Concert Reviews

Glenn Hughes Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     August 03, 2011    
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Glenn Hughes - Grand Opera House, York (UK) - 23rd of May 2011.

As a longstanding Glenn Hughes fan who has all his albums and has seen many shows, I was thrilled at the chance to get to see him at a great venue like the York Opera House, somewhere Glenn had never played before. It was much closer to where I live and much nicer than Bradford Rio's or some of the other less than charming venues he has played in the past.

Glenn told me this tour would find him in full rock mode as a precursor to the upcoming Black Country Communion gigs. I deliberately avoided reviews because I wanted to be surprised - I love the funky side of Glenn but I'll admit in the past set lists have maybe been a bit unbalanced, trying to please Purple fans with old songs and funky fans with new. Hughes kicked this show off with 'Muscle And Blood' from the classic Hughes/Thrall album, and not only did it rock, it was a much more toned down vocal - much closer to the album version than the vocal gymnastics he performed on the 'Burning Japan Live' version. The old Trapeze favourite 'Touch My Life' followed before Glenn unleashed 'Orion' from 'Soul Mover'. By this point four things were very clear in the set - one, it certainly did rock. Two, the sound was the best I'd heard at a Glenn Hughes gig. Three, Glenn's backing band of Soren Anderson on guitar, Pontus Engborg on drums and Anders Olinder on keys was the best I've seen Glenn perform with. Four, Glenn vocally sounded amazing, and better still, while still throwing in the odd scream, kept his vocals controlled and consistent.

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If I'd tried to predict the setlist, I'd have come off very badly indeed, with surprises like Purple's 'Sail Away' and Trapeze's 'Keeping Time' rocking the house alongside 'First Step Of Love' and 'Cant Stop The Flood'. Glenn started a story about going to America when he was eighteen and he was going to play one of his songs from that period. I expected 'Coast To Coast', but instead we got 'Medusa', recently revived thanks to Black Country Communion. It got a rousing reception, to which Glenn grinned "He's an overnight sensation, that Glenn Hughes!" That also stood out from previous gigs - Glenn seems much more at ease now, striking poses as the frontman for the band, telling stories, making jokes and still being a world class singer and quality bass player. An awesome (but not overblown) vocal intro led us into 'You Keep On Moving' before the band exploded into the best live version of 'Stormbringer' I've ever heard.

After 'Soul Mover' the encore was led, to my glee, with a powerhouse rendition of 'Addiction' before the evening ended with everyone singing along to 'Burn'. It was a great sounding show, Glenn was in the best form I've seen, he sang like a bird without the Mariah Carey tendency to throw in too many notes just because he can, his band were phenomenal and the set list rocked hard. What's more, Glenn looked like he enjoyed playing it. The best Hughes show I've seen by a country mile.

James Gaden


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