The problem with gigs at Rock City on a Friday these days is that because they have a club night afterwards they are on an early-finish curfew so they tend to start early too. Reckless Love apparently had doors at 6pm. I don’t know, I was still facing the torture that is Friday afternoon on the M6 at that point! This meant that I ended up racing into the venue at the last minute to find that support act The Treatment were already onstage and belting out their set. I think I only missed the first song, it may have been more. If so, I’m sorry guys!
So, what did I actually get to see then? Well in a nutshell a young band bursting with energy who put in a powerful performance and went down really well with the crowd. The Treatment have been around for a few years now and their recently released album “Generation Me” is actually their third. There have been a few line-up changes but they seem to have settled into one that works now and the set was a good mix of old favourites such as closer “Shake The Mountain” and new songs such as the title track from the album.
Their songs have a catchy, polished and commercial sound to them. There are big riffs, big choruses, lots of chance for the audience to join in. There are clapalong bits, sing-back-to-us bits, punch the air bits; sometimes looking at them objectively they can come across as being a little rock-by-numbers. This doesn’t however detract from the fact that these boys are out to entertain and entertain they certainly do. Watching them puts a smile on your face, gets you moving to the music and somehow makes you feel involved in the whole process. I’ve seen them a few times now and they always put on a good show. Tonight was no exception and there was possibly even a bit of a ripple of “follow that” running in the general direction of Reckless Love…..
Ahhh, Reckless Love. Follow That they certainly did! The lights go down, and Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back In Town” booms out of the PA speakers. There is much cheering from the crowd, that at times seems to verge on the hysterical. Indeed I am reminded of the stoning scene from Monty Python’s Life Of Brian, where John Cleese asks sternly “Are there any WOMEN here?” Well yes, yes there are, and in a much larger proportion than you tend to get at most rock concerts! So the cheering is high-pitched, and the band take to the stage in a whirl of flying hair and tight trousers.
You know where you are with Reckless Love. They are a happy, cheesy, cliched hair metal band and they absolutely revel in it. Frontman Olli is the consumate Dave-Lee-Roth-alike as he jumps and spins and screams. Guitarist Pepe throws shapes to rival any axe hero that has gone before. Drummer Hessu is the glam-rock pirate, keeping it all steady as she goes while bassist Jalle just gets on with the job and smiles enigmatically throughout.
They have named these shows the Pretty Boy Swagger tour (after a track on the most recent album InVader which was released earlier this year) and that fits them to a T. They are pretty boys, and they swagger. You think The Treatment could make the crowd punch the air? Nah, when Reckless Love want you to do it you feel like you can reach the roof with your fist. The music is all around you and you become part of the show. From my vantage point on the stairs I can honestly say I have rarely seen a gig where the whole audience was moving pretty much all the time. No cool people at the back watching with folded arms and an air of superiority in Rock City tonight. Everyone was dancing, everyone was singing, everyone was having a grand old time.
Watching Reckless Love is just one big party. In fact I can’t think of a better way to de-stress on a Friday night. Suddenly it doesn’t matter that you’ve had a crappy week at work and the journey from hell to get there. All that matters is that the band are on fire, and suddenly the world seems to be a much happier and more sparkly kind of place. For sheer fun bubblegum hard rock Reckless Love are definitely where it’s at!
I’m sure you will want to know about the setlist. To be fair, with so much good material to choose from now it must be hard for them to put a setlist together! So we started with “Animal Attraction” and then went through “So Happy I Could Die”. “Monster” followed, then new song “Pretty Boy Swagger”. Old favourites “Beautiful Bomb” and “Badass” didn’t get forgotten, and neither did ballad “Living On The Edge Of Our Dreams”. “Scandinavian Girls”, “Born To Break Your Heart” and “Wildside” (which Olli forgot the words to, oops!) had us bouncing. Finally “Rock It”, “On Your Radio” and “Set The Night On Fire” closed the main set. The encore was “We Are The Weekend” and then finally “Hot”.
There was singing and dancing a-plenty. There were slow ballads to wave your arms to, and fast rockers to bounce to. At times the enthusiasm of the crowd to sing back the bridges and choruses actually drowned the band out! If you’ve not seen Reckless Love live I strongly recommend that you do. Check your worries in at the door and for an hour or so just lose yourself in the atmosphere – you won’t regret it!
For more info about The Treatment you can find their facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/TheTreatmentOfficial/
Reckless Love’s website, where you can check out upcoming tour dates and buy merchandise etc is here: http://www.recklesslove.com/