Saturday, March 19, 2011

Buckcherry - March 10, 2007

The Starland Ballroom, in Sayreville New Jersey, was the venue where I had the distinct pleasure of seeing one of my favorite bands live for the first time. The band was reunited and performing for the first time in over five years. Out on the road in support of Fifteen, Buckcherry was poised to give an exceptional performance with both their amazing new songs and incredible classics.

When Buckcherry split up shortly after their tour for Timebomb, I was upset. These guys were my hard rocking heroes, and a band poised to take over the world. Then the band split up and the music industry suffered. It was a pure delight in 2005 to hear they had reformed and were working on a new album. That album, Fifteen, would be one of the best Buckcherry records ever released. Having missed them the first time around, I was so glad to have the opportunity to see them live in their revamped version.

Metal Eddie, his sister, and a couple of his friends were all in attendance for this concert. Shortly before Buckcherry was scheduled to take the stage, Metal Eddie made his usual snowplow toward the stage, trying to get as close as he could. I was right behind him, because I’ve learned over the years that following Metal Eddie will usually result in a fantastic view of the band.

The lights went out and Buckcherry roared to the stage, ripping out the lead track of their new album. So Far pelted my ear drums in a euphoric wash. I was so happy that I was practically levitating off the floor. I screamed as loud as I could and Metal Eddie and company jammed along to the opening number, hands in the air, horns out, and fists pumping. It was a great way to start the night.

Another song from Fifteen (Broken Glass) was next, but it’s a song that I never grew to love. It is by far the weakest song on Fifteen and a tune that I just didn’t take to. The song that followed it, however, made a grin erupt across my face. The opening riff of Porno Star filled the small theater and I just howled. I’ve always felt that Time Bomb is an underrated album and one that never gets the attention it deserves --- not from the band, the fans, or anywhere else. To hear one of the best tracks from this album performed live was a real treat. I sang every word with a wave of happiness washing over me that I had not felt in years.

The song selection Buckcherry chose for their New Jersey night was indeed a strong one. Hits like Sorry, and Crazy Bitch were performed alongside of massive rockers like Next 2 U, Ridin’, and Slammin’ (another gem from Time Bomb). The band sounded incredible and the years apart did nothing to hurt their road performance. Of course, by that point, they had been on the road for more than 200 shows in support of Fifteen. That’s how the real rock stars do it. Stay on the road until your album is platinum. And all of the touring that Buckcherry did not only helped their album sales, it enhanced their live presence. Their act was a well oiled machine spit out of a cannon and exploding into the night. Buckcherry were firework superstars.

At almost every concert I attend, there is one song I am not expecting to hear, and that I usually don’t know that well. Almost always, I end up becoming a huge fan of it by the time the live performance is completed. That chilly New Jersey night was no exception. When Buckcherry started to play Everything, I remember thinking that I liked the song and I needed to pay more attention to it. By the time their live performance of Everything was complete, the song had moved into my top 5 Buckcherry songs category. Josh Todd sang with a ferocious urgency that demanded the song be recognized. The band was so cohesive and precise during Everything that it was near impossible to not fall in love with the track. It was excellence performed live.

The main set ended with a rousing version of Buckcherry’s biggest hit at the time, Lit Up. In my opinion, this song has since been surpassed by Crazy Bitch as the band’s signature song, but in 2007, this was the song that everyone was waiting for. Buckcherry was kind enough to reward our patience. Lit Up sounded as great live as it did in my CD player and it was the perfect way to end the main portion of the night.

After a few minutes of waiting, Buckcherry came back onstage to perform the encore. What bothered me about the encore was not just the fact that the band played only one song, but also the song selection. Brooklyn, a new song from Fifteen was what the band chose to end the night with. And while Buckcherry did a great performance of it, Brooklyn was not the song that I wanted them to leave me with. I was hoping for something heavier. I was hoping for something more classic. It was not what I received. That complaint is but a minor one in an otherwise incredible performance.

For my first time seeing Buckcherry, they did their live show justice. The performance was raw, energetic, and incredible. I had never been happier about a band reuniting then I was on that night.

Set List
So Far
Broken Glass
Porno Star
Out Of Line
Crazy Bitch
Next 2 U
Dead Again
Check Your Head
Lit Up

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