London, renowned for its rich musical heritage, witnessed a scintillating display of rock prowess on Tuesday night (July 4, 2023) as the iconic metal band Buckcherry took the stage at the illustrious London Music Hall. The atmosphere was electric, and the eager crowd brimmed with anticipation for what would be an unforgettable night of head-banging and fist-pumping anthems.
In the spirit of full disclosure, it must be said that this reviewer is unequivocally a fervent admirer of Buckcherry. When the music industry was obsessed with reinventing itself during the early 2000s, Buckcherry valiantly flew the flag of unadulterated rock and roll. These musicians are the genuine article, embodying the spirit and essence of the genre.
Buckcherry made an explosive entrance, catapulting the audience into a whirlwind of euphoria with their instantly recognizable hit, “Lit Up.” An homage to the notorious Peruvian marching powder, the song serves as a testament to the band’s unabashedly addictive sound, driving fans to engage in reckless revelry. “Lit Up” served as the cornerstone upon which Buckcherry built their sonic empire, an infectious earworm with an irresistibly catchy hook. However, listeners should exercise caution, as inadvertently humming “I love the cocaine, I love the cocaine” in the workplace cafeteria with their boss present may lead to unforeseen consequences. Trust me on this. To not appreciate this song would be nothing short of shocking.
The longevity of singer Josh Todd’s vocal prowess is nothing short of astounding. Adorned with intricate ink spanning from his waist to his chin, Todd’s stage presence is undeniably magnetic. As the band ignited the stage with their exuberant performance, Todd’s animated delivery and enigmatic persona were further accentuated. Notably, the bassist garnered accolades for his captivating rock-playing facial expressions, earning an honorable mention in the unofficial Tim Minchin lookalike contest.
Undoubtedly, the highlight of the evening was when Buckcherry presented a surprising twist during their iconic anthem, “Crazy Bitch.” The band seamlessly incorporated a Tina Turner breakdown, with the singer, guitarist, and bassist synchronizing their movements, sliding across the stage in perfect harmony. While the mental stability of the late Ms. Turner remains outside the purview of this review, this tribute serves as a gracious nod to a rock and roll pioneer who has transcended the realms of the Thunderdome. “Crazy Bitch” not only proves to be a remarkable auditory experience, especially when witnessed alongside a captivating performer bearing an automobile-inspired moniker, but it also offers the band an ideal opportunity to showcase merchandise emblazoned with the words “CRAZY BITCH” across the chest. For reasons best left unexplored, it invokes memories of one’s turbulent twenties. Let’s just not delve into that realm.
A delightful surprise awaited fans towards the end of the night, as Josh Todd announced that Buckcherry would perform “the best fucking song ever written by a Canadian.” The band then unleashed an electrifying rendition of Bryan Adams’ timeless classic, “Summer of ’69.” Undoubtedly, Buckcherry’s live performance is an experience not to be missed. Until their return, raise a glass, crank up the volume, and revel in the sheer magnificence of Buckcherry. Their music is the epitome of summer, providing an invigorating soundtrack that demands to be heard at maximum intensity.
Before the explosive performance by Buckcherry, local London band After the Lounge graced the stage, showcasing their solid hard rock sound infused with a distinct influence from the 70s rock era. Comparable to the riff-heavy style of Monster Truck, the band emanated pure joy, their passion palpable through the quality of their performance.
Following After the Lounge’s departure, Sierra Pilot from Kitchener, Ontario, burst onto the scene, delivering a breathtaking, high-energy set that left the audience exhilarated. The band’s cohesion was evident, with the bassist and guitarist commanding the stage with their captivating showmanship, inciting the crowd to sway and groove to the rhythm. However, it was the lead singer, Taylor Leith, who truly captivated onlookers. Possessing a commanding vocal presence and a formidable stage presence, Leith’s physique was a spectacle in itself, eliciting awe and intimidation from the onlookers. His sculpted arms alone could put any behemoth to shame. One couldn’t help but imagine him transforming into the Hulk, bellowing “me Hulk smash” before diving into the crowd. Taylor Leith serves as both an inspiration and a source of trepidation.
London Music Hall
July 4, 2023
All photos by David Booth