Sunday 7 October 2012

Rival Sons Working Hard For Success

Some bands make a first album and with a few hits immediately rocket into the big league. Rival Sons is not one of those bands. They just released their third album Head Down (review coming soon) and are slowly becoming more popular. It's hard to believe they even had time to record it, because the band seems to be on the road all the time. After playing here in November last year they are now back for another show. And this time they are playing the big hall of the Melkweg.

Rival Sons at Melkweg Amsterdam, October 3 2012

Although not sold out, the venue has filled up nicely. Last year the band had to warm up after partying the night before. Tonight they are focused from the beginning and are ready to rock the house. The first song is 'Keep On Swinging', which is also the opening track on their new record. This time however it looks like the crowd needs to warm up, since the response is a bit low at the beginning. This doesn't discourage the band at all. Their set list of tonight is one that builds up slowly anyway. A number of mid tempo bluesy songs follow where singer Jay Buchanan is immediately showing his skills. He may look and sound a lot like Robert Plant, but definitely isn't a copy cat. His voice never ceases to amaze.

Together with guitar player Scott Holiday, Buchanan is taking the spot light, although I definitely don't want to leave out bass player Robin Everhart and drum player Mike Miley. The last two are exactly the rhythm section this band needs, providing enough space for Buchanan and Holiday to excel. And that's exactly what they're doing tonight. While the show progresses the set is building up on power. Uptempo songs like 'All Over The Road' and 'Pressure And Time' are at the end of the set where the band is going more full throttle. By this time the crowd has come alive and especially the people at the front are rocking. But it's obvious that all the way to the back people are enjoying it as well. The encore ends with 'Manifest Destiny', both part 1 and 2, off their new album, where the band is showing one more time what a great rock band they are.

Bands like this don't get the exposure like hip indie bands sometimes get. All they can do is work hard, spend a lot of time on the road and hope people pick up on them. That's exactly what Rival Sons are doing. It looks like it's starting to pay off and they are gaining momentum. It certainly paid off tonight, where they had to work hard but walk off stage as winners. After the show the band is relaxing and taking the time to talk to fans, take pictures and sign records. I can only hope that in a while these venues are becoming too small for these friendly rockers.

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