Rival Sons conquer the Paradise!

So let’s get the obvious over with….the poet they had on tour with them, not a great idea in my opinion. A little bit of a buzz kill. I guess I just did not “get it.”

Now let’s get into the good stuff!

Two nights ago, May 17th, I went to the Paradise Rock Club to see one of my favorite bands, Rival Sons. As we walk up to the venue and get in line, it was a very expected atmosphere. The people here, well….most of the people, really love good music and good bands. Right down the line, I am seeing Zeppelin t-shirts (like mine), Sabbath shirts, etc. Age groups ranging from teens to 50s and older. Ponytails, long beards, etc. The perfect atmosphere for the show. Next, we make our way through the line and into the venue. We then find a good place to stand and the waiting begins…While we wait, they really did a great job with hiring a DJ of sorts to spin old 45s on the house speakers instead of the generic music. This idea was genius in my book. Then, we wait…

The Rival Son’s lead singer, Jay Buchanan, comes out and introduces the first band, The London Souls. As soon as these guys start, they are amazing. The just tear up the stage with a sound that has the soul and groove similar to Gary Clark Jr but the distortion, heaviness, and excitement of the Jimi Hendrix Experience and it is only a two person band made up of drums and guitar. They rock the house, a perfect opening band for the Rival Sons. Watching them and hearing the sound they make between the two of them gives me hope for the future and for the music they make which is hard to find these days. I loved them so much that I bought one of their records at the show since I knew the money was going to go directly too them instead of buying it off iTunes or Newbury Comics.

Then there was a poet, enough said.

Now, the anticipation is really building especially after the “poet.” Finally, the lights dim and the stage is then hinted with a small amount of red light. We start hearing The Good, The Bad and The Ugly theme. It was a perfect opening to the band! Finally Rival Sons come out and just completely obliterate the crowd. I totally lost it when they came out. There music is so powerful that I just immediately got in the zone and had this big release of anticipation and stress. It was something I have never experienced before at a concert. I couldn’t control myself. It was as if the sound just completely hit me across the face and flew right through me. I was in my own world. It is weird to say it but it was almost cleansing in a way, mentally, and it felt like I was releasing stress that I had built up in the last couple weeks. It was definitely a unique experience. They just tore through the first 3-4 songs with such a powerful sound, it made the little Paradise feel like Gillette Stadium. In my opinion, it takes a very gifted band to make a sound like that and make you feel a certain when you see them live. It was exactly what I needed.

Rival Sons are on a special path. I don’t think that path is to become the biggest band ever but instead it is a path the leads to making music that lets people feel a release of some kind. I came to this realization the other night at the Paradise. It was a special concert as well for me, mentally. Apart from the times I spend with my family and the moments that I have with and the love I have for my girlfriend, music moments like the one I had during the first couple songs are moments that I don’t believe I could ever have with my job or my friends or a moment like getting a new car or house. It hits you much deeper and it very emotional, at least for me. It is something you would not expect to happen at a concert.

That pretty much sums up the Rival Sons show. It was a personally emotional but extremely fun night. Above all else, the music was incredible and made you feel the way you should truly feel at a live rock ‘n’ roll show. I can’t wait to see them again.











Featured Image from: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/rival-sons-interview-how-the-blues-rockers-have-forged-their-own-path-to-fame-10123483.html

Last Of Their Kind

The kings of heavy metal land in Massachusetts. The Prince of Darkness among them. After almost a year since I purchased the tickets, my dad and I were lucky enough to see Black Sabbath live Thursday night in Mansfield, MA at the Xfinity Center while on their final, goodbye “THE END” tour together and BOY…did they go out with a bang! Now even though traffic was terrible on the way down, parking was frustrating even with VIP parking (surprise, surprise) and I was cheap and bought lawn seats (not to mention being short), this was one of the most fun concerts I have ever been to.

When we finally arrived and finally found our VIP parking lot, I knew immediately this was going to be a unique show. I have been to a lot concerts, small shows, stadium shows, shows where there was moshing, shows where I sat the whole time (Fleetwood Mac….), but this was unlike any other. The people were what made this concert great (apart from Sabbath of course). They were people you would expect to be at a Black Sabbath concert. Leather jackets, ripped band shirts, bandannas, and a whole lot of cigarette smoke. We even spotted a heard of bikers approach. This set the tone for the show and it was great!

The next great event of this show was Rival Sons opening up, on the dot, 7:30pm. I am a huge Rival Sons fan. These guys play the music I love. They came out and ripped it. Ozzy…..you made a great choice in an opener (he hand picked the band)! Soulful and strong vocals, heavy and catchy riffs, groovy bass and heart pounding percussion. They have it all. Once they they finished their set………it was time……….!

The lights go out, the screen in the background shows a video of a blood soaked egg hatching and out comes what looks to be a demon. I looked over at my dad, slowly head nodding in approval….”yes..” I start hearing rain and thunder sounds and then finally….Ozzy appears, followed but Geezer and Tommy and they blast into the opening riffs for the song “Black Sabbath.” Song after song, heavier than ever! The whole crowd was headbanging, air guitar, and air drumming. The smell of cigarettes and…um…*cough* other substances in the air. This was great! I felt like I was seeing them back in the day. It was such a cool experience and I feel so lucky to see them before they are gone forever.

This concert got me thinking too. As my dad and I were driving home, he brought up a good point that these bands are fading away. It will not be long until it will be “The End” tour for any band that came out of the mid to late 60s and 70s. The music from that time period is timeless. It definitely is a very unique time in music. I do not think there has been any other time period where the music is as relevant today as it was back then. It is sad to think that when I have kids, I will not be able to bring them to concerts like Black Sabbath, Rush (most likely), Fleetwood Mac, etc. How many more years to the Rolling Stones REALLY have?

Black Sabbath really are the last of their kind. A lot of the bands from their era that are still around, are not touring. The band members may not even be making music together anymore and the music they are making…..isn’t really that great. Black Sabbath’s recent album “13” was amazing. Heavier than they have ever been. I believe a new Zeppelin album would be the same way but just like the others, they two no longer making music, let alone touring (C’mon guys! You know you want to!). Sabbath are the last remaining band of their time that are touring together and making music together with 3/4 of their original lineup. I cannot think of any band, of their caliber, touring and making music as good as it was when they started way back.

People like me, who really appreciate and respect that music of any band including Sabbath from that time period have responsibility to carry that passion on to our children because, as I said above, it is timeless, spans generations, and influenced most of the bands coming out today.

I felt so lucky Thursday night to see them and will always remember it for the reasons I laid out above. They are one of a kind. They are the last of their kind……..and, by the way, I am done buying lawn tickets.



Photo by: http://bloody-disgusting.com/news/3427616/black-sabbath-era-come-end/