Black Stone Cherry
Monday, August 30, 2010
Minnesota State Fair Grandstand, St. Paul, MN
Fairly or not, Kentucky’s Black Stone Cherry have been tagged as a Southern rock band, a term that I think is grossly inaccurate. To me, Southern rock conjures the more relaxed style of classic acts such as The Allman Brothers Band, Molly Hatchet, and Blackfoot. Black Stone Cherry certainly has this type of influence, but they are first and foremost a hard rock band that has a much wider appeal. They proved this tonight as they burst onto the stage in the fading sunlight with “Crosstown Woman” from their self-titled debut. No time was wasted as the band moved on to two tracks, “Blind Man” and “Please Come In”, from their latest album, Folklore And Superstition. Guitarist Ben Wells and bassist Jon Lawhon raced around the stage as they played, riling up the crowd with their energy. Even their drummer, John Fred Young, was fun to watch as stood up behind his kit while playing, at times leaning over to bash the front of his bass drum. The biggest break was when vocalist and guitarist Chris Robertson announced that the band has been working on new material most of this year and introduced a new song, “Blame It On The Boom-Boom”, that features a great “Hey!” sing-a-long. The show returned to their first album with “Maybe Someday” and “Lonely Train”. By this time the crowd was generating a large amount of applause, and the set closed with “We Are The Kings”, which featured an interlude/jam on “Voodoo Chile” that included Chris playing his guitar with his teeth. Black Stone Cherry packed a wallop in their short 35 minute set, and it was clear that the crowd wanted more. Judging from the long line of people that waited to meet the band at the merch tent immediately following their set, Black Stone Cherry is poised for great things. The entire band cheerfully met with their fans, taking the time to briefly chat and pose for pictures with everyone. It was a great start to the evening, and left me with no reason to stick around for Hinder and Seether. Without a doubt, Black Stone Cherry’s third album is going to be one of the most eagerly anticipated hard rock releases in coming months.