Walking into a venue like the O2 Academy 2 in Liverpool for the very first time tonight made me realise just how lucky we are that certain bands feel the need to play these small, exclusive places in order to be close to their fans. This was definitely the case with all three bands tonight.
I’ve never been a fan of arenas or stadiums. I prefer to see the whites of the musician’s eyes staring right at me, instead of watching it on a huge screen from a distance. I don’t get the point of that, you may as well not be there and just buy the DVD when it comes out and put the surround sound on.
I like to think of the music I listen to and watch as a tree, with the bands being the branches. As I am already a big fan of Sumo Cyco, my tree sprung two new branches tonight in the form of CKY and Bullets And Octane.
The latter burst onto stage relatively early, to be fair, and Gene Louis made no hesitation in taking his place in the crowd, standing right in the middle as they reached for their mobiles to film. This was a great move, as a lot of the crowd hadn’t arrived at the time so this was just what the gig needed.
Gene and Felipe Rodrigo took turns, throughout the set, of habiting with the crowd as these guys burst through an unstoppable tirade of heavy rock and roll. The crowd taking to it just nicely. These guys were good and used every inch of the stage to the best of their ability. Cracking start!!
And so to Sumo Cyco. What can I say? This band just get better and better. When I first saw them a couple of weeks ago in Wrexham, I was surprised at how heavy they sounded live compared to their albums. Tonight was no exception. Sever was on fire as they burst into Sleep Tight. Their unbelievable version of System Of A Down’s BYOB came surprisingly early, within the set, but that didn’t matter. They played some great tracks including ‘Move Mountains’ and ‘Fighter’. The latter being one of my daughter’s favourites and she was seeing these guys for the first time. Sever at one point decided to do some crowd surfing of her own and was almost dropped, but landed ok!! Sumo went down really well and I know for a fact that they’ve gained new fans after tonight’s performance.
And then we had CKY. My nine year old daughter and I were situated to the left of the stage right at the front. She was sitting on the front speaker in front of the barrier. What was the first thing Chad did as they came on stage before they had even played a note? He walked over and gave her a plectrum. What a gentleman. And so to the gig. As I’d not heard anything by these guys, I decided to keep it that way until tonight. I prefer to experience the element of not knowing what to expect, as I find it usually surprises me in a good way. As Chad strutted away from my daughter, like a cool Gavin Rossdale, they broke into ‘Rio Bravo’ (I don’t have the set list so I’m assuming most songs are the same as previous gigs). What a track this is, with its lazy running Kyuss-style riffs and heavy drop notes. This is an unforgettable riff. It didn’t stop there. ‘Attached At The Hip’, ‘Shock & Terror’ and ‘Flesh Into Gear’ being my highlights of the night.
The power, depth and dropdown notes from this three-piece were stunning, and the lazy paced doom riffs are something else. For most of the gig, Chad didn’t speak, he just sang. The one time he did speak he asked my daughter had she driven to the gig tonight, and then apologised, to her, for swearing. What a guy. This is a band I am going to have to catch again.
As a testament to tonight’s bands, Felipe from Bullets & Octane came over to my daughter and gave her a plectrum straight after their set, Sever posed mid-song with my daughter for a photo while she was singing, and Chad did what he did. This is why I love these venues. They keep the live music we love alive by allowing us to interact with our heroes. Long may it continue. A superb night.
Sumo Cyco Set-list:
1 – Sleep Tight
2 – Anti Anthem
3 – BYOB
4 – Undefeated
5 – Rivalry
6 – The Broadcasters
7 – Free Yourself
8 – Move Mountains
9 – Fighter