Archive for the Gig Review Category

Photos: DEATH DTA – Live @ The Academy (27th November, 2013)

Posted in Gig Review, Music with tags , , , , on January 10, 2014 by Tickets There

1509171_10152170129413200_1088135262_nTaking your sweet time is one of the simple pleasures to enjoy when you own your own blog. On that note, enjoy some snaps from DEATH DTA’s show at the Academy last year. Incredible performance that I regret not reviewing.

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Review: The Unleashed Festival DAY 01 – Live @ Fibber MaGees (16th August, 2013)

Posted in Gig Review, Music with tags , , , , , , , , on August 18, 2013 by Tickets There

1175712_10151835602288200_447479861_nWhat is Ireland seriously lacking? That’s right, a proper metal festival – and some other stuff Tickets There doesn’t deal with. Unlike continental Europe and the U.K., Ireland lacks a serious metal festival despite obvious popularity for the genre. Perhaps M*D and @iken (I disguised their names ;)) are too flooded with Hip Hop/Hipster D4 elitists who lack the skills to see that almost every single metal show they host sells out, unlike many of their other ill-advised follies. So it falls to metal fans themselves to start things up and tonight, EHT have made a massive step in the right direction.

The Unleashed Festival is the first of what will hopefully become a much bigger annual festival. Three days boasting some of the best home-grown talent on offer. One day of the purest thrash from the meanest streets, one day of extreme metal and one day for the under-agers who need metal too. In essence, three days of metal that caters for everyone’s taste. Unfortunately this old fogey only managed the first night, but what a night.

960004_10151835604628200_548538767_nAnimator are first up for me tonight. It’s a special show for these guys as they officially launch their debut album, Blacklisted (review coming this week). Anyone that’s heard the record knows it’s bursting with instant classics and on stage, Animator have the chops to belt them out in perfect form. ‘In God We Trust’ steals their short set and sets the perfect tone for the night.

993996_10151835604098200_773772792_nExzeltic are up next and it’s special show for them tonight as well. Long-time guitarist, Connor Eustace has sadly parted ways with the band and has been replaced by Jamie Power. Despite this being the first major show for the new line-up, they pull it off with flying colours. Jamie steps up to the plate and delivers both new and older material with amazing technique.  ‘Breaker of Nations’ and ‘Agents of Chaos‘ truly stand out and with new material now appearing, you can expect to see more of Exzeltic over the next year. Connor’s presence will be missed, but the lads prove tonight they’re not going anywhere but forward.

1095107_10151519528321396_1610632817_nThe cavalcade of who’s who in the world of Irish trash metal continues with Edenfire.  The lads from Edenfire have been building steadily over the last couple of years, landing prominent support slots (including an opening slot with Exodus earlier this week) and raising their profile with every show. Live, they’re tight, focused and each one of them knows what they’re doing, a quality that is essential for thrash metal to work. Tonight is no different as they plough through a mix of tracks from their debut EP as well as other favourites. Edenfire are in the process of writing their debut album these days and it’s one well worth looking out for.

As the night rolls on, the large crowd swells, the pints turn to shorts and the terrifying, yet exciting sign of Buckfast begins. That perfect cocktail of merriness and early stages of ridiculous drunkenness serves as the warm welcome for the next band, Psykosis.

539698_10151835603683200_92292527_nTaking the stage to a packed house, Psykosis produce a hail of riffs, aggression and fun for the gasping, sweaty crowd. Along with Exzeltic, Psykosis are also playing tonight with a slightly adjusted line-up as Rats from Dichotomy fills in for Tony Corcoran on guitar. Fans fear not – it’s just temporary, but man; Rats can certainly  play. It’s incredible just how good these guys are. They blend everything that’s great about thrash metal and deliver it with youthful passion and fun. No sooner are the band on than the pit begins. Slowly at first before encapsulating the entire standing area. I’d love to give you the set they played but amongst the haze of Jameson and active pit participation, all I remember is bashing, ‘Toxic Fugitive’ and the best craic of the night. What a band and what a night. There’s only one thing left to do, enjoy tonight’s headliners GAMA BOMB.

gAMAbOMBGama Bomb have long reigned supreme as the heroes of the Irish thrash scene. They have international acclaim, a massive arsenal of material from their four albums including this year’s incredible output, The Terror Tapes. On stage the band are on fire. They tear through their set with unrelenting power to a packed house. Build-up of quality throughout the night has been jaw dropping, but Gama Bomb display those additional years of experience and bring the night home in awe-inspiring glory. Moshing, stagediving, celling climbing and madness are this writers final memories before the madness spills into Club Carnage downstairs. A long awaited, but very welcome return to Dublin for Gama Bomb and hopefully they’ll return before the ringing notes of ‘Terror Tapes’ and ‘Hammer Slammer’ fade out from my ear drums.

