An unusual triple American bill rolled over to UK shores. Opening tonight was Adelitas Way, despite a ten-plus-year musical legacy they were actually making their debut visit. Middle of the bill though billed as co-headliners were Hoobastank who are infrequent visitors to the UK. Closing the night was regular touring band Buckcherry.
Opening on a three-band bill usually results in the first band playing to a small crowd and such it proved as Adelitas Way strived against adversity and some sound issues to entertain the Manchester audience. I felt sorry for a band that are a huge success in the States to have to play a small crowd of a few hundred on their debut UK show, A small number of fans appeared to be familiar with their material but sadly not the majority who unfairly stood around largely disinterested. The band did their best to deliver an engaging and entertaining set but largely failed to win over the majority despite their best efforts. Closing their set with “Invincible”, I hope that they will not let the support slot status deter them from a return to UK shores
Hoobastank are a band universally known for one particular song, the title track off an album released back in 2003, “The Reason”. On this tour, they would be playing that album in its entirety. As I was lucky enough to have done interviews with all the acts prior to the show, I managed to do a little advance research and familiarised myself with the band’s back catalogue. The band are engaging with an ever-increasing audience from the outset of their performance. They deliver that 2003 album with a fresh enthusiasm as if they were actually just playing the songs for the very first time. Again, they did struggle to engage the majority of the now close to the maximum capacity venue. It appeared that from the amount of Buckcherry t-shirts on display, that their place in finishing each night was certainly justified in terms of merchandise sales at least. Hard to define the band in terms of musical style or genre, suffice to say that the songs that they deliver traverse several. From catchy ballads to heavy crunchy and guitar-driven hard rock songs. The obligatory singalong did come along when “that” song featured, but a large proportion of the audience were actively and enthusiastically engaged throughout the band’s set. Culminating with a few other tracks that are not on the album, saw the band bow out with “Running Away” and “Crawling in the Dark”, which their fans also seemed to appreciate. In conclusion, the band fought well against the odds of a largely partisan Buckcherry crowd and won over many new converts to their musical cause.
The final band of the evening was Buckcherry, frequent visitors to the venues of the UK. It seems like they are always on tour and always include a UK/European leg of dates on each and everyone that they do. Their lineup may have changed since the last tour, but despite being a band, it is largely all about frontman Josh Todd. They have now built up quite a set list of classic rock anthems, but all attention is focused on the charismatic frontman from the opening number. I thought that he struggled vocally to get into his stride for the first few numbers, but then once he found his range he delivered with all guns blazing. Rock cliches may be overly prevalent but always with a tongue-in-cheek sense of humour. More importantly, in the eyes of the fans, they are enthused, entertained, and widely appear to be having a great time. The ballad and in my opinion their best song “Sorry” takes the excitement down to a more subdued level albeit only briefly before a new song brings it back to full-on rock mode culminating with the ultimate party anthem “Crazy Bitch”. An extended version of the band’s best-loved song ending the night on a high.
Photos by Christopher James Ryan