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For only the second show on the tour the four Reading lads strode on stage to louder screams than I was expecting. When a support act comes on looking awkward I can start to feel awkward watching them but one of the nice things about Counterpoint was that they seemed instantly at ease. Not with arrogance but just a sense they were enjoying themselves, which pretty much sums up their performance; it was fun. Their brand of Classic Rock goes down a treat with the crowd too, this isn’t really the kind of band where you need to know the songs before seeing them and for many tonight this will be their first time seeing them, and sure enough they like it. Admittedly this band aren’t doing anything new - they’re a cheesy, rock ‘n’ roll band full of funky Aerosmith style riffs and lengthy guitar solos. A particularly Aerosmithy song came in the form of the song ‘Perfect 10’ although the song after ‘Can’t Breathe’ was possibly my favourite with a great build up and its explosive end sounded great live. In the queue shortly before the gig I met a couple of old people who were here for a bet and I wonder what their first impressions are so far, probably that it was all a bit silly but in a way it is. One thing’s for sure though, the girls here loved them, I can’t see their sex appeal personally but then again... I’m a guy; I don’t think I’m supposed to.
Thursday 5th November 2009
Rock City in Nottingham, UK
I was surprised to learn Soil were the support act here as the band are legends in many people’s eyes, but more on that later... Starting with ‘Give It Up’ definitely wasn’t a bad choice, stamping their rough, gritty sound across Rock City. Following with the much more sombre and slick ‘The Lesser Man’ they really show off a new, more melodic side and it sounded fantastic. The groovier side to their sound really did compliment the heavier songs here, leaving nothing sounding out of place. Vocalist AJ Cavalier really livened everything up with either emotional singing or jumping around and interacting with the crowd which is always good to see. His kind of energy felt very raw, especially one moment in particular where he leapt up onto a speaker during the older ‘Breaking Me Down’ to sing... something I’ve only ever seen in pub gigs which was a breath of fresh air in such a setting. Understandably most of the material being played here was from their recent release ‘Picture Perfect’ and in fact (surprisingly) the best song played tonight was their new single ‘Like It Is’. I say it’s surprising because everyone who knows of Soil will know what their finale will be... and sure enough, to a rapturous bout of screaming they play ‘Halo’. However, despite previously improving on many songs from their recordings, especially the older tracks, AJ’s version of this famous club track just didn’t sit well with me. I only say this because of the amount of times he’d stop to let the crowd sing which really threw me off as a listener... I’m sure being in the pit and singing along with the people around you would have been great but at the back all we heard was a broken song. Ignoring that, Soil really did show they’re not a one trick pony, with an impressive roster of varied songs under their belt and an energetic stage show I can hope this isn’t the last we hear of them.
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Reviews & Photography by Nicholas Dishington
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Exploding onstage with incredible energy, their hit ‘The Sound of Madness’ filled the room with its pounding anthemic riff. From the start you could tell this was going to be a good set. Now I’d like to say that the no-nonsense songs they’re famed for came thick and fast but with some technical difficulties holding up the show, vocalist Brent Smith had to talk for quite a while... eventually continuing with ‘Save Me’ they picked up the energy again. However, Brent’s desire for everyone to shake their neighbour’s hand got dragged out for far too long, and this kind of thing went on throughout the night. The whole band were great showmen, they played perfectly... with more power and emotion than on record but Smith’s continual need to rouse the crowd between each and every song got very old, very fast. Subjects covered were fan requests, compassion and one very lengthy lecture on diligence... I kid you not. Nonetheless there was more crowd interaction than you could shake a drumstick at, going from various games involving the crowd shouting “Yeah” to a poor man’s attempt at Slipknot’s famous jumping up thing... except instead of the crowd starting on the floor and jumping up they just had to jump simultaneously. It worked, but it looked ridiculous. I wouldn’t have written so much about it if it hadn’t taken up pretty much half of the gig which is a shame because they played the actual songs fantastically. During ‘Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide’ you really got a refreshing sense this band were really enjoying themselves and not just playing because they had to be here. Even the slower songs of the set were exciting; with ‘Call Me’ standing out to the point I’d say it’s my favourite ballad live. After the obligatory encore (A band with as much showmanship as these wouldn’t skip out on that) they finished with ‘Devour’. With an intro which couldn’t have been built better for the live setting and its constant high pace this song was a real treat and easily the best way to end the night. It’s been a night of ups and downs and I couldn’t leave without wondering what the old age pensioners in the crowd must have thought of the whole thing...
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