Metallica at the Glasgow Hydro. October 2017. Photograph used by kind permission of Graeme Smith.
The question is always asked, when will Metallica tour again, when they come and do more than one performance at a festival inside the U.K., invariably in a field somewhere as the night envelops the crowd and the memories of shows inside small venues, let alone the glory of the sell out arena start to fade into the distance. The bigger the group, unfortunately the more the world wants to share in the music, and that is of course arguably the only right way to think.
Muse in Glasgow, April 2016. Photograph by Ian D. Hall.
Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
You cannot fault the effort that Muse put into their show, the production values are simply out of this world, the sound magnificent and the extras that make it always worth attending one of their performances just something to behold with slight awe. What can let it down as you watch the whole evening unfold is when the audience don’t seem to want to join in the fun and the absolute pleasure until very late in the day; the odd mosh pit opening aside, until the old storming favourite of Time Is Running Out presented itself to the crowd, there was hardly a peep of mass voice joining in.
It is the pull of the hero, the wanting to be in the same room as those lauded and respected that brings an audience back time and time again. Even after 40 years or so, countless gigs, the music never gets old, the stance of the conqueror never betraying time or allowing rust to set in to the mighty engine built frame, you can never truly escape the feel of fire that grows in the stomach, you can never turn your back on the hero.
The return to home territory is always an occasion in which to celebrate is mandatory, it is a fixed point on a tour in which the special is perhaps rolled out with more vigour and aplomb, in which the music takes on a binding pact between artist and audience, in which the pubs and clubs that surround the arena are flowing with memories of where it all started and where it perhaps might find itself.
Fleetwood Mac, The Hydro, Glasgow. June 2015. Photograph by Ian D. Hall.
Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * * *
It starts with a gentle rhythmic beat, slow, incandescent and the thought of explosive wrath and crazed delight far from its mind and ends in the white heat of thunder, the objective having been met, the satisfaction of thousands of souls having been determined and the noise of a thousand hearts having been caught fluttering in the wind, now forever filled with content and tranquil fulfilment. To have witnessed Fleetwood Mac, the classic and commercially erudite line-up of Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, John McVie, Christine McVie and Mick Fleetwood, perform anywhere on this particular tour, is arguably to have sensed that five decade old greatness.
Marillion at the ABC, Glasgow. Photograph by Ian D. Hall.
Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
The point of the journey, as Rush once said, is not to arrive. By completing the journey, all that you have learned about yourself can turn eventually to dust and atoms. It is perhaps a finer, arguably more noble, pursuit to keep travelling, to keep the finishing line hidden from view, to never have the experience of something ending less it eat away at you and allows the dust which holds the joints and creaking crevices together to inch by delicate inch slowly fade away.
You can wait years for an Eagles tour to come round; however no matter what, it is something that at least once in your life you need to be able to say you did. There would be no regrets, no thought of feeling as if the motions were being underplayed, what you get is one of the most entertaining, thoughtful and considered nights out you are likely to witness. The quality of Don Henley and Glen Frey’s song-writing, the amazing spectacle of Joe Walsh, arguably one of the true greats of American Rock, the appearance of Bernie Leadon causing a ripple of welcoming gasps throughout the auditorium and the perfect voice of Timothy B. Schmit all rolled up in to a perfect wrecking ball of a band.
Peter Gabriel is closer now to that certain age in which others aspire to start taking it easy and concentrating on other aspects of life. However when you are having as much fun as Peter Gabriel, feeling as much warmth from a crowd and giving a scintillating performance in which the audience could only marvel at, why worry, there is so much left for this man to achieve and do.