Daughtry – Birmingham 02 Academy (Live Review)

24th March, Birmingham 02 Academy. For a first timer- this venue appears like an ugly industrial building from the outside, but inside? For a rock venue, or any music venue for that matter, it’s lush! Carpeted floors, instead of vinyl sticky stuff that will sucker your shoes off. Food stalls, a super long bar, that you actually have a chance to get at, and even comfy seats in the back for the more laid back gig-er. Bravo Birmingham 02 Academy. Bravo.

The huge stage is set, ready and awaiting the nights support act, special guests and England’s own: Charming Liars.

Charming Liars are 5 guys from London, who gambled their lives on this band. In 2011 they quit uni, and their jobs, to focus full time on the band, they moved to California in a big ambitious leap, trying their luck over the pond. In 2013 the hard work paid off, with a debut album completed, having worked with Bob Rock and John Fields, major players in the rock industry.

With an album due to drop, the guys come out with a point to prove. Having never heard their tunes before, listeners will be pleasantly surprised. With these five pretty-boys taking the stage, and a crowd full of young girls, expectation = some serious Pop tunes blasting our way. But that was wrong. Their sound is Rock, lyrical and well sung. Undeniably, Rock with a Pop edge, but Rock non the less. When you hear “pretty-boys” that comes with a negative connotation, but when they’re Rocky and Pretty? Well that’s just perfection! Their sound is emotional and poignant, polished yet raw, especially love the gravelly vocals from front man Charlie. Check them out now at www.charmingliars.com

This is not the most Pop show you could attend, by far, but for so called ‘Rock Music’, this is as Pop as it gets. There were banners, screamers, and criers. People buying shirts, and putting them straight on, no matter what they were wearing underneath. When Daughtry were on stage, the crowd were all in. As Chris- vocalist/frontman who came to fame through American Idol- opened his mouth to talk, a collective breath was drawn in anticipation. Through hundreds of gigs, you’d struggle to find another audience so happily placed in the palm of a musician’s hand. Chris needn’t be there- the crowd knew the songs, every word, every nuance. But if Chris wasn’t there? Neither would the audience be. The rest of the guys are stand ins, they’re irrelevant. Skilled musicians, yes, but important to the sound, the crowd, or the feel? No. It’s all about Chris. Everything is about Chris. His voice, his tattoos, his muscles…sorry sidetracked.. He’s a really talented singer, super talented, a true rock voice. But the new album, on reflection, is lacking in something and that was noticeable live.

Having enjoyed the night, but had enough, we left before Daughtry finished their set.

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