Black Stone Cherry closed the double-header with The Darkness at OVO Wembley Arena on the last evening of their seven-date journey. When the tour was first announced, the band told MetalTalk’s Paul Monkhouse they have a huge passion for the UK. That feeling is certainly reciprocated by the fans over this side of the pond, and tonight we could witness this first-hand.
Black Stone Cherry – OVO Wembley Arena
Saturday, 4 February 2023
Words: Monty Sewell
Photography: Steve Ritchie
The unfathomably long curtain goes down as the stage is set for our second and last headliners of the night, Black Stone Cherry. With a pop track opening, the gauze goes up, and our Metal infused, southern blues Kentucky rockers are revealed.
Lead guitarist and vocalist Chris Robertson, Ben Wells heading up rhythm guitar, most recent (and only) addition Steve Jewell on bass and drummer John Fred Young in his usual spot of stick tossing rectitude. The energy in the room rises, as does every pint in every hand.
A chuggathon of riff-roaring rock altitude was thrown upon us with a set to remember, impossible to forget. Me And Mary Jane, Burnin’, Cheaper To Drink Alone, Like I Roll and Blame It On The Boom Boom were nothing short of scream-along headbangers.
The latest track, Out Of Pocket, felt like home as the guys threw themselves around the stage. Robertson’s two-side axe-slingers used the rubber levelled drum platform as a constant level changer, running up and down, keeping us forever guessing with their antics.
They finish with Lonely Train before their Electric Light Orchestra cover, Don’t Bring Me Down. Young is a complete drum overlord with a mid-set solo as the show just keeps gracing us with more and more entertainment magnitude.
Black Stone Cherry are simply a live force to be dealt with, and their flawless musicianship on the night proves everything and more.
An absolutely phenomenal evening. The perfect concoction of The Darkness and Black Stone Cherry left an aftertaste of swirling dizziness as we tried to comprehend how any next gig could top what we’d just seen.
To read our report on The Darkness, visit https://www.metaltalk.net/the-darkness-wembley-arena-a-paradise-for-stage-owners-and-seducers-alike.php.
Co-headlining tours are the fraction festivals that give us longer sets and a nice warm bed to head home to afterwards. Perhaps we’ll see more this year.
Until then, we’ll have to live upon the memories of a great performance from two incontestably good bands.