It’s the last night of the tour and a buzz can certainly be felt as the atmosphere builds in Club Academy, Manchester, with the epic Dan Reed Network taking over the town with two great up-and-coming bands for support.
Taking to the stage first tonight was Hollowstar who were more than ready to start the night. This is a band who are clearly very grateful to the position they are in and are using it to spread a great message. Amongst all the heavy riffs and tracks they slow things down in order to speak about the very relevant message of mental health. It’s clear that this is a subject that is close to the band’s hearts. The guys in Hollowstar are born entertainers as they become captivating to watch perform and seem to be enjoying themselves doing it. They are also a band who love a bit of crowd interaction and even closed their set with some call and response with the track that put them on the airwaves. If you’ve missed these guys then it’s highly recommendable to check them out!
Up next were a band who Dan Reed himself has personally worked with – Mason Hill. This is a band who always seem to bring a whole ton of energy with them. Despite lead singer, Scott Taylor having, what appears to be, a terrible cold, from start to finish these guys are here to put on a performance and that’s certainly what they gave tonight. They make sure to use every inch of the available stage and do so with style while still performing with ease. The interaction between the band themselves is great to watch as grins are exchanged between each other showing just how much fun they are having. But it’s “Where I Belong” that really showcases quite how special this band is. Beginning the track with just the frontman and lead guitarist on stage it really is quite a moment before the rest of the band join them and take this slow track to a whole new level which features a rather impressive solo too. Closing the set the guys do a great cover of Audioslave’s “Cochise” which really is quite impressive! There’s a reason the great Dan Reed chose to work with these guys and tonight’s performance is part of it, they put on a killer show with some truly great tracks.
The room has now packed out and that means it’s time for Dan Reed Network to take the stage. Now here’s a band who put energy and so much more into a show. Every single member of this band is here to perform, and they absolutely put their all into it. They are at the top of their game and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. But a DRN show is more than just a performance it’s an experience shared between the band and the fans who have come out to see them. There are no barriers between the two and that makes it so much more than just coming out to see your favourite band. Dan Reed himself often throughout the show steps down off the stage and up to the barrier to interact with fans which is a perfect example of this.
If you take anything away from a DRN show it’s just how well the whole band interacts with each other. Throughout the entire 2-hour set there is lots of joking around but also a tremendous amount of support for each other as each of them takes their moment centre stage. While we might know this band for the man it’s named after there is a whole lot more to them and it is perfectly projected through their live shows. But it’s not just the band joking around, they make sure to include the crowd and Dan Reed is quite the comedian as he interacts with the room.
But these fans are here to see more than just a band perform on stage they are here to hear the music of this band. Performing an array of tracks from their back catalogue, there were certain tracks that the crowd were expecting to hear such as “Tiger In A Dress”. We were even treated to Brion James taking over lead vocals and the band’s newest member on keyboards, picking up a guitar and taking over the mic. Another track which got the whole crowd up and dancing was “Ritual” which is always a winner when performed. Oh, and we must not forget that lovely moment when Dan’s son came up on stage and outshone everyone with his dancing, it’s just a shame he decided not to sing with his dad, here’s hoping for next time Now there’s only one way to close a DRN show and that’s with the whole band stood front and center singing “A Long Way To Go” without any instruments. Tonight, this was made extra special, with Dan inviting Hollowstar and Mason Hill back to the stage.
It doesn’t matter how many times you see this, it’s always a truly special moment that shows just why this band has continued to keep such a strong fan base.
From start to finish a set from this band is jam-packed with notable moments. Too many to write up here so there’s only one option left – find a show and go see these guys for a night you will remember!!