Bad Company/RSO - Genting Arena, Birmingham 21-10-16

After a frantic dash up the M40 and into the NEC (yeah that's right - the NEC -  in the same way that Hammersmith will always have an Odeon, this hall will always be the NEC) we grabbed a quick pitstop and into the hall to see RSO (we missed Paul Rodgers daughter - sorry).

Having always thought that Richie Sambora had the best voice and wrote the best songs in Bon Jovi, this should be good - especially as his solo albums are excellent and a gig at Shepherds Bush Empire a few years ago was a cracker.

But it wasn't.  There's no denying that Sambora and Orianthi can sing and play but something tonight didn't seem to gel. From the inexplicable acoustic version of John Lennon's Imagine before the set properly started to the set closer of Living on a Prayer, Richie's voice wasn't as good as it can be and he seemed fidgety - jacket off, jacket on, shades off, shades on, a few guitar issues.. Whether it was simply a lack of rehearsal or the sound being off in some way I don't know but when it did come together it was really good - when Love Comes to Town was excellent - and the audience lapped up the Bon Jovi tracks, but for me something didn't seem quite right.

The only way I could have been more excited about this gig would be if Led Zep were on the bill too. I adore Bad Co, and have seen them a couple of times through the years but never with Paul Rodgers singing - so to get all the original band (except of course for the sadly missed Boz Burrell) had me dizzy with anticipation (or maybe it was dehydration, who knows).

I'm sure every review is going to mention Paul Rodger's voice, so we may as well start there.. this guy is approaching his 67th birthday but he's singing as good, if not better, than he ever has. He was absolutely stunning.  However, this was no solo gig - Mick Ralphs rocked out, and Simon Kirke was a powerhouse.  Bad Co seem to have a harder edge when performing live, and it works perfectly.

The only thing we all would have liked would be a longer set - 80 minutes was ok, and I know these guys are all getting on a bit (if I can play guitar half as good as that when I'm 72 I'll be very happy) - but there is such a vast back catalogue to plunder - Seagull would have been great. But I'm being picky - they played everything I wanted to hear - Crazy Circles was a nice was the new song Troubleshooter.

Live for the Music
Gone, Gone, Gone
Feel Like Makin' Love
Burnin' Sky
Run With the Pack
Ready for Love
Crazy Circles
Movin' On
Shooting Star
Can't Get Enough
Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy

Bad Company
Rock Steady

Put out the spotlights, one and all
Then let the feelin' get down to your soul
The music's so loud, you can hear the sound
Reaching for the sky, churnin' up the ground

'nuff said, simply brilliant.



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