Date: September 5th, 2017
Stereophonics played a packed, sold out Irving Plaza on September 5th in NYC. It was their only US appearance this year (so far). The last time they were in the country, it was to promote their Graffiti on the Train album from 2013. I was in Italy so I couldn’t see that show at Webster Hall but I was happy to have seen their show at Irving Plaza though!
The first time I saw Stereophonics was on my first trip to London back in 2005. My brother and his wife at the time were fans, so I went along for the ride. They played at Alexandra Palace in December, and I remember a few things. I wasn’t a fan and didn’t get into their music until after this show, it took forever to get up to Alexandra Palace because you had to take a bunch of double-decker buses, and I was sick with double bronchitis. So I wasn’t exactly a happy camper that night. I ended up sitting in the back of the venue, sitting down rocking and back forth from being sick most of the night. It worked out in the end as I ended up being a fan a few months later from that. Once I heard songs like “Dakota” and “Handbags and Gladrags,” I was hooked in. The other time I saw them (as a fan), was at Webster Hall with People in Planes for their Pull The Pin Tour in September 2008. I guess the band likes to play NYC in September.
There was no opener for the show, which I was fine with. They had a DJ play some good rock, punk and other genres associated with Stereophonics. At first it was a little loud and hard to talk with friends but it got lowered down towards the end.
Stereophonics hit the stage and played an excellent set of old songs, some new ones and a lot of favorites. They opened with their last album’s best song “C’est La Vie,” which was a great way to start off with. It was followed by the same album’s “I Wanna Get Lost With You.” Earlier in the day, Stereophonics performed on The Today Show and played a new track “Caught by the Wind,” which was played third. Their new album Scream Above The Sounds will be out on November 3rd via Warner Bros. Judging by the new songs I’ve heard already, I think this album will be better than Keep the Village Alive.
After playing some new songs, the crowd was really into it and sang along for pretty much the rest of the night with songs like “Have A Nice Day,” “I Wouldn’t Believe Your Radio,” and “Maybe Tomorrow.” It’s something about UK bands and their fans singing along the entire time. It makes the concert much more enjoyable I think. But I also witnessed a lot of talking where I was by the sidebar, which got annoying so I went upstairs in the balcony. It was hard to hear Kelly in between songs since people were talking. Every time he would get into a story, I’d miss the punch line or anecdote of it.
A fun highlight was the band’s usual bedroom melody of different songs from AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Led Zepplin, and of course some Bruce thrown in there too with “Dancing in the Dark.” Other highlights for me included the new song “All in One Night” (love that chorus), “Local Boy In The Photograph,” “Indian Summer,” and “The Bartender and the Thief” (which was played last in the set). One of the biggest receptions for the set was their song “Too Many Sandwiches,” which the balcony was losing their minds over. Would have been great to hear “Handbags and Gladrags,” “In A Moment” or “Rewind” but it wasn’t meant to be this time around.
Kelly and the rest of the band came back to play 4 songs for the encore. On the setlist, they listed 3 so the crowd was gifted with an extra song. That extra song was “Been Caught Cheating.” They went into one of my favorites, “It Means Nothing” which just sounds amazing live. Another one I love that they played in the encore and is on the slower side is “Could You Be The One?” Stereophonics are one of those bands where I love both the heavier and slower songs equally. The last song of the night of course was “Dakota.” I had to stay to see them perform the song that got me into them.
It was excellent to see Stereophonics again and it just amazes me how great a singer and perform Kelly. I like the drummer, Jamie Morrison, because he’s really animated when he’s drumming. Of course the other guys: Adam and Richard are solid performers as well. The lineup is strong and this set was excellent. Supposedly, the band will be back in the US for a full tour when the new album is released so we’ll see if I get to see them again. I like Irving Plaza but felt it was too small for the band as they could have easily played some bigger venues in town. Anyway – their new album…get it in November and go see Stereophonics if you never seen them before!
Some of my favorite photos from the night. Be sure to check out my photo site for all the pics!