Once in a while, the planets align and something phenomenal happens. Such was the case this past Thursday in Nashville, TN. Two bands on two separate massive tours, played a one-off show together to an intimate crowd.
The bands were Rival Sons and Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown. Rival Sons are currently touring the US with England’s Black Sabbath while Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown are touring with Australia’s AC/DC. I’d say it’s safe to say that you’ve heard of them before now. Haha
Opening up the show was Nashville’s own Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown. This was my first time seeing a full set from the band live and while I was pretty impressed with their set, unfortunately, the crowd didn’t really seem to share my enthusiasm. Which for me, was very disappointing.
From my perspective, the band played great and the set was entertaining, but it seemed like the crowd didn’t get it, so to speak. One audience member stated that the guitar work was great, but there wasn’t a memorable melody. He thought that Tyler followed the guitar riffs too closely with his vocals. (His example was Black Sabbath’s Iron Man.) He went on to say that unfamiliarity with the band seemingly kept the crowd from engaging. While I can understand that to a point, as a music fan, I can’t accept that. I’m glad you turned out in full effect Nashville, but shame on you for not showing massive love to one of your own.
Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown:
After a quick changeover, Rival Sons took the stage. Their set ran the gamut of their career. From the raw groove of the opener Electric Man to the thunderous set-closer Keep On Swinging, Rival Sons delivered as powerful of a performance as you will ever see.
Vocalist Jay Buchanan is captivating in many aspects. He emanates the presence of say, Jim Morrison of The Doors. His vocals are as powerful as Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant, yet at times, are as soulful as Bad Company’s Paul Rodgers. Jay’s musical roots are actually in more of a folk setting than a rock and roll setting and that allows him the creative freedom to create such diverse, incredible music. Even more so in a live setting. The dynamics the band are able to deliver are astounding.
For example, the middle of the set was a roller coaster of emotions, both lyrically and musically.
For example, the middle of the set was a roller coaster of emotions, both lyrically and musically. In succession, the band delivered the extended jam version of their track Manifest Destiny, Part 1, a medley of the acoustic-tinged Face of Light and Sacred Tongue, the rousing Burn Down Los Angeles, the energetic Torture and the beautiful ballad Where I’ve Been. I challenge you to find a band on today’s radiowaves that can even come close to being able to pull off the range and effectiveness of Rival Son’s set. In my opinion, there’s only one other band that can even come close and that’s Shinedown.
The highlight of the night was the band’s inclusion of the track, Tell Me Something, from their 2009 debut album, Before The Fire. This track embodies every musical aspect that makes Rival Sons who they are and if you were to compare their catalog across the years, you’d see that this song is the foundation of the band’s sound. You have the gigantic riff, the soaring vocals, the thundering drumming style of Michael Miley, a bass line that drives the track like something from Motown, and then you top it off with the amazing slide work of guitarist Scott Holiday. In fact, in a past interview, Scott told me that Tell Me Something was the first song he wrote with the idea of what Rival Sons would become. So it was a real treat to get to go all the way back to the beginning on this night.
If you’re a fan of the classic rock vibe with a modern twist, Rival Sons are your new favorite band. Whether you catch them in a large venue with Black Sabbath or an intimate one like I did, you will be impressed. If they visit near you, do yourself a favor and catch their set.