Well done EHT Promotions, what a triumph of a night! All the bands outdid themselves and showed the how strong the Irish metal scene is. With debut albums pending for most of tonight’s line-up, you can expect a very exciting few years on the horizon!

Review: EXODUS – Live @ The Button Factory, Dublin (Aug 12th, 2013)

Posted in Gig Review, Music on August 14, 2013 by Tickets There

 

560822_10151828959533200_1667321752_n..”I don’t want you here, I fucking rule this place..”

Rob Dukes to Security, Dublin 2013.

After  three year absence, Exodus are finally back in town. The legendary thrash metallers have been punishing the European festival circuit over the last few weeks and they’re nicely warmed up to give Dublin one of its few international metal nights of 2013. The only question on people’s minds as we enter the venue – will Gary Holt be here?

Sadly, Exodus take to the stage minus their most famous member. Gary is doubling as Jeff Hanneman’s stand in guitarist for Slayer; who are also on tour at the moment. Since Slayer are playing in Belfast tomorrow night, hopes were high Gary would perform both shows but it’s his Exodus stand in, Kragen Lum from Heathen, on stage with the band. That aside, there’s no signs of weakness as Rob Dukes leads his band with immense physical presence and vocal brutality.

1009840_10151828959133200_336802208_nEarly on in the show, tensions rise between Dukes, security and the crowd as the bouncers down front begin dragging as many would be crowd surfers as they can out of the pit. Noticing this, Rob stops to speak with security and informs them crowd surfing is an essential part to any Exodus live show. After speaking with DME to resolve the matter, the band carry on with ‘Children of a Worthless God’. Rob’s attempt at calming security down doesn’t seem to resolve much and throughout the set he gets verbally more annoyed by their actions and snaps at them to calm down and leave fans alone who are trying to have a good time.

Throughout all the commotion (of which there was little on the surface), Exodus plough through a fist full of thrash metal hits with more extremity than most bands can accomplish. While the majority of their set comes from their most famous recordings, 1985’s Bonded By Blood and 1988’s Fabulous Disaster, there is a healthy inclusion of tracks from their past three studio recordings which often compare and trounce their earlier known classics. ‘Blacklist’, ‘Scar Spangled Banner’ from 2004’s Tempo of the Damned are killer inclusions and that’s before the epic, ‘War Is My Shepherd’ which in this reviewers opinion is the greatest metal song of the 21st century. Likewise, four tracks from the Exhibit albums (‘The Ballad of Leonard and Charles’, ‘Beyond The Pale’, ‘Children..’ and ‘Iconoclasm’) continue to show Exodus’s natural knack for song writing hasn’t withered over the years.

Rob Dukes - Standing triumphant after kicking security away from the stage.

Rob Dukes – Standing triumphant after kicking security away from the stage.

As we come to the final songs of the night, Rob again openly engages with security as they get more extreme in their mission to stop crowd surfing. The music stops and Rob orders security out of the pit. At this point, things turn temporarily nasty as security back talk the singer and risk the wrath of ravenous fans at the front. Yours truly holds on for dear life at the barrier,  unable to move or get the camera out to film the tension as security guards speak with fans and the band, trying to work out what to do under the chants of ‘Security out’, ‘fuck off’ and ‘get out’. Eventually, security leave and the roar from fans lifts the roof of the venue. EXODUS win and it is time to party. Finally fans are allowed go properly nuts, with Rob helping crowd surfers up on stage for their dives. I last mere minutes at the front before collapsing back under about three people and it is savage craic. The pit, which had been in full on stampeded mode all night goes into extremities,  but the fans maintain that classic metal gig etiquette of stopping the second anyone falls to allow others to pick them up again. There isn’t a spirit in the house un-lifted by the sher win of it all. It is everything a metal gig used to be and could be. A show you normally only hear about, rather than get to witness in person these days and the best parts happened to the tune of ‘The Toxic Waltz’ and ‘Strike of the Beast’ – not a bad way to go out and quite possibly one of the best metal gigs ever to hit Dublin. 

