It’s just short of a year since Wilson played their first Scottish gigs as support for Halestorm. Back then they played the legendary Barrowland Ballroom, so tonight’s gig at Broadcast was definitely a change of scenery. The basement venue, underneath the street level bar, is a tiny hobbit hole of a place, with bare brick walls and a tiny stage only about six inches off the ground because any higher and artists would be headbutting the ceiling.
An absolute bugbear of mine is when you go to see a band and end up watching far too many support acts. I can’t see how coming on at ten past seven and playing to half a dozen people is beneficial to local acts, it seems like it would be quite soul destroying to play your heart out only to be met with near silence. That was what happened last night with two local acts added to the bill along with touring support Reigning Days and headliner Wilson. Twin Heart opened in front of very few early arrivals. I’ve seen them before and was happy to note that they put as much energy into the show last night as they did in front of a full venue, even though they were hampered by the fact the stage set up left them zero room for manoeuvre. Full marks to them for effort. A few more people had arrived when Donnie Willow played, so the atmosphere was a bit better. They also gave it everything they had and were well received. Reigning Days are the main support on the tour and their
experience showed straight away. They started with a bang and didn’t miss a step throughout. The venue was pretty much full by this point and the noise reverberated around the tiny space as the fans showed their appreciation. Their new single Renegade is out today and is well worth checking out. And if you can get along to see them live you won’t regret it.
So after three supports, three kit changes and a fair bit of waiting around it was finally time. I’ve been looking forward to this since the Halestorm gig last year and I’ve heard nothing but good things about the gigs on this tour to date. With the tiny stage poor Puhy was practically out of sight behind his drums, wedged in a space at the back. Chad Nicefield is not a short man and could easily have knocked himself unconscious on the low ceiling. With five band members and very little space there was the potential for this to feel restricted but from the first moment to the last the band, and the crowd went absolutely ballistic. It’s a long way from Detroit, Michigan to
Glasgow but I think it’s fair to say Wilson found a room full of kindred spirits last night as every word was joined in with and the crowd turned into a roaring, thrashing single entity. Chad had a lot of fun with the closeness, reaching into the crowd to steal girls noses, and towards the end launching himself into a crowdsurf that had his back scraping the ceiling as he was borne into the room and back again. Much of the set came from second album Right to Rise, which Planetmosh readers voted Album of the Year 2015, with a few old favourites from debut album Full Blast Fuckery. Highlights included Right to Rise, The Flood, All my Friends, and my personal favourite Crave but to be honest the set as a whole was quite incredible. Wilson rock hard, and they never stopped for breath during the whole show. As the set came to a close one guy in the crowd chose a quiet moment to yell ‘Detroit, Michigan!’ which was picked up by the whole crowd and turned into an
impromptu chant that prompted Chad to open his arms wide and look to the ceiling with a look on his face like he was closer to home than perhaps he’d thought. As the band gathered in front of the fans for a ‘family photo’ literally everyone was beaming. The fuckery train moves on, but this was a special show from one of the best bands around, and I think a piece of Wilson’s heart will stay in Glasgow.
I interviewed Jason Spencer before the show. You can listen to the interview here