A beautiful Wednesday night in June was the setting for ex-Skid Row frontman and legend of rock and metal, Sebastian Bach, as he took to the stage in Glasgow at G2 with Northern Irish lads Stormzone in support. It was the second of only three stops around the british isles after what, by all accounts, was an amazing night the previous night in Stormzone’s hometown of Belfast. You couldn’t help but worry waiting for the doors to open though, as this gig was originally supposed to be in the much larger Garage venue as opposed to its smaller sister venue behind it. If anything though it may have worked to the benefit of the gig, making it all the more intense and in your face than perhaps it would have been with a greater distance between the bands and the fans.
I didn’t know much about Stormzone prior to this gig except they were from Northern Ireland and were gigging to promote their third album, Zero to Rage. After this gig however, I know much more and want to hear much more from these lads as their style is right up my street! There are bands that do old school metal these days and make it sound clichéd but Stormzone keep it fresh and have one helluva fantastic stage presence across the whole of the band. “Harv” Harbinson’s fantastic vocal range and natural, easy-going encouragement of the crowd make it easy to get into their tunes as they threw out a mix of tunes from current album, “Zero to Rage” and prior release, “Death Dealer”. It maybe took a couple of songs before the crowd warmed up but once they did it felt like they were all in bar the feet as the band provided great entertainment from their on stage banter and what seemed genuine pleasure of playing to the crowd. Harv’s vocals were certainly the highlight of Stormzone to me, but that takes nothing away from the guitaring skills of both Steve Moore and Andy Baxter, complimented hugely by the solid backing of Graham McNulty on bass and Davy Bates on drums.
As I said before, they are gloriously old school and remind me of early Dickinson Maiden or more closely, Kiske-era Helloween with shades of power metal creeping in. A wonderful surprise for me indeed and a thoroughly enjoyable set with my favourite probably being the monstrous “Cuchulainn’s Story”, although I have to say that their final track of the night “The Legend Carries On” was rather fitting as it left me begging for more.
One thing to say to these lads though, please don’t wait another three years before coming back to Glasgow!
Where We Belong
The Memory Never Dies
The Legend Carries On
So Stormzone had the crowd whipped up nicely for Seb Bach to take to the stage and right from the off he had the crowd eating from the palm of his hand as he kicked his set off with “Slave to the Grind” before launching into the title track of his current album “Kicking & Screaming”. One thing is sure and certain about Seb, he is most definitely an amazing frontman. He cajoles the crowd, he banters with them, he makes them feel a part of the gig and the Glasgow crowd lapped it up big style as they showed their appreciation for new tracks and old. I got the most enjoyment out of his Skid Row era tracks truth be told, although at times he appeared to be struggling with those powerful wails he is so renowned for. Not that this mattered at all to the crowd who were loving every minute of it.
One thing very evident indeed from his performance was that it was indeed Sebastian Bach and only Sebastian Bach that the crowd were expected to come see. His band very much played second fiddle to him and were very much in the periphery of the show. Sure they could play, solos were on the money, drums were pounding, bass was thumping but they didn’t exactly play the crowd.
Is it an ego thing on Bach’s part, I don’t know, maybe, but I have to say that aside from the classic Skid Row tracks, for me personally I thought Stormzone blew him off the stage tonight in Glasgow and I can’t wait for them to come back.
Slave to the Grind
Kicking & Screaming
Here I Am
(Love is) a BitchSlap
Piece of Me
18 and Life
As Long as I Got the Music
My Own Worst Enemy
I Remember You
Youth Gone Wild
For more photos of the gig please go here