Here in Hawaii we have the largest concentration of United States Military bases and compounds in the country. There are approximately 50,000 personnel assign to Hawaii. With almost fifty percent from the South you would expect a large audience for a Southern Rock concert. On this Wednesday night less than 500 people attended Black Stone Cherry and local band Kings of Spade at The Republik in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Kings Of Spade are one of the few hometown bands that have remained in Hawaii and tour nationally. In Hawaii the band has filled the opening slot of nationally touring bands which have included Bon Jovi and most recently Guns N Roses in December of 2018. With a bit of luck this band can be “the next big thing”. The certainly put in the work and have the talent to reach out to a broader audience.
Band members Jessie Savio (guitar), Tim Corker (bass), Matt Koto (drums) and KC Nunes (vocals) performed songs off their self-titled album released in 2018. The band’s cover of Beth Hart’s “Love Is A Lie” featured KC’s Joplinesque vocals while “Bottoms Up” included Savio’s searing guitar. After sharing with the crowd her coming out story, KC, with her neon pink Mohawk, and the band slammed all cylinders during “Strange Bird.” The song addresses staying true to yourself, and accepting people’s differences.
After King of Spades blistering set the Allman Brothers blasted out into the crowd at maximum volume to pump up the audience. Formed in 2001 in Edmonton, Kentucky, Black Stone Cherry has released six studio albums and three EPs. Their most recent Family Tree was released in April 2018. Throughout their career the band has created a seventies style Kentucky blues rock sound with soulful vocals. A sound which many bands attempted but few have mastered as well as BSC.
At 9:20 P.M. the band, Chris Roberson (lead vocals, lead guitar), Ben Wells (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Jon Lawhon (bass, backing vocals), and John Fred Young (drums, backing vocals) exploded onto the stage with “Burnin’” off the new album. Right from the start, the band gave the audience everything they had and then some. Robertson mainly played center stage while Wells and Lawhon interchanged sides of the stage. Wells’ power kicks, which continued almost nonstop throughout the show, would make any martial artist jealous. The band then launched into “Me and Mary Jane” which cranked up the energy of the crowd another notch. “Blind Man” from the release Folklore and Superstition continued with trademark power chords and fret fireworks.
Next the band played the first of three cover songs. Toy Caldwell of The Marshall Tucker Band would be proud of BSC’s version of “Can’t You See” which included a bit of The Allman Brother’s “Midnight Rider.” Roberson gave a truly memorable performance, full of energy, passion, and emotion. The band stayed true to their blues roots by also covering Willie Dixon’s “Hoochie Coochie Man” and Albert King’s “Born Under A Bad Sign”.
The band gave their fans everything they expected; sixteen songs filling ninety minutes of unrelenting rock, n, roll. The set bounced between their latest release and old classics in which the whole crowd were singing their hearts out. My personal highlight was the one two punch of “Blame It On The Boom Boom” and “White Trash Millionaire.” Rather than going off stage and returning for an encore the band allowed Young to go wild on a drum solo in which he played harmonica simultaneously. The band returned to the stage and concluded the set with “Family Tree.” By the end of the night BLS blew the roof off of The Republik!
The lack of attendance never seemed to affect the band. From the first to the last note the group gave it their all. The bands dedication and enthusiasm was evident. It was exhilarating to watch a band actually enjoying themselves on stage. Don’t miss this band! They will be touring extensively throughout the spring and Summer.
Burnin’ / Me And Mary Jane / Blind Man / Can’t You See / Bad Habit / Like I Roll / My Last Breath / Cheaper To Drink Alone / Born Under A Bad Sign / Ain’t Nobody / Drum Solo / I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man / Lonely Train / Blame It On The Boom Boom / White Trash Millionaire / Family Tree