A double-headliner gig with a support I didn’t know at what is rapidly becoming my favourite venue in Glasgow. That’s got to make for a good night. Tonight’s show was held in the “TV Studio” part of the building, with a capacity approximately the same as the main hall in The Garage (maybe a bit more). I just want to credit the staff and crew for what was possibly the best, clearest sound I have ever heard at a gig.
Thankfully we had three acts who could both play and sing. If they couldn’t, you’d have been able to hear every bum note. Openers Adelitas Way are a name I’d heard, but music I had not. I missed the first half of their set due to an unexpectedly early door time (my fault for not checking) which is a shame as the three songs I did catch were pretty damn good. The venue was maybe half full while they were playing and there were definitely some fans already enjoying the show as they rattled through “Last Stand”, “Sick” and powerful closing number “Invincible”.
They definitely left to a sizeable cheer and much applause and they deserved it. Hopefully we’ll see them back around sometime soon playing a longer set.
The first of our two headlining acts, each playing an hour, were next. Hoobastank were celebrating 15 years since the release of their sophomore, and breakthrough, album The Reason. Now, believe it or not, I know nothing about Hoobastank other than their name, which is quite memorable to be fair. I had no idea at all of what to expect music-wise. They looked like Patent Pending (annoyingly young) but sounded a lot more mainstream. In fact they sounded great – every note was clear and Doug Robb’s vocals were absolutely superb throughout.
While they sounded good and certainly appealed to their existing fan-base in a pretty crowded TV Studio, they were just a little too laid back for me. It wasn’t until their big hit “The Reason” that I (and the majority of the crowd) really got into their set, an added bounce that carried through the the next – and final – track “Crawling In The Dark”.
Did they entertain? Yes. Impress me? Also a definite yes. But convert me? Not this time. Hoobastank are definitely a talented band, they’re just not my kind of music.
The final act was a little more raw, a lot more up-tempo and definitely more fitting of my musical preferences. The last time I saw Buckcherry was at The Arches (RIP) in 2011. Since then they’ve swapped out a couple of members, but not lost the dirty, some may say immature, edge which keeps them up to date yet still harking back to the old-school.
Opening with a cover of a song from that old-school time (Nine Inch Nails’ “Head Like A Hole”) they had the audience engaged and bouncing from the start. They jumped around their history with tracks like “Broken Glass” and “Fuck It” (another kinda-cover) right up to “Warpaint”, the title track of their new album which comes out in a couple of weeks.
I do think it made sense to put Buckcherry on last as they’re the kind of band who work better after a few beers, especially when you hit tracks like “Too Drunk…”. By the time they played crowd-pleaser “Sorry”, enough fermented beverages had been swallowed that many audience members were hugging each other while singing along. And, of course, set-ender “Crazy Bitch” went down as well as it ever did.
If there was a downside, it was that the audience just weren’t as raucous as they were seven/eight years ago. I’ve noticed this at a lot of gigs recently, including some of the heavier ones where you expect a big pit. As a neutral observer, it can take the edge off a gig when everyone else is just stood around watching when I’m used to seeing people being more actively engaged. Are we being spoiled by too many gigs, or expecting something “Rammstein” before we get wrapped up in the music? Or maybe the fans are just getting older – I know I am!
Photos by Sean Larkin