I hadn't looked to see who the support was for this gig as I like to be surprised by talent and it usually works out well. Tonight was no exception as hard rockers Santa Cruz took to the stage and rocked the hell out of it. Where the hell have they come from?!
Well, apart from Finland, I don't know, I'm out of the loop on this one but they drew in a good crowd. Celebrating the glam and hard elements of rock, Santa Cruz are on par with Reckless Love, also from Finland, but not quite as cheesy, more in line with JettBlack.
Big hair, big sound and big rock, the guys jumped the bar, danced around and sang their hearts out. I have to admit though, with three of them having long blonde hair and the drummer with a head mic, we did have a little giggle that they were the hard rock version of Hanson.
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Kobra And The Lotus took no time messing about changing over and I almost missed the start of their set! New additions to the lineup and a temporary guitarist, with the visa of their own Peruvian guitarist not granted, axe duties were taken up by Swede, Alex Carlgård, who had four days to learn! Additionally, bassist Brad Kennedy only had a month, boy this is hard work to keep on top of who's in the band!
Anyway, back to the music. You would have thought they'd all been playing together for years as they were as tight as hell. Riffalific, hard hitting, powerful and all out entertaining. If you want Metal, you've got it and KATL hold no bars in giving it their all, balls to the floor, pedal to the Metal, raucous Heavy Metal.
A new track shows us the band still have plenty to give and I think the band will always evolve. Which is great in avoiding a stalemate of being stuck to the one sound you're known for. If you can get away with developing and continually progressing your sound forward then it's certainly worth going for.
Of course, we all know Paige has a strong and powerful voice, enough to match Bruce, Biff and Doogie and tonight was no let down, but there were some mic issues that didn't quite pick up the softer vocals that are nice to hear from a female vocalist.
Lord Griffin was as solid as ever and had a left-field dance drum solo, a nice touch that wasn't pretentious but just gave a nice break of diversity, and I tell you what, the bass kicked out one hell of a beat thundering through the air!
But the guitars, woah, twiddlemiesters for sure! The solo's were epic and glided into place like a hot knife through butter, outstanding and seamless.
What a night, for a band that seems to tour for most of the year and has been here every year for the last 3/4 I'm sure we've still got plenty more to see of Kobra And The Lotus.
As for Santa Cruz, I also can't wait for them to return in the future. Here's looking to the festivals!