Gig Review: Buckcherry + Supports

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Buckcherry + Palace of the King + Electrik Dynamite
The Metro, Sydney
18 March 2016
Review by Cameron Cooper
Photos by Onur Karaozbek

A decade since their break-out record, 15, and 21 years since conception, rock ‘n’ rollers Buckcherry may have disappeared from mainstream consciousness in Australia, but not from the hearts of the faithful. In a sense, the group have gone much the same way as Pearl Jam: their records aren’t as celebrated anymore, but relentless touring has seen them transform into an unstoppable, hardened live music machine.

The show was kicked off by Melbourne headbangers, Electrik Dynamite. The five-piece’s blend of hard-edged, Dokken-esque glam rock and Iron Maiden guitarmonies was let down by a rather atrocious mix. Catchy hooks were drowned out by bass and drums one minute, with duel guitar solos obfuscated by synth chords the next. Despite the mix, the band’s energy, song-writing skills and playing chops could still be detected. Definitely a band worth checking out next time they roll into town.

Whatever problems plagued Electrik Dynamite were solved by the time Palace of the King took the stage. A mind-bendingly proficient six-piece, the group swaggered with late 60s sensibilities and a modern day attitude. Vocalist Tim Henwood commanded the stage with a quiet confidence that only comes from years of being in the rock n’ roll trenches, but make no mistake: the band were more than the sum of its parts. A well-oiled machine of debauchery, wit and badassery, it was hard to imagine the night getting any better, especially after bass player Andrew Gilpin’s tremendous solo.

As the mosh pit filled with everyone from die-hards to sceptical hopefuls, Buckcherry stormed the stage, ploughing through an hour-long set. While rhythm section Xavier Muriel and Kelly LeMieux hanged-tough up the back, axe-slingers Keith Nelson and Stevie D commanded their sides of the stage, tied-together by frontman Josh Todd’s sex-dripping moves and battle-hardened vocals. It must be said that the band’s recorded material doesn’t have a patch on their live renditions. Sorry, was sadder, Bring It On Back, was heavier, and Crazy Bitch was more sinister. A performance so stellar, the band could be forgiven for the slightly patronising tease of, Highway to Hell, thrown in before the encore.

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