Black Star Riders + Backyard Babies + Gun @ 02 Institute, 18th March, 2017

Black Star Riders + Backyard Babies + Gun @ 02 Institute, 18th March, 2017Black Star Riders + Backyard Babies + Gun @ 02 Institute, 18th March, 2017Black Star Riders + Backyard Babies + Gun @ 02 Institute, 18th March, 2017Black Star Riders + Backyard Babies + Gun @ 02 Institute, 18th March, 2017Black Star Riders + Backyard Babies + Gun @ 02 Institute, 18th March, 2017Black Star Riders + Backyard Babies + Gun @ 02 Institute, 18th March, 2017Black Star Riders + Backyard Babies + Gun @ 02 Institute, 18th March, 2017Black Star Riders + Backyard Babies + Gun @ 02 Institute, 18th March, 2017Black Star Riders + Backyard Babies + Gun @ 02 Institute, 18th March, 2017Black Star Riders + Backyard Babies + Gun @ 02 Institute, 18th March, 2017Black Star Riders + Backyard Babies + Gun @ 02 Institute, 18th March, 2017Black Star Riders + Backyard Babies + Gun @ 02 Institute, 18th March, 2017Black Star Riders + Backyard Babies + Gun @ 02 Institute, 18th March, 2017Black Star Riders + Backyard Babies + Gun @ 02 Institute, 18th March, 2017Black Star Riders + Backyard Babies + Gun @ 02 Institute, 18th March, 2017

Black Star Riders

Birmingham Live’s Chris went to watch as Black Star Riders returned to Birmingham.  The queues are massive outside and partly because all three rooms are open tonight, but lets not think these fans are all for the other rooms as you would be wrong. Everyone was clearly here to see all 3 bands tonight, first up tonight are Gun opening with Let it Shine as a much softer intro and slower start to the set before picking up pace and becoming a little heavier.

This being a cracking warm up band and a great opener. The performance was tight and there was a fair amount of interaction with each other on the stage with its atmospheric backlighting.


Next up Backyard Babies, from the outset these looked like they were going to be an odd band, with an odd sound but i’ve already learned to not judge before hearing and if I had I would have been wrong. They have an interesting look, Dregen (Guitar) looking the best with what appears to be the player character from Assassins creed with  a sleeveless hoody and leather waistcoat, he definitely looks the part. BB start off with an interesting guitar riff as the crowd clap them in to Th1rt3en Or Nothing, this being my favourite from the album Four By Four.

The crowd are wild from start to finish, there was no doubt in my mind this is well received, I know I loved it for sure. The activity and interaction with each other on stage with kicks, stomping and rocking around is high energy, again Dregen is the star of the rocking award. The thing I like so much about these guys is how the balance of the vocals where the lead singer has the more refined sound and Dregen adds the rough gruffy style which I like a lot, this kind of reminds me of Robby Takac from Goo Goo Dolls. High energy great sounding fun, a new fan in me and I’m sure many others.

Black Star Riders

Onto the main performance, we have the one the only Black Star Riders.  For me having seen these many times before I know to expect a great show. After the performances we have just seen how could things get any better, well, we will see. The stage looks impressive with a backdrop of the Heavy Fire Album cover and an array of speakers stacked, 2 big cabs and 1 smaller cab high. Starting off with air raid sirens increasing in volume the band come out together as the fans clap, Ricky cool as hell, dressed in black leather waistcoat and black jeans with sunglasses ready to rock.

Black Star Riders

Opening up with album and tour title track Heavy Fire, followed by Bloodshot where the comradre on stage shows fully with Ricky putting his arm around Damon as he sings and Damon strums and rocks away. Following on Ricky addresses the fans “Good Evening Birmingham!!!!!, how the hell are ya!!” he shouts out to both support bands, and then into Killer Instinct and the usual pause part way through as the crowd clap and cheer along before diving back in to finish, this is delivered amazingly, as punchy as ever.

Black Star Riders

The set moves along very swiftly as with most BSR shows but the pace is kept up and the sound is great with an 18 song set list.  Its nice to see a band you love doing really well and this reciprocated from the fans. We even see a circle pit down in the front middle, there’s a time and a place for these, and tonight isn’t one, that being said everyone fully enjoyed themselves. BSR deliver all the hits.   All are here and even the usual well received Thin Lizzy’s  The Boys Are Back In Town. Scott looks well, Damon as wild and young looking as ever you’d think these guys were half their age, finishing tonight’s set on Bound for Glory and seamlessly rolling into “This is our” Finest Hour.

Black Star RidersBlack Star Riders

Overall, a great line-up tonight, two strong supports and Backyard Babies being my favourite by miles. For BSR this is without a doubt the best performance I have seen  and speaking to you, the fans confirms my opinion, the production, sound and lighting have clearly been upscaled.  The venue suits them and it would be nice to see them on an arena stage. The new material is growing on me the more I listen and it does blend in well with the older hits and no doubt will become the next wave of BSR hits with more awesome tracks to follow.

 

Review and Photography: Chris Bowley

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