1185952_10151828959338200_1525886034_nOn a personal note, I managed to lose my phone during one of the last tunes. After searching once the band had left the stage there was no sign until someone in the crowd said a lad had found a phone and brought it to bar. Short story short – they had it. I want to say a massive thank you to whoever handed it in. I was originally upset I hadn’t gotten video of Rob’s speech up the front while he kicked security out, but delighted to get the phone back with – the footage of it being knocked out of my hand. All below for your fun. I’ve heard since others lost their phones during the gig and all got them back. To anyone who says a bad word about metallers – tonight you had a gathering of some of the best, most genuine, honest people in the country. Band and fans alike did the metal world proud. Now, off to ice my chest, shoulder and elbow before the Unleashed Festival this weekend!

Report: Hellfest 2013 June 21st – 23rd (Clisson, France)

Posted in Gig Review, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2013 by Tickets There

601678_10151728838818200_23705405_n

20130619-194215.jpgWell, the hangovers have worn off, the body has stopped aching and the cure has been had. Hellfest 2013 is over and despite it only being two days since Tickets There’s triumphant return, it seems like a hell of a lot longer since I (yes I, too late for the split personality bullsh*t) was passed out on the street outside the terminal building in Nantes. Four nights and three days of heavy metal (and drink) fuelled mayhem in Clisson and already 2014 beckons. Before that though, we need to look back on some of this year’s highlights as witnessed between boozing sessions in the metal corner.

Friday was a packed day with Saxon, Testament, Twisted Sister,  Hellyeah, Helloween, Six Feet Under, Whitesnake and headliners Def Leppard all putting on excellent shows. Despite my thrill at seeing Saxon for the first time, my surprise at how amazing Helloween are and my sheer love for David Coverdale and co, the night was ruled by two bands – Twisted Sister and Def Leppard.

993592_10151728838263200_1860147127_nDee Snider and co put on a show that can only be described as perfect entertainment. In between jokes about the multiple DS wigs floating amongst the attendees and mass sing-alongs – the band rocked out hit after hit of cock rock excellence. The only thing that topped them was the highly anticipated performance from main stage closers an’ Sheffield’s finest, Def Leppard.

Leppard’s slot at the festival was special for two reasons. Number 1, Leppard were performing their Hysteria album in full for the first time ever in Europe. Second, guitarist Vivian Campbell was making his debut after announcing earlier this month that he has been receiving treatment for Cancer. In an unprecedented move, Leppard took the stage playing the tail end of The Who’s ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’, before lashing into their own set. Hellfesters from all genres were there to greet them and see one of the biggest bands in Rock. They kicked off with fan favourites, hits and rarely played cuts from their earlier albums including ‘Wasted’, ‘Good Morning Freedom’, ‘Foolin’, ‘Bringing On The Heartbreak’ without the usual acoustic intro, ‘Action’, ‘Lets Get Rocked’ and the iconic duelling guitar solo ‘Switch 625’. The band were on fire and the opening tunes served as the perfect intro for the most perfectly overly produced album of all time.

1011921_10151728838128200_81723133_nLittle can be said about Hysteria that hasn’t been written it before, but after 21 years of being a devoted Leppard fan I can honestly say the live show was one of the greatest moments of my gig going life. ‘Armageddon it’, ‘Gods of War’, ‘Don’t Shoot Shot Gun’, ‘Excitable’, ‘Love and Affection’ were all outstanding, but the king of their set was the incredible ‘Run Riot’, a song I have never heard live and one that has been a long standing champion on my favourite DL songs of all time list. After a brief interlude, the band returned and finished the night with the awesome ‘Rock of Ages’ and ‘Photograph‘. A phenomenal set from a band that just cannot be held back. Review? Nah – this is a fan’s tale.

By Saturday, things were starting to get a little hairy. Less acts were seen, more booze was had and the general festivities were getting bigger and bigger. ZZ Top, My Dying Bride, Red Fang, Down and KoRn were all witnessed and all (yes, Korn included) put on top performances. ZZ Top especially stood out with their southern blues rock n roll charm. Only one band could dethrone them, along with most bands playing this festival; the almighty KISS.

994165_10151728838718200_2021883397_nKISS are no strangers to Hellfest and previously headlined in 2010. As the familiar ‘Alright Clisson’ intro blared out over the PA, screams, arms and pints shot up and the band launched their Monster tour with ‘Psycho Circus’, the lead single from their 1998 comeback album of the same name. Greeting the crowd, Paul Stanley mocked that the band wouldn’t be growling – hellfest or no hellfest, because that’s ‘just not [their] style’. Knowing this was the final night of the band’s European summer tour, all the stops were expected to be pulled out and KISS didn’t disappoint. They delivered a hard paced set packed with their hits, tricks and sher awesomeness. ‘Shout It Out Loud’ had the crowd united in singing while ‘I Love It Loud’ bellowed through the audience with unmistakable force.

