10 

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