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Camden Barfly, London 31 January 2011
goes in cycles , and Taking Dawn have arrived on the scene at the right
time, the young Las Vegans unashamedly influenced by the era of long
hair, and big riffs and choruses and bringing an exuberant, goofy sense
excellent debut album, Time to Burn, on Roadrunner, tours with Airbourne
and Kiss and a Download appearance, 2011 sees them embarking on a full
headlining tour and the Barfly, admittedly a venue little bigger than my
living room, was packed to the gills with rockers both young and more
seasoned, reflecting the buzz surrounding them.
warmed up by a half hour set from Godsized, whose grinding,
sludgy riffs, Chris Cornell-esque vocals and long beards and tattoos
screamed southern metal. Amazingly though, the south they hail from is
Sarf London, Croydon to be precise. If your tastes range anywhere
between Black Stone Cherry and Pantera via Black Label Society- who they
are supporting on their upcoming tour- then they are worth checking out.
Dawn's stage set, all flailing hair and synchronised stage moves,
was almost bursting out of the small stage, and after opening with 'Save
Me', with its big 'who-oah's, 'Like a Revolution' turned the centre of
the floor into a huge moshpit, with the rest of us squeezed round the
Babbitt belongs to a distinguished line of over the top, motor-mouthed
showmen that goes back to Ted Nugent, Dee Snider and Seb Bach. He was a
constant source of wisecracks and the odd incomprehensible remark. He
also produced a hilariously accurate impression of Airbourne's Joel
O'Keefe, who is cut from similar cloth.
combine the brash aggression of an early Skid Row with twin guitars from
Chris and Mikey Cross that are in Judas Priest or Queensryche territory.
Virtually the whole of Time to Burn featured in the set, from the more
commercial 'Endlessly' and 'Never Enough' to more frenetic numbers like
'Fight Em with Your Rock' and the expletive-filled, nu metal influenced
title track, which predictably sent the mosh pit wild.
The set was
bulked out by the addition of 'V', apparently from the special edition
of the album, and a cover of 'Black Diamond', introduced by the classic
line 'you wanted the best, you got stuck with Taking Dawn'.
their song delivery is very different live, being twice as frenetic,
twice as loud, but overwhelming some of the big hooks and choruses that
made the album so refreshing for me.
particular, amidst his striking open mouthed poses and rocking out,
Chris' vocals lacked clarity and precision. Being of a more melodic
persuasion, I personally regretted this, but it seemed to make no
difference to people's enjoyment of the show.
They ended a
65 minute set in fine style with the rapid-fire So Loud and their souped
up cover of The Chain, with a great moment as Chris leapt off the stage,
raced through the crowd and saw the song out playing guitar from the top
of the tiny bar at the back. Better still, as I left the venue they were
good-humouredly hanging out with fans and signing merchandise.
missed this tour, I suspect that next time round you will see them in
the bigger venues where their exuberant show belongs.
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