Rival Sons, The Virginmarys: O2 Academy, Liverpool

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Rival Sons

Rival Sons

Taking a break from their support slot with Ozzy and the gang, Rival Sons step into the spotlight at O2 Academy where Getintothis’ Tom Williams reports back.

On route to the O2 Academy, surrounded by Liverpool fans on their way to their unwitting demise at Anfield, we embarked to see Rival Sons for the second time in a week.

There was the usual support act uncertainty in the air for The Virginmarys, however this did not stop them from stepping onto the stage with confidence and truly surprising the entire venue.

It shortly became apparent that they did infact have a small force of fans to cheer them on, with more than one head singing along to a few of their songs, proving themselves to be a worthy act to support Rival Sons, and a band that has no doubt gained an extra fan or two thanks to tonight.

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With a stage presence of the likes of Green Day, The Virginmarys came out swinging with a plethora of songs that infected the entire crowd from front to back, all of whom’s heads were nodding in unison like the brainwashed masses of a totalitarian rulership. They seem to have a Billy Talent sound about them, which is surprising for a three piece, as their songs filled the room with such power and aggression it just made you want to turn around and lamp the nearest person, a desire thankfully resisted, we might add.

Our first encounter with Rival Sons was seeing them support Black Sabbath at the Manchester Arena just a few short days ago, and even before arguably one of the greatest rock bands in history, Rival Sons had all of the charisma and energy of a headline act ready to show you how to rock.

Tonight was no different as they walked out onto the stage accompanied by the famous The Good The Bad and the Ugly soundtrack, truly getting the masses riled up and ready for an hour and a half of good ol’ fashioned rock and roll.

The Americans came out with some utterly face scrunching riffs that made you re-evaluate the way you play the guitar, along with some exceptional vocals that sent more than one chill down our spines.

Frontman Jay Buchanan has a voice that harks back to the old days of AC/DC and Led Zeppelin, full of passion and drive that truly doesn’t even require a microphone. From his presence on stage to the way he handles the crowd is truly something special to watch, and his devoted fans made it more than apparent that he knows what he’s doing.

The lead guitarist Scott Holiday has to be mentioned for how astonishingly cool the man is to watch. His well groomed curled moustache coupled with some of the most stunning guitars we’ve seen in a long time made it so very difficult to take our eyes off of him. That being said he rewarded you for staring like that one weird guy on the bus you’re not sure is on drugs or not, with some of the most well crafted and melodically perfect solos you can imagine.

The close and personal nature of the venue meant that the audience interaction was through the roof, and it was greatly apparent that all of them were overjoyed to be in a room playing their music and seeing the entire venue ecstatic about it, which in turn naturally made the performance all the more memorable for the crowd.

Photos by Getintothis’ Gary Coughlan

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