New single, ‘Hell or Hallelujah’, was enjoyed by all; including those who didn’t’ know it before ‘War Machine’ from 2009’s Sonic Boom and the classic ‘Deuce‘ bombarded their way in. After this it was time for Tommy and Eric to shine as Tommy took over the mic for the classic ‘Shock Me’ with Eric following with ‘Outta This World’. Gene took over again on ‘God of Thunder’ (not sang from the top of the lighting rig for sone reason) before ‘Lick It Up’, ‘Love Gun’ and ‘Rock and Roll All Night’ finished things off in classic over the top, fireworks fashion. As with any KISS show, there was so much happening it became hard to keep track off but with every song came the flying over the crowd, lifts, risers, smoke, explosions, fire breathing, confetti..etc, etc. it never gets old, it just gets better.

1010240_10151728837963200_636363376_nThe band returned for an encore consisting of ‘Detroit Rock City’ and ‘Black Diamond’, much to the crowds approval. KISS came, KISS saw, KISS destroyed Hellfest. Like Def Leppard on Friday, no matter what type of metal you were there to see – KISS blew you away. If they didn’t, you’re a sad sap who needs to leave your bedroom more often. Day 02 over – another resounding success.

Finally Day 3 came along and it felt just right. The sun was shining, the ‘Metal Corner’ was quiet – a good day for whiskey and rock ‘n’ roll; and what better way to start things off than Down playing a special set instead of the previously announced Clutch?. After that the likes of Lordi, Ghost (who suck live just as much as they did on their last album), Hypocrisy and Cradle of Filth, Danzig and Napalm Death fill out an evening of heavy, light and strange metal…well, light is a little misleading.

BNoiF2uCYAAlJ9PSunday was a day of surprises for TT. First of all, Danzig wasn’t just playing Danzig. On closer inspection of the t-shirt it turned out they were playing a surprise Misfits set with Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein joining them. Realizing this moments before they were due to take the stage was better than most birthday/Christmas presents can ever be. Danzig, Doyle and the guys sounded great and the pogo/mosh filled rendition of ‘Die, Die, Die My Darling’ was one of the true gems of Hellfest 2013.

Cradle of Filth provided the second surprise. Having not seen them since they played the Temple bar Music Centre way back in 2001, I wasn’t expecting the group to have seasoned too well. I was wrong as Dani Filth’s voice shredded through the Temple PA as crisp and powerful as ever. Indeed the entire band sounded amazing and even with the oddly out of place ‘Anywho’ comment from Dani, the band put on one of the best shows I managed to catch. The pentagram lighting rig above the stage only added to the atmosphere.

1013077_10151728838653200_334766648_nFinally, Napalm Death – a band I have read about, heard about and known for nearly 15 years, but strangely one I have never, ever tried to listen to expect for forced spins of ‘Nazi Punks Fuck Off’. What a show and what have I been doing all these years? They were incredible! One of the strongest, most bare fisted brutal acts of the entire weekend. I managed to get up good and close (my first and only attempt over the whole festival) and they were beyond reproach. Definitely the band I will be checking out more in the coming weeks and one I will never forgive myself for ignoring. Napalm Death – thank you!

I’m avoiding calling this a review because I just didn’t make the effort to see enough, record enough or stay sober enough for my opinion to carry any weight. However, that’s just how I wanted it. Hellfest blew me away and made me a life time attendee all in the one weekend. With it getting bigger and badder than ever every year – you can count me in as Johnny come lately but I ain’t never leaving. Bring on 2014, long live Hellfest and thank you to everyone who made it the best heavy metal experience of my life.

REPORT: Slayer – Live @ The Academy, Dublin (June 11th, 2013)

Posted in Gig Review, Music with tags , , , , , , , on June 13, 2013 by Tickets There

IMG_5078Going to see Slayer two nights in a row – one of the best decisions this writer has ever made. For the second night in a row, SLAYER raised the roof off Dublin’s Academy with what seemed like even more power and ferocity than Monday’s show (quite a feat considering the incredible performance they put on last night). There was even more banter from Tom Araya with him even (tongue in cheek) asking the crowd if there were ‘any requests?’, before he politely listened and remembered ‘we don’t do that’.

