The musicians he brought with him were very talented. Together they formed a cohesive unit performing sprawling blues jams. The crowded venue lit up with excitement, repeatedly cheering and applauding, causing Mr. Roper (sorry, I couldn’t resist) to stare back at them with a humble grin on his face.
That opening buzz carried forward into the main act.
The four-piece walked on stage and a deafening welcome echoed through the air.
Frontman, Ian Thornley, delivered haunting vocals. That guttural growl to his release, that is reminiscent of the recently-departed Chris Cornell, brought wave after wave of nostalgia.
The audience was enthusiastic and the whole event felt like a gathering of old friends. Smiling faces stared starry-eyed at the stage while belting out their favourite lyrics to each song.
Beers were consumed, laughs were exchanged, and a great night was had.
The evening was billed as “In Loving Memory Of… 20th Anniversary Tour”, which had the band playing 1997’s In Loving Memory Of… in its entirety in addition to fan favourites from their vast catalogue of music. We got exactly that. A mixed-order visit to the album with a smattering of the other favourites, such as the well-loved “Albatross” from their 2012 eponymous release.
I left the show with a warm feeling. A wonderfully talented cast of musicians had performed a solid set with enthusiasm and love in their hearts, while an endeared crowd absorbed, reciprocated, and joined in.
Thank you to all the musicians for a fantastic Thursday night.