Rival Sons – Live Review – Barrowlands Ballroom Talitatwoshoes

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Review By Darren McIntyre

Rival Sons is a two-time Grammy-nominated rock band from Long Beach, California and loosely based in Nashville which originally came to our attention in 2006. The boys have worked hard, played hard and toured in support of some big hitters during their meteoric rise to the top, bands like Aerosmith, Sammy Hagar, Evanescence, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath & KISS, and they have also appeared at Roundhouse, Isle Of Wight, Rock Am Ring & The Troubadour. The boys have given us 7 studio recordings with the latest being Darkfighter / Lightbringer which have rocketed these boys to the top, tonight they stop off at the world-famous Barrowlands Ballroom to bring us a night of pure unadulterated rock and roll that will surely take the roof clean off tonight, as the lights dim and the intro music begins the boys hit the stage to rapturous applause.

When Rival Sons took to the stage at Barrowlands, it felt like a trip back in time to the golden age of rock ‘n’ roll, and this unforgettable night was a testament to the enduring power of classic rock.

From the first notes that resonated through the iconic venue, it was abundantly clear that Rival Sons was here to make a statement. The atmosphere was electric, the crowd buzzing with anticipation, and as soon as Jay Buchanan’s bluesy vocals filled the air, it was evident that something special was unfolding.

The band’s setlist was a masterpiece, a carefully curated journey through their discography that showcased their evolution as musicians while never losing sight of their roots. Songs like “Mirrors”, “Sweet Life” “Nobody Wants To Die” resonated with anthemic energy, while blistering tracks like, “Rapture” & “Bird In The Hand” showcased the blistering form from the boys as Darkfighter / Lightbringer tracks really brought this show to life.   “Jordan” and “Shooting Stars” displayed their emotional depth and versatility.

We ran through their impressive back catalogue and were mesmerised by the sheer quality of the musicianship pouring from the stage tonight, we were taken on a journey that saw us take in the delights of classics like “Open My Eyes”, this drove us straight into a thundering drum solo from Mike that just set this place alight as he pounded through and brought the heat as we slipped into  “Torture” and the mesmerising “Mosiac”, the place was on fire tonight as the boys delighted us with slick musicianship, epic vocals and an all-round tight rhythm section that was delivering a no-nonsense approach right here in the Barras.

Guitarist Scott Holiday was a sight to behold. His searing guitar solos and riffs cut through the night like a lightning bolt, channelling the spirit of classic rock legends. It was impossible not to be mesmerized by his mastery of the instrument. The rhythm section, anchored by Michael Miley on drums and Dave Beste on bass, provided the driving force behind the band’s sound, keeping the groove tight and infectious.

The keys were brought into play all through the evening and this just heightened the expectations of tonight’s show as we were fixed on the depth oozing from the side of the stage as Todd really gave us what we craved, a night of blues-soaked rock and roll all wrapped in mesmerising keys that just added that extra ingredient for tonight.

Buchanan’s stage presence was captivating. His charismatic swagger and powerful vocals left an indelible mark, as he connected with the audience on a deeply emotional level. He didn’t just sing; he channelled the essence of rock ‘n’ roll itself.

We drove straight through the Barras tonight as we were served up some classics in the form of “right through to the classics like “Mercy”, “Mosiac” and thundering through to “Feral Roots”, “Face Of Light” and finishing with the highly impressive “Shooting Stars” and coming at us with “Do Your Worst” that just brought the curtain down on “One Of My Shows Of The Year in mho.

Barrowlands, known for its legendary acoustics and rich history, served as the perfect backdrop for this musical journey. The venue’s energy and the band’s performance created a symbiotic relationship, with the crowd responding in kind. People from all walks of life came together to celebrate the timeless allure of rock ‘n’ roll.

Rival Sons at Barrowlands was an unforgettable night, a testament to the enduring appeal of classic rock, and a declaration that the genre is very much alive and kicking. If you ever get the chance to witness Rival Sons live, don’t hesitate. Their performance is a revival of the rock ‘n’ roll spirit, and it’s an experience that will leave you electrified and yearning for more.

Rival Sons  –

                   Jay Buchanan  –  Lead Vocals / Rhythm Guitar / Harmonica

                   Scott Holiday  –  Lead Guitar / Backing Vocals

                   Dave Beste  –  Bass / Backing Vocals

                   Todd Ogren  –  Keys / Hammond

                   Mike Miley  –  Drums / Backing Vocals

Setlist  –


            Sweet Life

            Pressure & Time


            Bird In The Hand


            Feral Roots

            Open My Eyes

            Drum Solo


            Horses Breath



            Face Of Light

            Guitar Solo

            Shooting Stars

            Nobody Wants To Die

            Do Your Worst

            Electric Man

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