PHOTOS AND REVIEW BY Paul McWilliams
On the 5th of October, 2023, Nightrain, the intimate rock venue tucked away in a small back street alley in Bradford, witnessed a night to remember. Keith St John, the renowned frontman of legendary bands such as Burning Rain, Kingdom Come, Lynch Mob, and Montrose, took the stage for an unforgettable acoustic set. Joining him was Mr. Jack Frost, the founder of Seven Witches, making their first-ever collaboration, which turned out to be a harmonious musical union.
Nightrain has earned its reputation for hosting fantastic rock music, and this night was certainly no exception. The crowd gathered in anticipation, not fully aware of the incredible musical journey they were about to embark on. Keith St John, with his extensive musical background, and Jack Frost, a seasoned guitarist, were poised to deliver an unforgettable three-hour performance filled with humorous anecdotes and a treasure trove of songs.
The evening kicked off with a Montrose classic, setting the tone for what would be a mesmerizing journey through Keith St John’s musical career. The hits just kept coming, flowing seamlessly from one iconic band to another—Burning Rain, Lynch Mob, and Kingdom Come—all brought to life in an acoustic setting that offered a unique and intimate perspective on these rock anthems.
One of the standout features of the performance was the genuine joy and enthusiasm radiating from both Keith and Jack on stage. Their chemistry was palpable as they seamlessly transitioned from one song to the next, often indulging in extended acoustic solos that showcased their exceptional musicianship. It was evident that they were not merely going through the motions but relishing every moment of the performance, and the crowd reciprocated their energy with enthusiastic applause and cheers.
The setlist for the evening was loosely followed, allowing for spontaneity and the freedom for Keith to choose songs on the fly. This added an element of unpredictability and excitement to the night. Keith’s occasional inclusion of Beatles tracks while his guitar was being tuned by Jack added a delightful touch of diversity to the performance, demonstrating his versatility as a musician.
What made this performance particularly special was the juxtaposition of these legendary rock musicians in an intimate venue like Nightrain. While they have graced much larger stages and arenas in their careers, they chose to bring their talents to a smaller venue, giving fans the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with the rock icons they admire. This decision to play in smaller venues not only showcases their humility but also creates an intimate atmosphere that is often lost in larger concert settings.
As the night unfolded, it became clear that this was not just a concert; it was a musical journey through the life and career of Keith St John. The stories and anecdotes he shared between songs provided valuable insights into the history and evolution of the songs he was performing. It was a rare chance for the audience to connect with the artist on a personal level, to understand the inspirations behind the music, and to share in the nostalgia of rock history.
Throughout the performance, Keith’s vocals remained as powerful and captivating as ever, and his ability to convey raw emotion through his singing was nothing short of mesmerizing. Jack Frost’s guitar skills were equally impressive, as he flawlessly translated the electrifying energy of rock anthems into the acoustic realm. Their seamless collaboration showcased not only their individual talents but also their ability to complement each other’s strengths, creating a musical synergy that elevated the performance to new heights.
The atmosphere in Nightrain that night was electric, and the crowd’s enthusiasm was infectious. Fans of all ages gathered to witness this rare and memorable event, and there was a palpable sense of unity and camaraderie in the air. Whether it was the soaring melodies of Kingdom Come or the gritty intensity of Lynch Mob, each song struck a chord with the audience, evoking a wave of emotions and memories.
In conclusion, Keith St John’s acoustic performance at Nightrain in Bradford on the 5th of October, 2023, was nothing short of legendary. It was a night that transcended the boundaries of time and space, bringing together rock enthusiasts for a journey through the iconic songs and stories that have defined Keith’s illustrious career. The collaboration between Keith St John and Jack Frost was a match made in rock heaven, and their passion for the music was palpable in every note they played.
The decision to perform in a smaller venue like Nightrain was a testament to their dedication to the fans and a reminder of the intimate and authentic experiences that live music can offer. As the final chords resonated through the venue, the audience was left with a sense of awe and gratitude, having witnessed a night of rock music that would be etched in their memories for years to come. Keith St John’s acoustic performance at Nightrain was a testament to the enduring power of rock music and a celebration of the timeless classics that continue to inspire generations of music lovers.