In the age of blast beats, dance influence and death growls, it’s easy to forget heavy metal’s lineage. This year, Classic Rock and Metal Hammer Magazines have combined their consistently good annual tours into one mega line up for the spectacularly titled Lords Of The Riff tour. Buffalo Summer, Scorpion Child and Monster Truck are assembled tonight to prove that, in the words of Brian Johnson, Rock and Roll will never die.
Tonight, it’s Monster Truck’s turn at ending the night on this co-headline package. First of all though, it’s up to Buffalo Summer (7) to get the crowd warmed up. Despite their relatively late addition to the bill (they were announced only a week before the tour began) there is a fairly sizeable crowd waiting to see the Welsh rockers. Emerging onto the stage looking as though they’ve just stepped out of Black Sabbath’s stage wardrobe circa 1970, Buffalo Summer kick tonight off with a blast. Their music has a relentless, AC/DC like stomp to it, ceasing only for the occasional bluesy guitar solo. Buffalo Summer put on a brilliant live show, with every member looking genuinely delighted to be on stage. The bands happiness is infectious – everyone in the audience ends Buffalo Summer’s set tonight with a grin on their face.
Next up are co-headliners Scorpion Child (8). By now, the Basement has filled up considerably, with the diverse crowd ranging from teenage girls to groups of dedicated old timers. Things take a turn for the worse towards the end of Scorpion Child’s excellent set, where an older audience member passes out. He was taken home by his friends, and the security staff later inform me that he’s fine.
Both the headlining bands tonight are marred by muddy sound, with the vocals not coming through clearly. This doesn’t affect Scorpion Child for long however; their Rainbow inspired rock is on top form tonight. The band plays tightly together, and vocalist Aryn Jonathan Black banters well with the crowd throughout. Impressively, Scorpion Child even manage to work in a drum solo without annoying the audience. Sadly, the Texans arguably climax too soon. The early one two punch of “Polygon of Eyes” and “The Secret Spot” are full of awesome riffs and soaring choruses that get the crowd shouting along, but should perhaps have been saved for later in their set. The remaining eight songs are good, catchy and fun but not as genuinely brilliant Scorpion Child clearly have the potential to be.
Monster Truck (7.5) emerge onto the stage to a heroes welcome; it’s clear the majority of the crowd are here for the Canadian boys tonight. In contrast to Scorpion Child, their set features little in the way of audience interaction, electing instead to let the riffs do the talking. What they lack in charisma, however, they more than make up for in tight, aggressive three minute hard rock bangers. Each song tonight gets the audience banging their heads, with a few grittier songs evening enticing mosh pits. Despite continuing sound issues, the band tear the Basement apart in their thirteen song set, focusing on their 2013 album Furiosity but featuring their biggest tune, “Sworded Beest” off of their “The Brown EP” nonetheless. Monster Truck are on form tonight, every note is hit perfectly, and guitarist Jeremy Widerman manages to pull off some fun stage moves, contorting his guitar every which way whilst he rips through solos.
Despite the three band bill, the evening still feels as though it’s all over far too soon. Do yourself a favour and keep your eyes and ears on the two headlining bands, they’re both due to explode in the next year.