Adrenaline Mob / Voodoo Six
3 July 2012
Kings College Students Union, London
Whilst tonight’s show had been downgraded from the larger Koko, the venue was pretty busy by the time Voodoo Six took to the stage. Something looked immediately odd, with bassist Tony Newton, who the band refer to as GL (Glorious Leader), missing from the stage. Frontman Luke Purdie, later explained, “Tony’s away”; away transpired to be out on the Iron Maiden US tour. However, the stand in, who’s name I believe Purdie said was Miro, did an excellent job.
Blessed with a great sound mix from the start, Voodoo Six’s bluesy hard rock quickly piqued the interest of a crowd that, unsurprisingly, looked more likely to be at a prog metal show. By Falling Knives, Purdie had encouraged a good potion to clap along. The singers soulful vocals sat well on top of the riffs of Chris Jones and Matt Pearce, with the Hendrix like shuffle of Take The Blame of particular note.
A new song, which may have been called Stop, showed promises with a walking bass-line verse leading to a monstrous big riff. Whilst the band perhaps lacks the charisma of the headline act tonight, this was certainly a great way to get the evening started.
Voodoo Six setlist:
Like The Others Did / No Friend of Mine / Falling Knives / Take Aim / Take the Blame / Stop / Something For You / Live Again / Long Way From Home
Adrenaline Mob’s debut album Omertà has received, shall we say a mixed response. When it was announced that Symphony X frontman Russell Allen was forming a band with ex-Dream Theater sticksman Mike Portnoy, many naturally assumed something of a progressive metal nature would be brewing. However, what would be the point of doing another act in that vein. The key to Adrenaline Mob actually lay with the riffs of guitarist Mike Orlando who had been working with Allen before Portnoy came into the fold. Orlando may be the least famous of the four piece, but this shouldn’t be for long. Tonight his performance was awe inspiring and easily a match for the individual talents of the band.
Whilst Adrenaline Mob’s songs follow a traditional rock format, the musicians make the live experience so much more. Orlando had noted about Portnoy in an interview that, “He can play a 4/4 beat, but it won't sound like anybody else.” Actually seeing Portnoy at such close quarters was a privilege.
Opening with Psychosane, Allen’s vocals immediately impressed. With a moveable microphone, Portnoy swung it in front of himself whilst playing, asking “How we doing London?”Playing the opening of Fellin’ Me whilst standing, by the end of the song the drummer had climbed on top of his kit. Meanwhile Allen and bassist John Moyer were making full use of the stage, climbing on top of amps to the side.
Angel Sky took the pace down with a stunning extended guitar solo from Orlando. This lead to a duet between Orlando’s guitar and Allen’s voice, the latter rising to new levels at the end. Back to the more up-tempo material and by Freight Train Allen was drenched in sweat as if he had been working out.
“I think this song came from here, though most people don’t like to admit it”, announced Allen before Duran Duran cover Come Undone. Believe Me followed with another eye opening solo from Orlando which lead to band introductions. Allen explained of Orlando, “We nicknamed him Mo, as he mow’s all you muthf**kers down!” Moyer was announced as The Hit Man, before Allen explained, “Sometimes you need some extra guns … Dynamite Mike Portnoy”. Finally on introducing Allen, Portnoy noted, “We knew at the Dream Theater / Symphony X gig at Wembley in 2007 that we’d be back in London in the same band.”
The emotional All On The Line was made more so when Allen told us it was inspired by his autistic daughter.Allen really put everything into the performance of this song.
Into the home straight and Hit The Wall built the energy for everyone to start jumping to Undaunted.This one as close to Moyer’s band Disturbed as Adrenaline Mob got.
With the whole Omertà album now aired, the band took leave of the stage for a short break before returning for some cover versions.Black Sabbath’s The Mob Rules and War Pigs came as no surprise as they’ve featured frequently in the band’s gigs to date.However sandwiched between them was a surprise cover of Badlands’ High Wire.
I had looked forward to this gig but even so Adrenaline Mob completely surpassed any expectations and I would strongly advise people to check them out live.
Adrenaline Mob setlist:
Psychosane / Feelin' Me / Down to the Floor / Angel Sky / Indifferent / Freight Train / Come Undone / Believe Me / All on the Line / Hit the Wall / Undaunted / Guitar Solo / The Mob Rules (Black Sabbath cover) / High Wire (Badlands cover) / War Pigs (Black Sabbath cover)