Former Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden had tonight’s support slot, he will also be opening up for FM in York, Stockton-on-Tees and Oxford. Other bands on the tour so far have included Romeo’s Daughter and The King Lot, with No Hot Ashes chosen for Sheffield.
This was a simple acoustic set from Bernie, stripped down rock and roll at its best. You need to be confident to do an acoustic set, and Bernie has it in spades, he can play guitar with the best of them, and I feel more importantly, he still has the voice, strong and powerful. Bernie gave us a snapshot of some of his favourite blues artist and of course he played the odd Whitesnake song.
The lights went down, the cheering and shouts went up, and FM hit the stage with “Digging UpThe Dirt” taken from their latest album ‘Heroes And Villains’. The opening drum beat and killer riff got everybody’s hands in the air, and there they more or less stayed for the next ninety minutes.
“I Belong To The Night” from the very first album ‘Indiscreet’ was greeted like a long lost friend as was “Don’t Stop.” The sell-out crowd were indeed loving every minute of it.
The beautiful guitar intro to “Let Love Be the Leader” soon gives way to a crowd pleasing ‘wo ho’ from Steve who was nearly drowned out by the chorus singing fans.
“Closer to Heaven” slows things down just a bit and fits in nicely with “All or Nothing” before FM crank it up again for a storming version of ‘Tough It Out’.
‘Tough Love’ is quickly followed by ‘Life Is a Highway’. Both songs do a great job in keeping the crowd happy until one of the greatest AOR tracks ever made makes it’s long overdue presence felt, ‘Frozen Heart’. Everybody in the venue is now singing the chorus, me included, a wonderful wall of sound. I didn’t think they could follow that easily, however they pull ‘Burning My Heart Down’ out of the proverbial hat and keep the hands in the air.
The rocking ‘Wildside’ taken from the bands 6th album ‘Metropolis’ and then ‘Someday (You’ll Come Running) played live for the first time in nearly twenty five years taken from the ‘Tough It Out’ record keep the fans happy.
Two absolute FM classics, ‘That Girl’ and ‘Bad Luck’ close out the gig, and what a gig it was: but there’s more, there always is: for the encore we got the powerful ‘Story of My Life’ from the ‘Rockville’ album and finally the classic ‘Other Side of Midnight’.
FM was on fire tonight, and like a fine wine, they just get better with age.
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And then we had another encore, this time with Bernie Marsden who joined FM back on stage for a storming version of ‘Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues’ followed by ‘Here I Go Again’.
A great end to a great night.