October 24, 2014 Rival Sons triumph in return to New York City 10-3-14
There’s an old saying about how you can never get too much of a good thing. Californian Rock-N-Roll band Rival Sons come to prove that, looking to keep their momentum flowing with a fall 2014 tour across North America. This smooth, retro sounding act came back to New York City on Friday, October 3rd, with their well received fourth studio album, Great Western Valkyrie, released this past June. Previously selling out Gramercy Theater on June 25th, this time they hosted the historical Irving Plaza to a large, amped-up crowd buzzing with excitement over seeing this amazing band.
People poured in from the streets, making Irving Plaza look full and lively. Opening in direct support was the talented Canadian rockers Monster Truck. Spending most of 2014 on the road touring with the likes of Alice in Chains, Alter Bridge and Buckcherry, Monster Truck have been turning heads all around. Winners of the 2013 Juno Award for “Breakthrough Group of the Year”, it’s about time North America sees what this band can do. As they took to the stage, performing the riff-heavy “The Lion,” the crowd instantly got into the groove as vocalist Jon Harvey passionately crooned his raw, classic rock vocals. Playing on with songs like “Old Train,” “The Giant,” and “Seven Seas Blues,” each member added their own unique persona on stage to the performance. Guitarist Jeremy Wilderman glided around the stage like Angus Young of AC/DC, organist/vocalist Brandon Bliss played with a soul on fire, and drummer Steve Kiely sweat pure adrenaline as he slammed his kit. As their set closed out with “Call it a Spade,” everyone was cheering for more and it was clear to see Monster Truck was the perfect choice to quench this crowd’s thirst. Their debut, full-length album, Furiosity, is out now.
Drinks and laughter were flowing as fans awaited Rival Sons to take the stage. As vocalist Jay Buchanan, guitarist Scott Holliday, bassist Dave Beste, and drummer Mike Miley walked out, a roar from the audience welcomed Rival Sons back to New York with open arms. The party kicked off with the throwback sounds of “Electric Man.” Like a well oiled machine, Rival Sons rocked the house – the guitar licks were powerful, backbeat enticing, and vocals straight up impassioned. That fire kept burning with R&B influenced “Good Luck,” as Buchanan closed his eyes and lost himself in the moment. The audience perked up as it became clear the band was playing their fourth studio album in order as the psychedelic groove of “Secret” swept over the crowd, followed by “Play the Fool” and “Good Things.” Provoking a free spirit atmosphere, the audience had no qualms with the song selection and would not have minded if they played the newest LP from start to finish. Then the Sons switched things up and took everyone back to their first EP with the song “Torture,” before going into the dream-like, lengthy “Manifest Destiny Pt. 1,” where Holliday shined with unchained riffing.
Taking a moment to catch their breath, Buchanan asked the audience how they were doing, getting a more amplified response each time he did called out. Jumping back in with 2011’s “Burn Down Los Angeles” and “Gypsy Heart,” the band kept each and every person in the venue swaying back and forth through “Rich and the Poor” all the way to the set’s final song, “Face of Light.” Pleading for more with whistles and applauds, the fans drew Rival Sons back onto the stage after only a brief exit, opening the flood gates for an encore, leading off with “Open My Eyes” and “Pressure and Time.” Setting up an outstanding, late evening drum solo by Miley, the finale came down with the raw “Keep On Swinging.”
Rival Sons once again wowed their ever growing fan base. They draw their dedicated fans to a level of support reminiscent of classic rock acts like Grateful Dead and The Allan Brothers. Keeping their own unique approach in an era of over-production, Rival Sons are one hell of a band head to toe, giving audiences a sound that will keep them rocking well into the foreseeable future. After the band takes a short break to go home, they will be heading back to Europe, kick starting the tour back up in Germany on November 9th, and wrapping up in the UK the week before Christmas.