IMG_5072The set-list also saw a few changes with ‘Hallowed Point, At Dawn They Sleep, Stain of Mind, The Antichrist, Payback’ and ‘Hell Awaits’ all being dropped and replaced by ’Spirit In Blood, Die By The Sword, Postmortem, Altar of Sacrifice, Jesus Saves’ and ‘Ghosts of War’ which gave the night a fresh feeling, rather than just rehashing the same show as the night before.

Rather than go through a detailed review (again), heres what ye all want. Photos, set lists and videos – enjoy J.

Monday June 10th Videos

Tuesday June 11th Videos

SLAYER
Live @ Dublin’s Academy Set-lists
Monday, June 10th 2013 Tuesday, June 11th 2013
World Painted   Blood World Painted Blood
Hallowed Point Spirit in Black
War Ensemble War Ensemble
Hate Worldwide Hate Worldwide
At Dawn They   Sleep Die by the Sword
Stain of Mind Bloodline
Disciple Disciple
Bloodline Postmortem
Mandatory   Suicide Altar of Sacrifice
Chemical   Warfare Jesus Saves
Seasons in the   Abyss Mandatory Suicide
Dead Skin Mask Chemical Warfare
The Antichrist Ghosts of War
Payback Seasons in the Abyss
Hell Awaits Dead Skin Mask
Raining Blood Raining Blood
Encore: Encore:
South of   Heaven South of Heaven
Angel of Death Angel of Death

Review: SLAYER – Live @ The Academy, Dublin (June 10th, 2013)

Posted in Gig Review, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2013 by Tickets There

IMG_5016It’s amazing how much has changed in the Slayer camp  since this show was announced. Back in March, we were all happy and safe knowing Tom Araya, Kerry King, Jeff Hanneman and Dave Lombardo were all happy and.., well happy as in Jeff was in his second year of absenteeism from the band and Dave had just sat out an Australian tour due to a financial dispute with Tom and Kerry. But, when you read Wikipedia, all four members were listed as ‘Current Line-up’. Since March, it all seemed to go a little pear-shaped.

First we had the news that Jeff Hanneman, the legend behind some of Slayer’s best known and beloved songs, had passed away unexpectedly. Jeff’s death sent shockwaves around the metal world with fans and musicians alike expressing their shock and sadness. To make things worse, the Westboro Bastard Church wasted no time sending out their hate literature. Fred Phelps (future favourite dildo in the Devil’s collection) and his hatemongers even made the laughable suggestion that they would picket his memorial. A massacre that was thankfully (er…thankfully?) avoided when they failed to show for the late May service at the Hollywood Palladium. Then things got a little more depressing.

Dave Lombardo (founding member and drumming machine) was unceremoniously kicked out, with the announcement that former Slayer sticks man, Paul Bostaph, would re-joining the band permanently. Things didn’t look the healthiest in the Slayer camp. Death, disagreements and half the line-up – not exactly a recipe for success….unless you’re SLAYER!

IMG_5039For tonight’s long awaited return to Dublin, Slayer have not arranged support (or even a decent few tunes for the PA while we wait – unless you like awful f**king elevator reggae or whatever the hell that is), but then again – SLAYER need no support. With the band running more than 30 minutes late, you’d expect things to start getting a little tense but everyone tonight is happy to wait. With the air thick with chants of SLAYER, SLAYER – the lights go off and the band are on. Gary, Tom, Paul and Kerry take position and launch into ‘World Painted Blood’. Tom’s smile beams across the room as he takes in the packed venue, even taking the time to remark on the intimacy of the show as the band stampede (I love using that word) through an incredible set packed with favourites, new and old. ‘Hallowed Point’, ‘WAR ENSEMBLE’ and ‘Hate Worldwide’ carry on the thrashing, fuelling a pit that threatens to encompass the whole standing area.

IMG_5028The band look and sound great with Gary and Paul doing their parts to perfection. Tom speaks to the crowd on a few occasions but nothing is really said about Jeff’s passing. Instead, the band are here to show SLAYER is alive and well and they are tearing the Academy a new one tonight. ‘Stain of Mind’, ‘Disciple’, ‘Mandatory Suicide’, and ‘Chemical Warfare’ – one after another the songs just keep pounding out, hitting the crowd like bricks. Although the sound could be described as quiet for a Slayer gig, the bands ferocious presence still dominates the stage …and the beating continues. ‘Seasons in The Abyss’, ‘Dead Skin Mask’, ‘ANTICHRIST’ are all on show – delivered with more intensity and presence than the band’s last trek to Dublin in 2006. ‘Hell Awaits’ and ‘Raining Blood’ bring a tremendous set to its close, the massive pit to its peak and the crowd’s fears for Slayer’s future – to bed!

