H.E.A.T. Garage London 16-05-14
First up were London 5 piece New Device who I had seen before and again was very impressed. Even more so when I found out that new guitarist James Arter had only been with the band for 3 rehearsals.
Led by the impressive pipes of Daniel Leigh they ripped through a 7 song set with a best of taken from their 2 cd's to date " Takin' Over " and "Here We Stand ".
Here is what they played
Here We Stand
On Your Knees
Save Your Life
Feel The Wrath
Until The End
Takin ' Over
Next up was Danish act Supercharger who if I'm honest annoyed me a bit as they seemed to spend an absolute age getting ready. I know their were sound issues but the 35 minutes between acts then caught out H.E.A.T. later and in the end and we had all paid to see the headliner.
Playing in their words Boogie woogie rock n 'roll from their recently released " Broken Hearts And Fallaparts " cd they got a good reception from the growing crowd.
The highlight for me was when the singer was telling us a story about their latest single and then was told by a crew member their allotted time was nearly up, so he said well you won't hear that one now maybe next time and they finished with another song!!
In front of a sold out crowd and on the hottest day of the year the Glen Frey classic "The Heat Is On " was a very appropriate intro as the expectation and temperature grew.
With a bonafide classic new cd out " Tearing Down The Walls " and with a baying crowd that knew every word, this gig was always going to be up there with the best and the 5 young men from Sweden didn't disappoint .
Over the course of 80 minutes they set the bar high and showed everyone present that they can be the standard bearers for the music we love for the forseeable future.
Here is what they played.
Point Of No Return
A Shot At Redemption
Better Off Alone
It's All About You
Tearing Down The Walls
Late Night Lady
In And Out Of Trouble
Beg Beg Beg (including a little of Rock N'Roll by Led Zeppelin )
Enemy In Me
Breaking The Silence
Living On The Run
Since 2009 Swedish Idol winner Erik Gronwall replaced original singer Kenny Leckremo the band have gone from strength to strength . His manic body plugged into the electric persona stage presence means he is always on the move and within seconds of the start he was already a ball of sweat. He combines this with a superb vocal range and he can hold a tune and he plays the crowd exceptionally well and joins the front row on a few occasions.
Since last years wonderful Borderline show the band have dropped to a 5 piece with the departure of Dave Dalone on guitar. On the new cd they have a harder edge and live the remaining guitarist Eric Rivers has really blossomed . He riffs and solos harder than he did before and has added a real performing edge to his stage persona and acts as a great foil to Erik. His solo's all have a melodic edge to them and he was having a ball.
The rest of the band all add to the mix. Jona Tee on keys fills out the sound especially when Eric is soloing and the rhythm section of Crash on drums and Jimmy Jay on bass keep it all together.
Opening with 2 from the new cd it was obvious from the word go that not only was the band on fire the crowd were pretty close behind too. "Point Of No Return " and first single " A Shot At Redemption " are songs that have all the H.E.A.T. trade marks. Huge bouncing riffs that are built for big rock songs with choruses to die for and the crowd knew every word as it turned in to a monster sing along.
" Better Off Alone " from previous cd "Address The Nation " was greeted like a long lost friend and that is what made the night so special that the band and audience level never dipped.
The title track of the new cd had Erik donning an acoustic guitar for a song that back in the day of MTV would have seen the band on permanent rotation. Huge chorus again hollered back by everyone present.
First cd sole survivor "Late Night Lady " was a highlight before the band introduced a special guest. As we had arrived at the venue out on Highbury Fields the band were all sat on the grass with Herman Li from Dragonforce with guitars in hand. The cd version is sax heavy but tonight " In And Out Of Trouble " was turned into a guitar heavy epic with Herman trading solos with Eric that was quite superb.
" Enemy In Me " like " Inferno " earlier are rock music for the modern age with hard edged riffs and hooks that could land a Great White shark.
We lost the superb "Eye For an Eye " due to the earlier sound issues before during "Danger Road " it all went pear shaped. Keyboard problems meant huge noise coming through the speakers before all the microphones went out. Erik then showed what a star he is by thinking oh well. Next thing you know he is crowd surfing pretty much to the back of the venue and joining in with the crowd. The band played the song as a 3 piece and Erik said on their next visit they would play the song twice.
"Emergency " was a classy set closer with Erik again struggling to find a microphone that worked before they saved time in not going off to try and stay within the 10 o'clock curfew.
Two top notch "Address The Nation " classics in "Breaking The Silence " and "Living On The Run " had fists punching the sky and Erik again in the front row and the whole place bouncing up and down and bellowing every word in fact helping Erik out with his microphone problems.
The band play only 4 UK shows on this stage of the tour before I reckon the last chance to see the band in a small venue at October's Firefest headlining slot for which I cannot wait.
I said a year ago that the band will be huge and with the wonderful new cd and a sense of manic anticipation from a crowd that I've not seen in a long while, H.E.A.T. are destined for the very top.