WISHBONE ASH combined a 50-year anniversary celebration and release party for its new album Coat of Arms (out now, SPV/Steamhammer) at The Sanctuary Music & Events Center in McKinney, TX, February 21. It’s epic that a band formed in 1969 has such a vast catalog of exactly 100 unique releases – 27 studio albums, 24 live albums, 43 compilations and box sets and five live DVDs, along with a DVD rockumentary – and is still touring strong.
The house was packed with a mature crowd of faithful followers. Warming up the audience was Fort Worth’s own SONAR LIGHTS, who played a great set, including rocking covers of The Beatles “Eleanor Rigby” and Aphrodite’s Child’s “The Four Horsemen”. A power trio made up of George Miadis (lead vocals/guitar), Darren Wise (bass), and Ian Frazier (drums), the band was very well-received.
Before WISHBONE ASH took the stage, Don Wishon, local, independent promoter and owner of Wishon Promotions (which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary of bringing intimate, up-close and personal concerts to the DFW market) discussed Visible Music College recently opening a new campus in McKinney, TX, after moving from Dallas. Then he brought up Bo Roberts from Lone Star 92.5.
The duo didn’t waste any time introducing the rock band who overtook the stage like a flock of geese, WISHBONE ASH. They went straight into a blazing guitar duet and quickly won over the crowd. Bassist Bob Skeat even took an amazing lead solo. With room to roam up on the second floor balcony the crowd was rocking out the dance moves.
Andy Powell has been the driving force behind WISHBONE ASH for the last 50 years and he took some time to talk about his adventures. Then he introduced what everyone was there to hear, a cut off the new album! Thunderous applause and the band counted down “We Stand As One”. The room was blown away by the band’s blazing twin leads along with great harmonies and tight rhythm section. After 50 years they are still solid players.
It’s easy to see why they influenced so many heavy metal acts. Like warriors ascending, this band blasted away with powerful and melodic guitar riffs.There is not much need for vocals when your lead section takes the place on an ever-winding complex guitar journey. It was a fact the small intimate room was sold out and the VIP crowd enjoyed the trip, and graciously applauded the band. The guys hung around after the show to take photos, sign autographs and talk with the guests. It was a night to remember and the crowd had the best seat in town.
What a great intimate venue to host a release party and show. It was perfect. The sound, the acoustics, everything is over the top here. Even the crowd of elite guitar connoisseurs in the house were happy. The Sanctuary Music & Events Center is a great-sounding room, structurally well designed, and a gorgeous building! It is well worth the drive.
Andy Powell – guitars, vocals
Bob Skeat – bass, vocals
Mark Abrahams – guitars
Joe Crabtree – drums
Real Guitars Have Wings
The King Will Come
Throw Down the Sword
We Stand as One
The Way of the World
Tales of the Wise
Standing in the Rain
LIVE IMAGES: JOE GUZMAN/GUZPIX
LIVE WORDS: DONNA LOTHRIDGE