The excitement builds in the crowded room as the lights dim, signalling that it is finally time for Black Star Riders. They have a 90 minute set, crammed with 19 tracks taken from all four of their albums.
First on the list is ‘the title track from the brand new record ‘Another State of Grace’ swiftly followed by two older tracks ‘the Killer Instinct’ and ‘All Hell Breaks Loose’ which instantly get the Welsh crowd singing and bouncing along. With a set full of their finest songs, there isn’t a great deal of time for Ricky (Vocals/Guitar) to chat - except about the important stuff. Buy the records, sing the songs, enjoy the rock.
Christian Martucci (guitar) fits in brilliantly with his Dean. This is his first tour as a Black Star Rider - replacing founder member Damon Johnson earlier this year. He has a completely different playing style, and he brings a new dimension to the older tracks, and his connection with the BSR crowd is instant.
The classic dual guitar work with the legendary Scott Gorham works brilliantly. Gorham has a long career behind him, and brings that experience to the stage in every track. There is a sharing of solos, between Scott and Christian, and with three guitars on stage, they work a magic of their own which encourages singing and dancing by the well-oiled crowd.
Robbie Crane (Bass) cover the left side of the stage picking out his solid baselines and backing harmonic vocals. he is a highly skilled bassist bringing expressing bottom lines, giving the BSR sound its uniqueness. Tucked away at the back is Chad Szeliga (Drums). He watches everything and misses nothing as he keeps his beat - complex and hard.
As the set draws to an end, Ricky introduces the band. He has obvious bonds with each of the men who share the stage, both musically and personally. He pays tribute to the two support acts, and the crowd who have so thoroughly enjoyed the nights entertainment.
BSR do not do encores. They prefer to just carry on and perform another song. The final two ‘Kingdom of the Lost’ and ‘Bound for Glory’ are raucous and loud. Fans show their appreciation by joining in the climactic finale.
This is a gig that will be hard to beat. Three bands, all giving exceptional performances, thoroughly enjoyed by everyone who was there.