Black Country Communion – Wolverhampton Civic Hall 29th December 2010
The Wolverhampton Civic Hall was packed to its 3000 capacity anxious and expectant of the first, paid performance of new supergroup Black Country Communion. Aptly taking place in the heart of the Black Country, the band came on stage promptly at 8:30 and ploughed straight into the opening track of their debut CD, 'Black Country'. Thunderous drumming from Jason Bonham, complimented by the slick Joe Bonamassa guitar and classic, raunchy voice of Glenn Hughes over his pounding bass; all held together with the keys of Derek Sherinian produced a remarkable sound that immediately hooked the audience. The 'in your face, no holds barred' rock continued to flow with 'One Last Soul' and the sublime 'Beggarman', with Hughes belting out the vocals as only he can. His voice has matured over the years and it is as remarkable as ever. That said, he gave the vocal chords a rest and temporarily passed over the singing mantle to Joe Bonamassa for 'Revolution'. Sharing the vocals (as on the album) mixes up the experience nicely.
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Back to Hughes to lead the vocals with 'Down Again' and 'Too Late For The Sun', which gives Bonamassa the freedom to really express himself without having any distractions; the audience were mesmerized. The baton passed again for the Bonamassa-led 'Song Of Yesterday' and 'Ballad Of John Henry'; the rollercoaster went on. It all seemed so familiar and comfortable as if the band had been playing together for years and every song you'd heard a hundred times; a true measure of a great band.
With Hughes back at the helm, the driving, bluesy 'The Great Divide' was followed by the iconic Trapeze song 'Medusa'. Hughes introduced 'Medusa' by saying that he had had the pleasure of playing this song with the greatest drummer of all times (the late, great John Bonham) and now he was playing the song with his boy (Jason). Again, the song was tight, the musicianship excellent. Bonamassa's playing seemed faster and more melodic and Bonham's drumming seemed louder and the cymbal crashes more penetrating and long lasting.
Mixing it up again and with a very big nod to Led Zeppelin (and John Bonham), they did the classic and hypnotic 'No Quarter'; Derek Sherinian's moment to excel. The song was true to the original and a very nice diversion. Joe Bonamassa took centre stage for 'Sista Jane' before the set was rounded off with 'Black Country' (reprise) and a rocking rendition of Deep Purple's 'Burn' as an encore.
Having released the best rock album of 2010 and putting in such a powerful and dynamic live show, the future is looking very bright for the band. If they can manage to put enough time and effort in away from their solo projects, they could be immense. Here's looking forward to the next album and more live dates!
To view all photos taken during this set click here. There are 1 available.