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The Dead Daisies / Massive Wagons http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/30/ce/10/The-Dead-Daisies-Islington-2018-Live-Thumb-85-1543860216.jpg

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The Dead Daisies / Massive Wagons - O2 Academy Islington, London (UK) - 17 November 2018

Massive Wagons are a high energy start with their vocalist proving an arresting sight bouncing around in his full length skeleton suit. Hard rock with a swinging rhythm cut with a screaming metal vocal they have people in the crowd on the barrier that apparently travel to their shows and there is probably no higher compliment than that.

Having done a five track acoustic set earlier in the evening The Dead Daisies returned to the stage for their full electric show and they are all out to engage this London crowd from the off. Very early on we have Doug sitting on the front of the stage rolling over on the floor to get up still with the guitar strapped to him and having greeted the audience John Corabi and Marco Mendoza take vantage points on the drum riser all the better to see to the back. Considering that Corabi has a cold he's sounding great. His voice having a rasp in any event: it's hard to tell he is sick as he leads the crowd in a 'yeah-eh' singalong. Doug is doing his rock god thing at the front of the stage with a fast solo while Marco gets his Latin hips on as he contributes his distinctive bass line. Marco is the first to induce a clap-along from the crowd, while Dean, not to be ignored, stands up and holds his cymbals while rocking side to side. Corabi is feeling so frisky he lifts his jacket to show a cheeky bun wiggle to the crowd. The Daisies is not just about the music: it's an all out dance and interactive energy exchange with the crowd.


The Dead Daisies Islington 2018 Live 1

However excellent music is a given, of course, with some old and new and a continuation from previous gigs during the electric show of a heavier sound live, very marked on older tracks like 'Last time I saw the Sun'. Doug on voice box sounding like a digeridoo is the intro to 'Join Together' which has also taken a harder turn tonight. There's a swagger to Corabi's manner as it is clear things have gone well from the off. Then rather surprisingly to mix it up the band take a seat and deliver an acoustic interlude like the pre show even including some of the same songs like Maggie May and some different like 'Let it Be'. There's lots of great harmonies and a showcase of both the voices of Corabi and Dean, who surprisingly is capable of a mean Frankie Valli falsetto as he demonstrates at the end of Maggie May which is a great version: Rod Stewart being a hard man to cover. The crowd chant 'Deano' Deano' and Corabi jokes they are shouting 'Vino'. It's easy to forget this is a London crowd tonight as the crowd are extremely enthusiastic and joyfully receptive. It seems the Daisies can even cure the big city blues!

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It is not long or it doesn't seem long, however, before we are back up to full strength and Doug is busy doing Zep like effects on his guitar for a full electric version of 'Burn it Down' before engaging in a series of kickin round pirouettes. There was no loss of energy during the acoustic session and the shift to full power again goes well with Corabi giving a victory sign to the crowd and informing them now they are part of the Daisies family and it's like the mafia once you're in you can't get out.


The Dead Daisies Islington 2018 Live 2

To keep the band introductions interesting the band do extracts of cover songs 'Long Live Rock n Roll' for Doug, 'I Love Rock n Roll' for Marco 'You shook me all night Long' for Australian David Lowry and 'School Out' for Dean. Corabi get's 'It's Only Rock n Roll, but I like it' as well as an eulogy for giving 150 percent even when sick.


The Dead Daisies Islington 2018 Live 3

There's even time for brotherly humour as Corabi introduces Marco as a swimsuit model and Marco in turn introduces Corabi as the new spokesperson for Taco Bell (haha). Corabi telling Dean to 'sit down you bastard' after a new 'Deano' chant breaks out. Later on Doug gets his own name chant and announces 'Fuck it I'm moving to London' (if only it were true!).


The Dead Daisies Islington 2018 Live 4

After a cover of Rolling Stones 'Bitch' during which Corabi does a little Mick Jagger dance he announces 'We're just getting started'. Daisies favorites 'Song and a Prayer' and 'Long way to go' follow' before cover 'Helter Skelter' with a nod to Corabi's time in Crue as well as his love of the Beatles. It's a long show especially bearing in mind the pre show, but sadly we are all too soon hitting the encore with Daisies track 'Mexico' and then a great rockin version of Purple's 'Highway Star' before which Corabi takes care to express appreciation for the British bands which were his favorites as he was growing up including Purple, Queen , Led Zep and Bowie, expressing their thankfulness for 30 years later being able right there to live the dream. With the cry 'We are the Dead Daisies thank you for inviting us to your party' it is all over too soon and time for the encore photo (with Doug lying on his back still in party mode)... Becoming masters of making their shows a real occasion rather than just another gig, the Daisies were on fire. The fact that Corabi was sick makes it all the more a triumph. Surely Wembley can only be just around the corner.

Dawn Osborne

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