Black Stone Cherry has always had a special relationship with their British fans. The fans showed their love by making it possible for the band to go from playing 200-seat clubs to headlining an arena tour in under a decade. On October 30, 2014, the group returned the favor, documenting a gig at Birmingham's LG Arena. The high-energy show makes up the new DVD/CD Black Stone Cherry - Thank You: Livin' Live, Birmingham, UK October 30, 2014.
A wild light show behind the curtain precedes the melodic modern metal of "Rain Wizard." Backed by heavy guitars and a military-style drumbeat, it makes for a potent opener. The crowd is all-in from the get-go, singing along to every song. Drummer John Fred Young propels the energetic "Blind Man," a driving song that keeps the intensity level high.
Front man Chris Robertson shares vocals with the crowd on the intro to "Me And Mary Jane," a song that finds the band locked into a killer groove. It's not all high energy here, however. The group brings down the tempo on the heavy ballad "In My Blood," showing their versatility.
The band performs a moving cover of Cream's "Sunshine Of Your Love" as a tribute to Jack Bruce, who had passed away that week before launching into the melodic hard rock of "White Trash Millionaire." The song's killer riffs would not be out of place on a Black Label Society release. A powerful "Lonely Train (Can't Judge A Book)" closes the show on a high note. The band has no shortage of riffs or energy and their love of their British audience is evident throughout.
The video is presented in 16x9 Widescreen format and looks good. Audio options include DTS Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and 2.0 Stereo. While the audio is generally good, there are places where the mix is a bit on the muddy side, sometimes making it harder to hear the individual instruments. A pair of live tracks and an interview from the 2015 Download Festival are included as bonus features on the DVD.
With their high-energy performances and mutual love between the band and their British audience, it's no wonder Black Stone Cherry has grown in popularity so quickly. Black Stone Cherry - Thank You: Livin' Live, Birmingham, UK October 30, 2014 is a fine live document from an exciting live band.