Black Star Riders @ Pustervik, Gothenburg (SE)

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BLACK STAR RIDERS / REACH

Date: 05th June, 2017
VenuePustervik
Tickets: 340SEK (€33/$39)
Promoter: Triffid And Danger
Photos: Erika Wallberg


It looked like it would have been a dull evening quite close to show start this early summer evening in Gothenburg. No wonder of course since: a) BLACK STAR RIDERS also were lined up for 'Sweden Rock Festival', and b) 'Sweden Rock Festival' kicked off two days after the concert and many people travelled there early to get set up. But halfway through the REACH set, it was a decent crowd at Pustervik.

I've never heard of REACH prior to this event, which seems to be the case with all opening acts these days. They came as a very pleasant surprise though as they both had very good songs and fantastic musical skills. The wide stage and their own back-line in front of what was setup for BLACK STAR RIDERS made drummer Marcus Johansson end up in the center front position pushing the rest of the band out in the shadows a bit. This became really striking, he's a great drummer first and foremost but also the way he showed off connecting with the audience and really stealing the show. It's not very common but becomes a very good asset when as for REACH, Ludvig Turner was stuck playing and singing most of the time.

Heavy and suggestive “The Beast” quickly became a favorite of mine from the set. It sounded amazing and I started to feel a bit bummed out that I've missed REACH until now as they sounded fantastic. A bold cover in “Mistreated” was presented also to the crowd’s joy, definitely a good choice of song as most people present was from the Old School, '70s type of Hard Rock fans. However, as fantastic as Ludvig sounded in REACH's own tracks it felt that this didn't suite his voice at all. He could definitely reach the highest notes but it felt shaky in a way, not at all as flawless as the band's own tracks. Also, set closer “Tell Me” sounded great; again, a very catchy tune and looking around all in the crowd were nodding approvingly to REACH's music. So, REACH was definitely a good start of the night!

REACH setlist:

01. “You Called My Name”
02. “The Beast”
03. “Reach Out”
04. “Lookin' For Love”
05. “Mistreated”
06. “Tell Me”

REACH

Reach @ Pustervik, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Reach @ Pustervik, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Reach @ Pustervik, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Reach @ Pustervik, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Reach @ Pustervik, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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The place filled up to a decent level when it was gig time for BLACK STAR RIDERS but it was a very mellow crowd. After all, it was a Monday, although the Swedish National Day and a public holiday the day after, so I expected a bit more. People were crowding up at stage right, in front of Scott Gorham which isn't all that strange. He's a true legend and a fantastic guitarist. To my surprise, the beer started to flow as soon as the band started playing, so the atmosphere changed rather quickly as the mood was set on high. After the title track from debut “All Hell Breaks” and new “Heavy Fire”, the place was heated up for real.

It still surprises me how BLACK STAR RIDERS impacts me; I mean, we just got back from a three day festival and hit this one straight up. I admit to be dead-tired but when “Killer Instinct” hit the speakers, I was as charged as if I'd been starving on music for years. Even if BLACK STAR RIDES music is mellow and rather laid back, the energy they generate as a band is massive. It also surprises me still how suitable this music is for Ricky Warwick. I was a huge THE ALMIGHTY fan and, reading about this, I thought he would be too rough around the edges but it's really perfect. He's so charming claiming to not speaking Swedish and is about to teach everyone present some Gaelic instead for “Soldierstown”. Another fantastic track and an absolute live-favorite. The response from the crowd was immense and sent shivers down my spine. Another favorite from “The Killer Instinct” album is “Charlie, I Gotta Go”; the THIN LIZZY oozing softie has such a nerve and fines it's almost hard to breathe. I don't want to miss anything of it and it feels like I will if I lose focus for just a second.

The only thing that bugs me with the BLACK STAR RIDERS shows are the selection of THIN LIZZY songs. Both “Boys Are Back In Town” and “Whiskey In the Jar” (which of course not is a LIZZY original even...) are good of course, but so worn out these days. And looking at other fantastic songs Scott Gorham has been writing over the years... I certainly would freak out for “Emerald”, “Massacre” or “Bad Reputation” for example.

But, instead of getting stuck there, I focus on the fantastic BLACK STAR RIDERS tracks - it sure was a good suite with “Who Rides The Tiger” followed by “Blindsided” and super catchy “Testify Or Say Goodbye”. Even if Pustervik as a venue is rather big, the whole show felt very intimate and personal. It was of course rather easy to get close to the stage which normally does the trick but also the bands attitude made the evening very warm, cozy and joyful. I was so surprised when “Bound For Glory” kicked off; I took a small sneak peak at the setlist before the show and knew this was almost the end of the show. It felt like BLACK STAR RIDERS had been playing for half an hour at this point when it really was 1,5...

And with that being said, it's no need to point out how damn good a show this was; my expectations were extremely high getting to Gothenburg and after this treatment I was longing for the second and third doze of BLACK STAR RIDERS at ‘Sweden Rock Festival’ and ‘Copenhell’.

BLACK STAR RIDERS setlist:

01. “All Hell Breaks”
02. “Heavy Fire”
03. “Bloodshot”
04. “Killer Instinct”
05. “Dancing With The Wrong Girl”
06. “Soldierstown”
07. “Hey Judas”
08. “When The Night Comes In”
09. “Cold War Love”
10. “Charlie, I Gotta Go”
11. “The Boys Are Back In Town” (THIN LIZZY cover)
12. “Who Rides The Tiger”
13. “Blindsided”
14. “Testify Or Say Goodbye”
15. “Kingdom Of The Lost”
16. “Finest Hour”
17. “Bound For Glory”
18. “Whiskey In The Jar”

BLACK STAR RIDERS

Black Star Riders @ Pustervik, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Black Star Riders @ Pustervik, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Black Star Riders @ Pustervik, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Black Star Riders @ Pustervik, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Black Star Riders @ Pustervik, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Black Star Riders @ Pustervik, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Black Star Riders @ Pustervik, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Black Star Riders @ Pustervik, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Black Star Riders @ Pustervik, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Black Star Riders @ Pustervik, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Black Star Riders @ Pustervik, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Black Star Riders @ Pustervik, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Black Star Riders @ Pustervik, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Black Star Riders @ Pustervik, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Black Star Riders @ Pustervik, Gothenburg (SE) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

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