IMG_5062As the band break, the giant Slayer banner which was displayed all night disappears and a giant HANNEMAN banner in Heineken style lettering appears. In tribute to Jeff, the band return for an encore of ‘South of Heaven’ and ‘Angel of Death’, two of Hanneman’s best known pieces before calling it a night. With a smile, Tom thanks the crowd and says he’ll see us tomorrow. Damn right Tom, see you then and thank you sir!

Review: Whitesnake – Live @ The Odyssey Arena, Belfast (May 16th, 2013)

Posted in Gig Review, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 20, 2013 by Tickets There

whitesnakeMaiden, Metallica, Sabbath and now Whitesnake – for some reason Dublin is missing out on a lot of high quality metal and rock shows these last couple of years; with the bands choosing to play up north instead. In some ways it sucks, but if you’re from the north it’s probably a long overdue welcome. In fairness, a few minutes walking around Belfast or nearly any other northern city/town and you see streets chock-full of Maiden, Motorhead, and Scorpions t-shirts; far more than you tend to see this side of the border. With that comes a high expectation of a good rock crowd for gigs though and tonight, that expectation isn’t met. It’s not Belfast’s fault, I’ve had great fun there before. It certainly isn’t Whitesnake or Thunder’s fault.…hmmmmm.

20130520-174249.jpgThunder bang on first; a hearty thirty minutes after the doors open. Despite the earliness of the show (and the strict no smoking rule in the Odyssey), there’s a throng of seated and standing fans in to witness the return of Thunder to the live arena. After several on / off years – the band are now on their first major tour in years with appearances at Download and Wacken also on the bill. They show their age slightly in the unadvised leaps in the air, beer bellies slipping out, and occasional sloppiness, but they go down well and have a laugh. Danny Bowes even manages to pull a few reluctant sing alongs out while those first pints ease us into relaxation.

Whitesnake, on the other hand, have rarely left the colossal amphitheatres they helped create. David Coverdale is a huge presence on stage and he wins his crowd through a perfect mixture of charisma, talent, charm and, of course, complete tongue in cheek cheesiness and comically refined expletives. David is rock’s greatest love poet and after 35 years at the helm of this band, still has the chops to back it all up. Yes, Tickets There is a fan.

20130520-174542.jpgWhitesnake emerge in great spirits with no pretention, bluster or pandering. Smiles beam from their faces as they cross the stage and see the packed room explode with delight. ‘Give Me All Your Love’ roars out sounding as sharp as it did in 1987. Although the crowd seem to out sing Whitesnake’s PA, there’s a distinct lack of atmosphere from some pockets and their merchandise, beige and stripped ‘recreational’ shirts and corduroy give the game away. They’re here for one thing – ‘Don’t Stop Believing’. That’s right, there’s a Journey show happening after Whitesnake and these guys have gotten in early. Most watch the show with the same enthusiasm they’d review the stocks on CNN. While Whitesnake shred through ‘Ready an’ Willing’, ‘Can You Hear The Wind Blow’ and the epic, ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart Again’, the older Journey fans stare blankly, sipping glasses of wine. The younger ones spend the time shouting at each other about the cheap brand WKD on sale and how they love ‘Thunderstruck’. Not the best mix for a rocking atmosphere.

20130520-174332.jpgOn stage, the snake continue to bash out a set nicely mixed between classic favourites like ‘Is This Love’ and ‘Gambler’ (lovingly dedicated to the memory of former WS guitarist, Mel Galley), to newer material ‘Love Will Set You Free, ‘Steal Your Heart Away’ and ‘Forevermore’. The roaring guitar duel between Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach shreds through the crowd before the battle continues with a taste of ‘Best Years’ and a final kicking of Whitesnake standards, ‘Bad Boys’, ‘Fool For Your Loving’, ‘Here I Go Again’ and the number one – ‘Still of the Night’. Whitesnake gracefully bow and thank the crowd before departing into the warm Belfast night. This blogger takes a page from their book and scarpers. Journey fans are approaching the arena and f**k knows what could happen……something very exciting we’re sure….coughs.

(My sincerest apologies for the terrible photos. I hung on towards the back and yes, I regret that now…. and I may have been drinking)