There’s a tour travelling around the UK which has caused quite the stir for AOR fans far and wide and that’s The Big 3-0 Tour! With FM, Dan Reed Network and Gun in the same venue each night playing a classic album in its entirety there’s no surprise it’s been on the hit list to attend. Tonight, the tour stops off in Leeds and it’s sure to be the perfect mid-week lift to see us through before breaking up for Christmas.
On the stage first tonight it was FM‘s turn to kick things off and my god did they! From the moment they walked on stage the crowd grew ever closer to the front, ready to party the night away. With the familiar driving guitars of the Tough It Out album, it wasn’t long till the party was in full swing. Steve Overland’s voice was on form tonight as he belted out each track from start to finish without a falter. The album maybe 30 years old but for an outsider, you would never be able to tell as it’s clearly stood the test of time and spanned a further 9 albums after its release. The highlight of the set though had to be Leeds very own Didge Digital, stepping back into the spotlight with his trusty keytar for the killer “Burning My Heart Down” The feel-good anthem saw the crowd really let loose and get into the swing of things. Closing up with “Killed By Love”, it was a great start to the night and the vocals of this venue had well and truly warmed up to take in the next two bands on the line-up.
Up next was Dan Reed Network with the entirety of Slam. Now, whenever this band come to town it’s a must-see act and with each time, they only get better. From the moment Dan took to the stage for his acapella moment with “All My Lovin'”, things only got better. This is a band you can’t take your eyes off, from Dan running and dancing all over the stage to Brion James’ incredible talent on guitar. For a little Christmas cheer, we were even treated to a James singing “The Christmas Song” in the middle of “Under My Skin”. With no theatrics necessary, the crowd as a whole danced for the full hour set and never stopped with the music just taking over. The thing with Slam is that it’s killer track after killer track and is filled with anthems that get you up and dancing. If anything can be said about this album, it’s that it’s stood the test of time and will forever be a classic just like Dan Reed Network will forever be a must-see band for a good time.
Finally, to take the final spot of the night it was time for Gun. The drinks by now had been in full flow for a while and everyone in the venue was in the party mood. On first thoughts, Gun may seem an odd mix with the other two bands on the bill as they have a much heavier vibe but since we’re going back to 1989, then why not. The album which we’re celebrating is the very first release Taking On The World which saw the band start off their album. Although the original line up is just the two brothers Giuliano Gizzi and Dante Gizzi, the band prove they still know the album which took them to their fame. The band put in some energy into their performance tonight and Giuliano appeared to be having the time of his life as he moved around the stage, captivating to watch. However, it wouldn’t be a Gun show without a few covers thrown in to the mix, “Word Up” is always a popular track and also superbly covered and closing with “Fight For Your Right To Party” was an excellent choice to end the night on.
It may have been 30 years since these three bands took on the world with these classic albums but it’s safe to say they all hold their own in both 1989 and 2019. Some may class it a throwback but for those in attendance on this tour, it’s been a chance to hear some of their favourite albums in full by their favourite bands in one night. These types of tours don’t come round often and for that reason, it is something quite special when they do and this one exceeding all expectations in being something truly spectacular.
Review: Emmie Ellis
Photography: Mark Ellis