It sure is a special night at Kulturbolaget in Malmoe with Rival Sons doing their first Pressure and Time anniversary performance outside the US and support act Dirty Honey doing their first European gig ever. The venue is packed and sweaty even before the show starts.
I have seen some album back-to-back live gigs through the years with Bruce Springsteen, The Quireboys and Hällas among others. The upside is that you get those never or rarely played deep cuts and the downside being the lack of surprises but for me the upside wins by a mile. Rival Sons did Pair of Aces at Catalina Island last summer which contained their self-titled EP and the debut album Before The Fire back to back. It was great but not streamed in real-time and nobody was there in front of the stage due to the pandemic. Nothing can beat the real thing of having the band live and alive at armlengths in front of you. And by the looks of it, the boys seems to agree.
Rival Sons have always had good taste when it comes to support acts but Dirty Honey might the most perfect match. I don’t think anyone attending this tour won’t appreciate these boys from Los Angeles. They are playing around in the same bluesy swag ‘n’ roll alley as their cousins from Long Beach. Be sure to be in time to catch these guys.
All Over The Road is a perfect opener which sets the tone for an intense evening and Jay Buchanan has never sounded more like Jim Morrison than in Young Love which follows without any chance to catch our breaths. On record the 10 tracks are delivered in about 30 minutes but tonight the playtime clocks around 45 minutes. And that’s without even a word being said between the songs. Some are nicely stretched out with jams and intros building up the climax, especially in White Noise which is one of the big highlights tonight. Burn Down Los Angeles and Gypsy Heart are two other massive killers this evening. The whole album is performed with the hunger, rawness and wildness it was intended to. It has always been my number one go to record with Rival Sons so it’s a real pleasure to be part of this explosive live treatment.
When the straight-in-your-face celebration of the 10 (very soon 11) year old birthday kid comes to an end the band leaves the stage for a short break. At this time our clothes are drained with sweat from a combination of an insane warm venue and high energy rock ‘n’ roll. I can see myself forced to use a scissor to remove my Pressure and Time shirt. The intro to End Of Forever tricks at least me (despite them having used it before) before the band kick starts a powerful Too Bad with passionate singalong from the crowd.
After Open My Eyes and Electric Man things slow down and Jay speaks about having missed the power we create together and how glad they are to be back on the road again. And so are we! A soulful Jordan is dedicated to the victims of the war in Ukraine. The crowd remains respectful and quit during this emotional ballad and that oh so common nuisance chit chat is not heard tonight, thank goodness. Jay continues on his own with an acoustic guitar as his only company on stage for Shooting Stars.
The closer of the evening is the new song Nobody Wants To Die which will be on the upcoming album (“which I don’t know when it’s going to be released” Jay says before anyone in the audience has a chance to even ask). It’s a hard and heavy rocker and if this is the direction for the whole album I just love it already!
It’s hard to believe this is the first gig on the tour since the quintet is like a well-oiled rock machine without any loose strings. The Pressure and Time section of the show is the main thing on this tour so I would have preferred hearing Company Man and Life For This Road from the Redux Edition (also released as a Record Store Day single) instead of yet another round of some live set standards. Great live set standards nevertheless. I am stoked to experience this rock bonanza tonight in Gothenburg again. Hold on to those tickets.
WRITER: Fredrik Blid (firstname.lastname@example.org)
PHOTOGRAPHER: Kristin Blid (email@example.com)
CONCERT: Rival Sons
VENUE: Kulturbolaget / Malmoe
BEST SONGS: White Noise and Burning Down Los Angeles
BEST MEMORY: To experience the Pressure and Time album live in all its glory.
WORST: The lack of air condition at the venue.
SETLIST – RIVAL SONS – KULTURBOLAGET
All Over The Road
Pressure and Time
Burn Down Los Angeles
Face of Light
Open My Eyes
Do Your Worst
Nobody Wants To Die