Buckcherry – SWG3, Glasgow 13.02.19
Glasgows multi-purpose venue SWG3 houses a range of diverse acts and none more so than Buckcherry from LA. The venue adapts to accommodate varying audience capacities and tonight, the TV studio will see these North American rockers perform in front of a good number of mid-week gig goers. There’s a number of people wearing buckcherry T shirts so it’s obvious who they’re here to see tonight but with Hoobastank on this joint headline bill, the crowd numbers have no doubt have increased as the promise of seeing them live has attracted a number of fans keen to see the alt-rock band return to Glasgow after a very long absence. There’s an added benefit of having Las Vegas rockers Adelitas Way. Having toured with Creed, Pappa Roach, Staind and Alter Bridge, they’re no strangers to a great rock gig and it’s their first visit to Scotland.
It’s an early show in Glasgow tonight with a venue curfew of 10pm so accordingly, the opening slot sees the band take the stage at approx 18:30. There’s a fair number in the room to see band take the stage and they kick off with Still Hungry from the EP Live Love Life. The band try to raise the energy with Ready For War but it’s Notorious that see the crowd engaged. There’s some sing along with the crowd as Rick Dejesus belts out Last Stand. As the end of the set looms, the song the crowd have waited for finally gets the accolades from the audience. Invincible, the most recognisable song by the band brings this spirited performance to an end. Judging by the reception, the early crowd seem to have benefited by making the effort to beat the traffic to get to the venue.
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It’s been 15 years since the band graced Glasgow with it’s last performance. It’s no co-incidence that it’s also 15 years since The Reason was released. With 3 remaining members from that album, it is well served tonight with 4 songs from the #1 US Billboard album. The night kicks off however with Pieces before Out of Control is the first track to be played from the anniversary album. There’s a real energy and cohesion in the band and it’s like they’ve turned back the clock to dial into the energy they expelled in those early days. It’s refreshing to see a band on stage enjoying them selves and with genuine affection for the crowd who’ve turned out to see them. Doug Robb (vocals) is beaming and its smiles all round as all of the band can see the rapport in the venue tonight, which is quite surprising considering there’s not a lot of people in the crowd have seen them live before. Remember Me from the album of the same name maintains the bounce and delivery. Inside of You is slick and shows the band are a finely honed machine as the hits keep coming.
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There’s a killer performance of Same Direction and with Never There and Just One played back to back, it shows the strength in depth from the 15yr old album The Reason. There’s some real crowd engagement with everyone in the room holding up an arm before Let It Out keeps the set on track. We get treated to one of the newer releases as This is Gonna Hurt leads into the final song of the night. The Reason, no Hoobastank performance would be complete without this song. It’s their anthem and if you only hear one song from them, it might not be completely representative of what they do best, but it certainly leaves you with that feel good factor. They came, they smiled, they conquered. I’m sure it won’t be 15yrs before they return.
As the band take the stage in relative darkness, we wonder what version of Josh Todd (vocals) we will get tonight. No stranger to the excesses of drink, drugs and debauchery, will he bring out his wild side or do we see a more controlled version. It’s nearly 9pm and with the curfew looming, let’s hope the performance is not cut short. The first song of the night, the very recognisable Nine Inch Nails anthem, Head Like A Hole blasts out of the PA. It’s a strange choice for a cover as the industrial metal music is tackled by these sleaze rock veterans. The lighting is very dark for the first song and barely improves for the next but that doesn’t detract from the band getting into their groove. As Josh welcomes Glasgow, the crowd singalong in the chorus as we go Ridin’ with Buckcherry. Josh asks if anyone has read the book, The Art of War right before launching into Broken Glass, probably my favourite of the night. We find out how many long standing fans are in the audience as the 1999 song For The Movies drops the tempo but not the intensity. It’s taken a handful of songs before cocaine is mentioned, a regular subject at Buckcherry gigs and the words of “I love the cocaine, I love the cocaine” belt out during Lit Up. Moving on from the serious subject of drugs, we get a rather tongue in cheek comical version of Icona Pops – I love It but with the wording changed to suit the genre.
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Say Fuck It has the crowd singing along and it’s the perfect come down from the drugs high of the previous song. We now get some insight into what the new album will offer with the title track Warpaint. It hasn’t strayed far from the well worn path but is well received. Next up, the ever popular Still Out of Line sees the crowd clapping to the beat before we get the full on sleaze rock with 2 Drunk to Fuck. Josh Todd has one of those voices that is unmistakably recognisable. It’s the signature sound of Buckcherry and shows a tender side with the next song Sorry, a not to be missed wavealong/singalong for the crowd. There’s a new single from the upcoming album Warpaint up next as Bent ups the tempo. Gluttony has the crowd bouncing as they scream “I want it, I want it” at the top of their voices. It’s already gone 10pm and the curfew has been broken, it’s time for the band to end the set with the signature tune Crazy Bitch. This is Buckcherry at their anthemic best as far as the crowd are concerned, it’s the song thats most requested. The musicianship on show tonight has been sublime, right through the entire evening and demonstrated by all the musicians. During this last song, we see the variety on show as we go from the full on sleaze to some Proud Mary (Creedence Cleerwater Revival) as it is mixed into the final song which has the feeling of an encore. As the final notes fade away, the crowd’s rapturous applause is the backdrop for the band to pose at the front of the stage for their signature crowd selfie.
I had my doubts that two bands could pull off a double headline gig considering the subtle differences in musical direction but to my pleasant surprise, they’ve pulled it off. I would have been more than satisfied with either of the bands as the main act. You’d need to split hairs to choose the highlight of the night but from a musical perspective, I’d go with Hoobastank but if it were down to balls out rock n roll, then we were here for Buckcherry to do their thing and they did it.