Two Nights with Rival Sons, “Live” from the Historic Catalina Casino

If I were to name the very best moments of my life, getting to see Rival Sons live in Derby would definitely make its way on there. The experience of finally watching my favourite band in person was indescribable and absolutely irreplicable.

So when they announced Pair of Aces – two nights of live performances on screen, the tickets were an easy decision. I might’ve been screaming before waiting impatiently for the day to arrive.

Last weekend (or 5am on a Sunday morning here), the band finally performed Before the Fire in its entirety, the album that started it all. It was exactly what the concert-deprived me needed. (In fact, I was so amped up I had to write about it.)

Of course, a live stream will never be the same as grooving with the band up close. The screen was too small (sadly I do not own a projector), the speakers too soft. The muted energy within the four walls of my humble abode paled in comparison to the infectious energy of sweat-drenched strangers that I dearly miss.

But nothing – not physical distance or the lack of a crowd – can stop a phenomenal rock band from delivering a killer set. They rocked the gorgeous venue of Catalina Casino, hard, reinvigorating familiar classics with fresh renditions.

The unfortunate tour hiatus might have killed our souls, but it had done some good too. Jay Buchanan’s vocals sounded better than ever, while the rest of the band Scott Holiday, Robin Everhart and Mike Miley matched his fervour for an all-in-all brilliant performance.

Next week will mark the second and last night, which will see them take on their self-titled EP, doubtlessly with glorious results. The only downside is that all good things do have to come to an end.

Things may not be back to normal so soon, with significantly smaller concerts now allowed after a long year, only with masks and distancing still mandated. But until major gigs finally make a (safe) return next year, this is more than enough.

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