“An Evening With” is becoming an ever more popular way of touring, Halestorm graced us with their “Evening with” last year, but only playing two dates across the country (Liverpool and London). This Black Stone Cherry tour is colossal in comparison. 13 dates in the UK, including two dates at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire. Not only that but if you aren’t aware of how these shows work, Black Stone Cherry are their own support so technically it’s more like 26 dates considering they’re playing twice a night, which is a whole lotta’ Black Stone Cherry.
After their humongous arena tour at the start of this year with supports from Shinedown, Halestorm and Highly Suspect, it was going to be a struggle the next time they landed on our shores to top how vast those shows were. But they are back and with a new album under their belts. ‘Kentucky’ by name and by nature with some very southern rock vibes rolled in, it feels like their most rooted album in a long time. So if you’re ready, take a seat and experience Kentucky.
The acoustic set is what you’d expect and could be summed up in one sentence “Were going to cry and hold ourselves after this, then come back and rock your asses off.” If you adore Black Stone Cherry, this tour was thought of with you in mind. The inclusion of ‘Hell & High Water’ had Chris explaining how “This is how we recorded it and how it was meant to be heard.” Seriousness aside, their on stage back and forths made for light entertainment. Before Between The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea track ‘Like I Roll’ guitarist Ben piped up with “we all had long hair back then… now Chris has no hair.”
One on-stage fan proposal and a quick interval later, the band were back on stage, ready for a full force electric set. Obviously with it being the ‘Experience Kentucky’ tour the set would land heavy on the songs from the latest album. However tracks like‘Please Come In’, much to the appreciation of the crowd, landed a place in the set having not been played in years.
‘Cheaper To Drink Alone’ was filled with smooth guitar tones to get everyone shimmying along in their seats. ‘In My Blood’ and ‘Blind Man’ still to this day hold a highlight in the set lists that every core fan knows well. John Fred Young’s drum solo was like pumping heavy metal with steroids for a few seconds then a sweet hip-hop beat the next. There is really no way to explain it, you have to see it with your own eyes.
Black Stone Cherry make a staple of ending their sets with ‘Lonely Train’, and had the entire standing area not been filled with seats, there probably would have been a few pits. But unfortunately everyone was stuck to their designated seating arrangement, so having a little boogie standing infront of your seat would’ve had to do. If you didn’t leave the night wanting to hear at least a few more songs then you obviously weren’t in the Kentucky spirit, because we could’ve listened to the sweet, sweet songs that Kentucky’s finest had to offer all night long.
Photo Credit – Erin Moore / Forte Photography Uk