Fittingly for a band from the home of glitz and glamour, Adelitas Way from Las Vegas, don’t lack for presence – it’s there in the way they present themselves throughout. Nor, to be honest, do they lack self-deprecation, they know this is rock n roll, nothing serious. “I know what you’re thinking,” offers Rick DeJesus “aren’t you a bit old for a new band? Well we ain’t. We’ve got six albums and we’ve been going for 11 years.” They do have the air of an outfit who wants to grasp this chance, though and “Ready For War (Pray For Peace)” is the type of thing that could get them noticed. “Vibes” is the sort of arena rock that US bands seem to have a natural gift for, but this is no style over substance thing like Shinedown. “Last Stand” is one of those big ballads that connect with people, but “Criticise” is more aggressive, while “Invincible” has a real nose for trouble. “For anyone that didn’t come and rock out with Adelitas Way tonight, let them know what they missed” says the singer. You get the sense that this Vegas based bunch are really set to the roll the dice.
10 million record sales is not to be sniffed at. That’s where Hoobastank are and that’s probably why they have the inbuilt air of confidence that comes with genuine mainstream success. You can see why they’ve been so popular for so long too. Huge hooks and radio friendly anthems abound. “Pieces” and “Out Of Control” do the whole don’t bore us, get to the chorus thing superbly and “Remember Me” absolutely slams. Doug Robb – one of three original members here – gives an energetic performance as well, providing a real energy to “Same Direction”. Dan Estrin brings some real melody on the mid-paced “Running Away”, while the shackles properly come off on “Just One” which really lets itself go and “Born To Lead” does something a touch funky. Not the most prolific band in the world, the LA based quartet released their first album in six years back in 2018 and “Don’t Look Away” from it, possesses something a little darker. Then there’s the anthem. It’s fair to say there’s not many who don’t know “The Reason” in here, while “Crawling In The Dark” merely reinforces what the rest of the hour made clear. Hoobastank are very good at what they do and can handle a show like this with ease.
Almost 20 years ago – give or take six weeks – Buckcherry opened for Kiss at Wembley Arena. I know, because I was there. To be fair, they were the reason I went. There was something about them back then, an air of danger – not just the ludicrous song about cocaine that earned them notoriety, but a palpable feeling that they were a gang you wouldn’t want to mess with.
They’d just stuck out their debut record too. Their debut record helped breathe new life into rock n roll. Times have changed maybe, band members come and go (only wafer-thin singer Josh Tod remains from those days) but Buckcherry are still all about a whiff of danger, a gang mentality and filthy rock n roll.
Their 75 minutes here starts with their cover of “Head Like A Hole” – better than you imagine it might be, is about the size of it, but it is with “Broken Glass” one of a clutch of songs from “15” that things really get going.
There is a genuine sound of sleaze in the licks of Stevie D. and he is more than happy to play on that in the likes of “Rose.”
“Lit Up” the sole cut from the debut is daft, but try and resist it, you never could and you never will, but it is outdone in the stupid stakes by a cover of Icona Pop’s “Say Fuck It” and whilst I am still of the opinion that rock versions of pop songs are never a good idea – the sold out crowd singing “I don’t care” at Todd’s behest proves me in a minority.
“Warpaint” the title track of their upcoming record mixes well in this company, “Bent”, another newbie, likewise a bit later, while “Sorry” is one of two genuine crossover tunes that raise the roof.
The other, well you know the other, and “Crazy Bitch” is sung for all its worth. Extended into a jam that includes snippets of “Two Tickets To Paradise”, “Jungle Boogie” and “Proud Mary” it is unapologetic, potty mouthed and proud. It ends the show the only way it could, really.
An energetic band who give an old school performance – Kelly LeMieux on bass dances with all the grace of your dad at a wedding, but he doesn’t care and neither should you – Josh Todd puts it thus: “you can be who you want at a Buckcherry show”.
That’s the point, it always was. It has been for twenty years. This form of rock n roll is escapism. It’s not to be taken seriously, it is to be enjoyed. Mission accomplished, then in that case.