Buckcherry and Bowling for Soup, live at the SSE Arena, Wembley, 15 October 2016

A packed SSE Arena saw a great three band bill with Californian jokers Steel Panther headlining the whole affair. Robert Sutton’s review and pictures from Steel Panther’s set can be found here:  

If credibility is something that a ‘real’ rock band possesses then none do it better than Buckcherry. Aside from the look, the content and stage presence, Buckcherry are a band that have worked hard to get where they are today. Having broken up after two albums an enforced hiatus that resulted in them returning with ’15’, the album that sees them marking \ recognising the tenth anniversary of one of the best comeback albums in rock. 

They emerge on stage to what can only be described as ‘muted’ lighting, with none of the white spots that both Bowling for Soup and headliners Steel Panther would later be bathed in. No, it’s back-lighting only for you Buckcherry, now like it and play one….

And play on they did,  from Sunshine through Gluttony, the latter taken from the band’s Confessions album that saw them lay bare their souls as they spoke candidly about the 7 deadly sins and more. Josh Todd’s swagger was never in doubt as he shook and shimmied his way around the stage looking every inch the tattooed, skinny rock star that he is.

Supported by long time partner in crime, Keith Nelson, the band have never sounded tighter than they do at the moment. Of course, being the opening act of the evening meant that the set was a short one and quite why they were on before BFS is still a mystery to me but to be able to get the crowd moving early evening with only 7 songs available to you is no mean feat and Buckcherry achieved it with ease. 

Not surprisingly, little time was spent chatting and the band did what they could with the available opportunity. Solid musicianship, swagger and attitude in spades from Todd and the bulk of the tracks, not surprisingly from 15. It was however great to hear Lit Up from the 1999 debut live for the first time so that ticks a box on the bucket list. 

Oh for a longer set…. I should have gone to Ireland \ Northern Ireland where the band played two warm up shows as headliners.. 

Buckcherry

 

SETLIST: 

Sunshine
Ridin’
Gluttony
Out of Line
Lit Up
I Love It / (Icona Pop cover, sung as “Say Fuck It”)
Crazy Bitch

 

Bowling For Soup

Second band of the night BFS brought all of the genuine humour that seemed to be missing from the headliner’s set. For those that were there, Steel Panther’s set included great anthems but the humour lacked the spark, probably down to the fact that the jokes remain the same as those delivered when I first saw the band back at Download in 2009.

BFS had no such issues. The comedy wasn’t scripted, it felt warm and not surprisingly, the band got the crowd moving and smiling as one right from the get go. 

Opening track, Girl All the Bad Guys Want, left me thinking they’d done a Meat Loaf and played their best track as the opening song and would have nowhere to go from there. Not so! As the set progressed, the hits and songs I’d forgotten were all rolled out with equal doses of energy and humour. 

On the way to the arena, my friend who accompanied me to the show were discussing the song ‘Stacy’s Mom’ and I commented that I hoped that BFS would play their signature tune. It turns out I’m not the only one to think the band and not Fountains of Wayne were the writers of that college rock classic. The misconception about the song’s origins are pretty much felt globally so to capitalise on this, BFS have now recorded the track and play it live at most gigs. I’m sure FoW aren’t going to complain as the royalty cheques continue to roll in! 

Over the years it’s fair to say that Chris Burney has been one of the largest guitarists on the planet and 
Jaret Reddick was always the skinny front man as is typically expected in a rock band. This is no longer the case as, having admitted to eating Josh Todd whole backstage, Jaret also now sports the extra poundage that may well have made the Wembley crew consider stage reinforcement just to be on the safe side. It left Erik Chandler as the sole, shall we say, eye candy, for the ladies pressed tightly against the barrier to watch the band. 

Looks aside, the music and comedy elements ensured a great show from the band. Punk Rock 101 saw them running around the stage creating comedy photo opportunities and they finished with a storming rendition of 1985, a song co-written with Mitch Allen of SR-71, a band who, if you don’t know them should have a place in every music collection. 

Two great acts on the bill, delivering the goods before the headliners had even finished sharing Stacy’s Mom backstage… probably. 

SETLIST: 

Girl All the Bad Guys Want
High School Never Ends
Ohio (Come Back to Texas)
Almost
Hey Diane
Stacy’s Mom – (Fountains of Wayne cover)
The Last Rock Show
Punk Rock 101 (With Photoshoot Opportunity)
Today Is Gonna Be a Great Day (Phineas and Ferb)
The Bitch Song
1985 

 

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