Rating 5/5

The Classic Rock Show rolled into town this past week at the Sage Gateshead and brought us back to an era of music that shows it is still current and popular. Legendary songs live on and past decades have shown us they are still very much in the hearts of those that grew up with them.

Admittedly the age range I observed was of an older generation – forty plus with a sprinkling of a few pockets of younger people were also in attendance but that was understandable due to the music we were to hear. I saw this tour last a couple of years ago at Cadogan Hall in London and although I enjoyed it, I had been left a little underwhelmed at the stage performance of the singers. However, this time around this show rocked out.

No support needed, no easing into the show, this show started from the off. Queen was the artist and One Vison the song. It must have been a prelude to the one vision this show has to entertain.

Rudy Cardenas and Jesse Smith led on vocals for a majority of the set and their contrast was a great blend. Jesse sporting a more rock look with long wavy hair, Jesse a smoother modern look with his leather jacket and ripped jeans. Jess Harwood was sublime when given her the opportunity to belt out her voice. The great thing albeit one large band, we have a variety of singers that intertwine to bring us a variety, range of songs and vocals to suit.

Standing ovations appeared for Queens ‘Mama’ and Meatloaf’s ‘Bat out of Hell’, Jess Harwood gave great vocals on FleetwoodMacs ‘Dreams’ and ‘Because the Night’ but in truth, there was not a bad song all night and everyone would have had their personal favourite. The second half brought the audience to their feet and left nobody sitting. The audience knew every single song, sang every song, clapped every song and one guy even ran up and down the side of the aisle dancing, receiving numerous warnings from Sage Gateshead staff.

This band entertained and the atmosphere reminded me of that of a classic rock concert that I wish I could have attended back in the ’70s or ’80s had I been old enough. The staging like previous shows aids the fans in that you see video montages of the song/band that’s being played for each song should you have forgotten whose hit it was. When you observed the live singing also against these videos you also noticed that the timing of the singers’ lyrics were perfectly synced to the second which I imagine has taken a lot of rehearsal time.

The lighting was fantastic – laser lights and spotlights were used to full potential and really enhanced the concert feel. Bands covered varied from Fleetwood Mac, Queen, Led Zeppelin, The Eagles, The Who, Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd, Van Halen, Aerosmith, Toto and even more to mention.

Instrumentally again Wayne Banks on Bass, Karl Penny on drums and James Cole on guitar all played their part and entertained but a special mention has to go out to the keyboard player Henry Burnett whose magic fingers adorned the keys but standout musician for the night was Pete Thorn whose ability on the guitar was another level. Aptly given the chance to show these across a Hendrix track as well as other solo moments within songs we were left in awe of his skill. Apparently this is his first time on the tour and they’d be mad to let him leave after this.

This was a fantastic night, it gave a really feel-good atmosphere, a chance to relive the songs of the past across a generation that bred musical legends. The classic rock show came and rocked out the Sage. All I can say is goodbye for now and hope to see you next year.

The show timings are 80 minutes for the first half and a full-on 90 minutes for the second in between a 20-minute interval. So you get a proper concert of a show. You definitely get your monies worth and with so many more hits not included we could have been there for a couple more hours on top of that in honesty.

Remaining dates and venues:

Friday14th FebruarySalfordThe Lowry
Saturday15th FebruaryDundeeCaird Hall
Sunday16th FebruaryInvernessEden Court Theatre
Tuesday18th FebruaryGlasgowRoyal Concert Hall
Wed19th FebruaryBirminghamTown Hall
Thursday20th FebruaryPooleLighthouse
Fri21st FebruaryLondonCadogan Hall
Sunday23rd FebruaryLiverpoolPhilharmonic Hall

Thanks for reading my review of The Classic Rock Show

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