Mr Big Koko Camden 17-10-14

After a 25 minute acoustic set from Octave , Mr Big returned to these shores after a 4 year break in front of a sold out crowd and proved again that they are one of the best bands on the planet.

With the recent release of the excellent " The Stories We Could Tell "cd under their belts and a 6 week world tour in front of the we were lucky enough to see the first night of the tour.

For 2 hours we were taken on a journey throughout their 25 year career with a setlist that showed off their amazing talent.

Here is what they played.

" Gotta Love The Ride " from the new cd kicked off the show on a high with it's bluesy mid tempo stomp and excellent chorus. Eric Martin was in superb form and voice and the legendary near telepathic understanding of Billy Sheehan on lead bass and Paul Gilbert on guitar was again evident from the first note.

" Daddy Brother Lover Little Boy  " was next up and the whole place went mad.It was played at an incredible pace before the drill's came out for the solo's and a joy to see 2 superstars enjoying each others talent even on a song they have played a thousand times before.

2 songs from reunion cd " American Beauty " and " What If " followed and kept the standard high before a quick guitar and bass dual which led to the introduction of " Alive and Kickin'"  and also our first sighting of Pat Torpey.

I think we were all wondering how the dynamics of the show would be affected by Pat Torpey's recent diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease. His replacement Matt Starr of Ace Frehley's band and Burning Rain with Doug Aldrich is an inspired choice. His powerhouse style and sheer drive were a joy to see. The rest of the band were all clearly enjoying playing with him and he also had superb backing vocals that in this band is a must.

The whole place roared its approval and broke into a chant of " Pat " that continued off and on all night. He was obviously moved as we all were. He played some percussion and joined in with his always superb backing vocals. He was clearly in some discomfort from his right shoulder but as he said " I never expected to be up here again ". And we all  roared our approval.

The " Green Tinted Sixties Mind " intro had the hairs on my neck standing to attention and the huge chorus was bellowed back by all. What a great song.

" The Monster In Me " was the second song played from the new cd with its Billy led bass work out to start before it's huge stomp had the chandeliers rocking  before a welcome " Rock & Roll Over " made a welcome return to the set. 

Mid set their was a 2 song acoustic set with Eric now on acoustic guitar and Pat now at the stage front on tambourine and backing vocals. First up was Cat Stevens " Wild World " and then the new cd's " East / West " which was simply stunning.
Written by Pat and with the words " Here's To Everything We've Been Through " being so very poignant . The vocals were brilliant and Paul's mid song and end electric acoustic solo's were up there with the very best. 

Pat then replaced Matt on drums for " Just Take My Heart " and also " Fragile " and showed immense courage in playing even in great pain.

Last song of the set was the song that started it all those years ago and  the bass and guitar interplay showcased Billy and Paul's incredible talent and understanding. "Addicted To That Rush " is an all time classic and is just draw dropping to watch masters at work.

First encore was the huge ballad hit " To Be With You " that was song loud by all band and crowd alike.

The cd title track was next with an excellent Eric vocal before another classic in the shape of "Colarado Bulldog " upped the ante with stunning drumming for Matt and more Eric and Paul interplay.

Next up was another of the band's song mash ups. With Eric on bass, Paul on drums, Billy on guitar, Matt on backing vocals and Pat now as lead vocalist. The guy is special and in many band's could be lead vocalist and he really rocked it out on a cover of Judas Priest's " Living After Midnight ".

Pat then sat back on drums for the last song a cover of Free's " Mr Big ".He  showed how he will fight the horrendous illness the only way he knows head on and what a determined mutha he is and hey Pat Torpey you are an inspiration to us all.

A brilliant evening with a top top band.

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