April 30, 2014

Live show review: Band of Skulls, April 24th, 2014 at Phoenix Concert Theatre

Southampton, UK based rock trio, Band of Skulls axed the Toronto audience with their classic rock inspired act on April 24th, 2014 at Phoenix Concert Theatre during their North American tour to support their latest release, Himalayan. I heard such positive reviews from my friends about their opening act for Soundgarden at iTune Festival during this year's SXSW, so I was all hyped up like a little girl when they showed up on the stage.

Opening up the show with the first single off the new record,  Asleep at the Wheel, British rockers showcased their simple, yet reminiscent classic style of 70's rock n' roll. The unison of monotone guitar jamming and consistent drum rat-a-tats flourished the dynamic chorus during the song. The guitarist, Russel Marsden and the bassist, Emma Richardson, shared the lead vocal duty interchangeably. Instead of layering different vocal pitches, Marsden and Richardson collided their vigorous voices, which cohesively complimented each other. 

The groovy guitar riffs invited the audience to the swaying party with the following tune,  Himalayan. In the middle of the song, the repeated harmonies of "Himalayan" slowed down the tune and then it  jumped into a jaw- dropping guitar solo and again, slaughtered the audience with such a beguiling chorus. The set consisted heavily on the new release but they continued to entertain the audience with fan favourite tunes from previous releases, such as You Aren't Pretty But You Got it Going OnI Know What I Am, and Patterns.

My highlight of the performance was from the encore, where they played Light of the Morning. Marseden commenced the song slowly by himself and was in the limelight of the entire venue, while he hauled his guitar and voice fiercely, which caused and audience eargasm, including myself, which they shouted at the stage with excitement. The feel of the moment was so warm and raw, which is what makes live shows so special. 

Band of Skulls is a band that you like songs on their records, but attending their show makes the listeners love them even more. These songs are spiced up with their tenacious and vibrant performance that you can only experience it in the moment. It is so nice to see a three piece classic band who can show us what real rock and roll is in today's digital age. A band like them will always have a big space in my soul. 

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