Sunday night was a great night for rock & roll in Dallas. Buckcherry was in town with Girl On Fire as direct support, and they were playing my favorite venue, Trees. I had never seen Buckcherry in a club setting before, so I was pretty amped. Special thanks to Paul Gargano from Century Media Records for setting this up for me. As a bonus, I got there early enough to catch local band Messer, who I knew nothing about at the start of their set, but they made a believer out of me. Good songs, great stage presence, they looked like pros up there. I expect big things from them. They had a sizeable contingent there, too, judging from the crowd response.
Up next was Girl On Fire, a rather new addition to the Century Media Records roster of artists who have a ton of talent and are admittedly still learning the rock ropes. They came right out of the gate with “The Takedown” off of just-released debut CD Not Broken, and mixed up-tempo rockers like “Monster” and “Break the Chains” with slower fare such as “Believe” and the very uplifting anthem “Not Broken”. “Ready to Fight” is another beast of a song with twin guitar leads and a great groove that showed the band at their strongest, singer Austin Held climbing atop the kick drum several times. Overall they did just fine, and I look forward to what’s next from them.
Buckcherry wasted no time in getting the Trees faithful rockin’ with “Lit Up”, “Rescue Me”, and “All Night Long”, singer Joshua Todd dressed in head to toe black, and bouncing all over the stage. His moves range from kicking and dancing to a serpentine slither, and he is something to watch. Guitarist Stevie D, aka the “Filipino Nightmare” has personality and energy in spades, and I found myself watching him most of the night! He’s one hell of a player, too, and every time he soloed I was mesmerized. Keith Nelson is a master of effects and tone, and his sound was flawless as well.
The set really was the perfect blend of the old and new. Hearing old favorites like “For the Movies”, and the humorous “Porno Star” alongside 2006’s “Everything” and “Sunshine” was really great, and it just flowed perfectly. They slowed things down to do “Sorry”, which is one of their best songs before ramping up the intensity with “Dead” off of 2010’s All Night Long. They even worked in a little bit of AC/DC’s “Big Balls” before launching into “Gluttony” the blistering opener from latest (and best!) album Confessions, and “Nothing Left But Tears” as well.
After an extended version of “Crazy Bitch” during which Josh introduced the band, giving bassist Jimmy “Two Fingers” Ashurst and drummer Xavier Muriel a chance to flex their muscles, we were treated to another pair of new ones, and two of my personal favorites from Confessions, “Greed” and “Wrath” for the encore. This was the highlight of the show, not only because the band was firing on all cylinders, but the new material just kicks ass live. I came away from this show with an even bigger respect for Buckcherry as musicians and performers, and you can rest assured I’ll be seeing them every time they come back to town.