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Non-Prog Concert Reviews

Buckcherry

Live in Chicago, IL, November, 2009

Review by Travis Jensen

Every time I go to a live show (and I’ve been to a lot of them) I always try to find what it is I like about the band. Maybe it’s the singer; naturally, because I sing for a band, or maybe it’s the bass player, as I used to play bass, or even the drummer and guitar players for various reasons where extraordinary talent is concerned? Sometimes it could be the stage show, where larger-than-life productions are concerned, or even a huge sound. Whichever the case, Buckcherry definitely has something in many categories that appeal to me. Although they don’t have the huge stage production, especially when compared to their tour counterpart, Kiss, they do have a prominent rock-star attitude that is very charismatic as an onstage presence.

The crowd was very excited and naturally, Josh Todd was able to feed off this and bring the energy level up several notches. The enormous projection screens, both left, right and center allow the entire stadium to view the band in full detail, capturing every jump, scream and guitar lick performed. Todd, shirtless and covered in incredible tattoos was quite a sight on this larger than life imagery. This was my second time seeing Buckcherry, and I must say that I have been pleased both times. The first was earlier this summer at the Allstate Arena, and although my seats weren’t as great, they still put on a flawless performance. I’ve been a fan for about 10 years now, ever since “Lit Up” hit the radio waves, and have followed them ever since. They have a style that kind of reminds me of heavier version of early Rod Stewart and Black Crows, with a little AC/DC mixed into them in certain spots and perhaps a pinch of rock and roll blues.

Every time I do one of these reviews, I like to go to the blog sites first and see what any of the general public and fan-base has to say directly after the show. I was kind of surprised to see that there were those out there who didn’t like them for whatever reason. Naturally, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but there really wasn’t any reasoning as to “why” they didn’t like the performance. I suppose my only beef with the performance is that they didn’t play long enough? I’ve been to shows in the past where any technical difficulties with sound, lighting, etc. have hindered a band, and even to several more shows where the band just wasn’t the same live as they were on wax. However, I just didn’t see any evidence of that with these guys, as one well-executed song rolled into another, every one of them I was familiar with. Just about anything cool from the last 10 years or so that you hear on the radio, see in videos or any other previous live show was played. Of course, when you only have a small window of time, you make the best of it. Not in any particular order were the songs “Everything”, “Lit Up”, “Sorry”, “Crazy B***h”, “Sorry”, “Talk to Me”, “Rescue Me” and the cover song, “Highway Star”.

The rest of the band is also worthy of mentioning here, as there was a huge sound that engulfed the arena. Of course, when you open up for Kiss, you know that the sound system is going to be top-notch. Jimmy "Two Fingers" Ashhurst laid down the rhythm and back-bone of each song, which seemed to become more obvious for the heavier tunes. Keith Nelson and Stevie D. really provide a tight, driving rhythm, but seem to lack slightly with their on-stage presence where they kind of fade into the background. Xavier Muriel definitely draws attention, though, as the only member with long hair which is propelled into the air with fans that are mounted somewhere next to the drum kit. As Buckcherry continues to tour on their fourth album with all of rock’s biggest acts, they show signs of becoming a legendary band with all of the related success.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.
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