Detroit, Michigan (April 23, 2019)-Many bands slowly introduce their new songs into their setlists to garner audience response, but not Rival Sons. They know the material off their new album Feral Roots is magical; and they launched directly into those songs with “Back in the Woods” and “Sugar on the Bone” Tuesday night at the Fillmore Detroit. The new disc is packed with tight grooves, blistering solos, and Jay Buchanan’s impressively soulful vocal range. On the night, seven of the fourteen songs in the setlist were from the new record. This was quite an impressive feat to showcase such new material and not rely on older hits like “Secret”, “Face of Light” and “Good Luck.”
Two of the standout songs from the new disc that were performed live were “Too Bad” and “End of Forever”. Scott Holiday’s guitar work has moved him up the ladder on who I would consider one of the best guitarists out there today. His playing tonight was very inspiring, and the performance had grit, fuzzy distortion and power. Perhaps that is why they nicknamed him Mr. Fuzzlord! The solos were nothing short of amazing and sounded as if they were coming right from the studio. Dave Beste and Mike Miley’s playing were also very complimentary to the strong vocals and catchy riffs throughout the night.
During the middle of the performance Jay acknowledged that they are in fact a hard rock band; however, he wrote a song that he didn’t necessarily think fit on a rock record yet took it to his band members anyway. The song “Jordan” originally appeared on the Head Down record and was crooned with a heartfelt undertone. “Maybe you have needed these words in the past, maybe last night or last week. Maybe you haven’t needed them yet, or you just might need them tomorrow.” The song was an emotional comedown from the fast-paced part of the night, displaying a perfect vocal range with lyrics about letting go of someone that you love.
I’m still very shocked that despite the fact that the show was sold out that Rival Sons is not a bigger band. They have put out extremely solid albums since 2009, but their performance tonight was one of their finest. Feral Roots currently is still my favorite album in 2019 and should be on your list as well. Make the choice to buy a ticket to see Rival Sons on this tour playing such intimate venues before they truly gain a more massive audience.