Years in the waiting, for me at least - eight years since I last saw the band at Download 2005 - so needless to say, once I saw this tour announced there was no way I would miss this gig a mear half hour from my town!
Supported throughout the tour by Greek metallers, Maplerun and Yorkshire hero's, RSJ. Unfortunately I missed the former due to work commitments, but the latter were a first for me. I've known of the band for several years now and even interviewed them this year at Bloodstock Open Air, but only now have I finally managed to catch them live.
Thundering, loud and heavy, there's no wonder this band are kicking up a storm. The commitment and determination of their energy could almost be mistaken for being a gimmick - there are some bands who are "energetic" for show purposes and it looks cheesy, but that's certainly not the case for RSJ, it's literally pure passion, love of the moment and joy of metal.
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Vocalist, Dan, spent most of the set out in the crowd, who were a little tough to warm up, all faces looked eager but needed that push. Even recovering from two weeks with flu on tour the frontman was out there kicking ass, and once he returned to the stage towards the end of set, guitarist Guff switched places to rip it up centre crowd on a box surrounded by a circle pit. If you don't like this band, well then you're just a dick! :p
American Head Charge took to the stage quite contempt, and you would too playing too full rooms of people just to see you! Guitarist, Karma Cheema, rocked hard all night, which may not sound so special, but due to the fact he was suffering a concussion after falling down the tour bus stairs the previous night, it's no mean feat! Fellow guitarist Ted Hallows beamed a smile throughout whilst bassist Chad Hanks took no second thought in breaking the law, smoking on stage.
Drummer Chris was a little hidden by the shit venue lighting but by no means hidden in sound. Solid as steel and I was quite impressed by how minimalistic his kit is - if you can make the basics sound good, you got a good thing going! Cameron was more laid back, top notch in performance but the silences, sometimes long, between tracks caused the set to loose some momentum. Something a band of this tenure should not have a problem with.
With a mixture of tracks new and old the band proved their quality and status. I liked that they played 'Downstream' off the new EP 'Shoot', a slow and atmospheric track that builds upon itself, and of course it's great to hear the classics 'Just So You Know' and 'Loyalty'. No doubt this band is due a festival appearance next summer, but which one? Certainly a band worth including for making your decision for which mecca to attend!