LIVE REPORT: LORDS OF THE RIFF VOL.2 – KYNG, LIONIZE + PLANET OF ZEUS – MANCHESTER ACADEMY 3 – 10/11/14

LIVE REPORT: LORDS OF THE RIFF VOL.2 – KYNG, LIONIZE + PLANET OF ZEUS – MANCHESTER ACADEMY 3 – 10/11/14

Think of a tour sponsored by Classic Rock Magazine, Metal Hammer Magazine and Kraken Rum and you know the line up is going to be somewhat spectacular. Take a handful of the best rock bands on the planet and throw them on a rotating headline tour. It’s the stuff of dreams.

Lords of the Riff Tour

The cool thing about this tour is the revolving headliners, with each band playing in a different position each night. Opening tonight would be Kyng, the LA hard rock power trio. Despite the crowd being pretty thin on the ground tonight Kyng were intent upon putting on a good show and through the 40 minute set they did just that.

Playing through a list of hits including Burn The Serum and Electric Halo, the power of this band is drummer Pepe Clark. His hammering of the skins is powerful and commanding and along with Eddie’s vocal Kyng are as good live as they are recorded, if not better. Their performance rounded out by a killer rendition of the Van Halen classic Hot For Teacher. The crowd are slowly being warmed up by the Kraken girls handing out all the shots of free Rum and everyone knows that a gig can only ever be made better with free rum…promoters…take note!

A short intermission and it’s time for Lionize, the last time these guys were here they were supporting on a sold out Clutch tour. It’s quieter tonight but the second these guys take to the stage the crowd come alive. Drawing their setlist entirely from their latest release Jetpack Soundtrack. It’s safe to say that I’ve fallen in love with these guys since seeing them live again.

They’ve seldom left my iPod between then and now. This Maryland quartet are en exiting prospect for me, like Deep Purple meets Skynard with a dash of Clutch. The well crafted tracks are embellished with jam sections and keyboard intermissions it is obvious the chemistry between these guys is strong. From the beginning to the end of their set you feel the passion these guys have in their music, none more so than the vocals of Nate Bergman, this heavy yet intricate blues rock is well-rounded and I see no reason these guys couldn’t take the world by storm and in fact, I’m certain they will.

Finally are the band I have little or no knowledge of, originally it was meant to be Anti-Mortem but they split just a week before the tour and were replaced by Greek rockers Planet Of Zeus. They play a swirl of sludge, Southern rock and heavy metal. Which ultimately I never found myself warming to, dynamically the band are interesting, they’re tight and bluesy and they fire out some fantastically powerful riffs, however much was lost in the vocal for me that seemed lacking in it’s delivery, and for me it just doesn’t work.

The quality of the bands on the bill tonight was impressive, they each brought something different but each were powered by some of the most crushing riffs. The turn out for Manchester which seems the largest of the tour so far was disappointing, but I can’t help but feel that this is largely down to a lack of promotion within the towns the tour is hitting. But hey, those who were there loved every second so it’s all good! I do hope this tour returns for a Vol.3!

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