Monster Truck // Those Damn Crows // Live Review // The 02 Academy // Oxford
Sunday afternoon saw me heading towards Oxford to catch the mighty Monster Truck supported by Those Damn Crows. Two wonderful bands, so this was definitely going to be an attack on the musical senses, in a good way…
Now Those Damn Crows have been ripping through venues up and down the UK for a few years now and have been selling out some amazing headline shows along the way. They have a fabulous and loyal fan base that follows them to every show, whether headline or support, as was the case this evening.
Doors tonight were at 7 pm with Crows due on stage at 8 pm. Tonight was going to be a warm one inside the O2. By the time Those Damn Crows were due on stage, the venue was rammed.
Crows walk on music blasted as the lights dimmed before the anticipation from the eager crowd was rewarded when through the darkness you could just make out the guys hitting the stage. The lights went up and the crowd went wild.
Shane Greenhall is the sort of frontman that just never stays still. He is always all over the stage, and generally, especially during headline sets, he goes further afield.
They open with ‘Who Did It’, which is the opening track from their last album ‘Point Of No Return’. This has a wonderful heavy pulsating beat that really hits you from the off and the chorus is huge. A great start to any set. Another from the same album is next, and this raises the pace as they hit the accelerator for ‘Long Time Dead’.
The pace stays high as next up we are treated to the first track from their debut album. ‘Don’t Give A Damn’ is a crowd favourite that has the whole audience singing back, well that’s how it seemed.
Back to the last album again with ‘Send The Reaper’, which is another with a driving beat and a wonderful uplifting chorus. They really do get the crowd moving, and are perfect for warming them up for Monster Truck a little later on.
Now they have a brand new album called ‘Inhale/Exhale’ due for release in February next year, and we are treated to a track from this new album next. They have just released ‘Wake Up’, and this is getting lots of airplay. Hearing this live was just awesome, and really lays a wonderful foundation for all the new music to come from this new release.
Back to their debut album next for the anthemic ‘Blink Of An Eye’, before ‘Sin On Skin’ which again raises the pace as this track builds before exploding into another fantastic plethora of musical delight.
The last two tracks start with the heavy-hitting ‘Go Get It’, before the set closer and sing-a-long favourite ‘Rock N Roll Ain’t Dead’. This is just a full-on, crowd participation musical experience and a fabulous end to a great set. Now there were lots of Crows tees in the crowd already, but after that performance, I have no doubt that next time there will be even more.
Setlist:- ‘Who Did It’, ‘Longtime Dead’, ‘Don’t Give A Damn’, ‘Send The Reaper’, ‘Wake Up’, ‘Blink Of An Eye’, ‘Sin On Skin’, ‘Go Get It’, ‘Rock N Roll Ain’t Dead’.
9:15 pm and the lights dim for a second time tonight as the anticipation from the waiting crowd was there for all to feel. Now Monster Truck have three previous studio albums spanning from 2013 to 2018, but Friday, September 30th saw the release of their fourth, with the brand new release ‘Warriors’. Tonight we will get to witness some of these new songs live.
They kick off with a couple of heavy crowd favourites from their first release ‘Furiosity’. ‘The Lion’ and ‘Old Train’ really do get the crowd involved right from the off. Another couple next keeping the momentum going from ‘Sittin’ Heavy’ and True Rockers’, before the first from the latest album, and the track ‘Golden Woman’, which is in fact a love song but one that travels at 100mph, an absolute banger. This is a great introduction to the new music.
Another couple from ‘Sittin’ Heavy’ next with ‘The Enforcer’ and ‘Black Forest’, with the latter slowing the pace after a frenetic and full-throttle start, before a trio of new ones. ‘Fuzz Mountain’ is up first. This lifts the pace again and was another track that was a single release. ‘Live Free’ is a head-bobbing foot-tapping beast before a total u-turn in style for ‘Country Livin’, which as the name suggests, has a much more southern feel but still works beautifully in the set. All the new tracks are received excitedly by the crowd. What you do notice with the new music, is that it only takes one listen before you are pretty much singing along to every chorus.
A slower blues number next with ‘For The Sun’ followed by ‘Seven Seas Blues’, before we are back to the latest release and ‘Get My Things & Go’ which is just a fast-paced rocker. A few more before the title track from the new release ‘Warriors’ is given an outing, followed by the anthemic ‘Sweet Mountain River’, which takes us towards the encore.
They round off the night with two classic tracks, ‘Why Are You Not Rocking?’ and ‘Don’t Tell Me How To Live’, both from the ‘Sittin’ Heavy’ album.
This has been a fabulous evening of heavy rock and blues with two bands that are absolutely on fire. Shane was his usual energetic self for the Crows, and Jeremy did not stand in the same spot twice during the Truck’s performance and took every opportunity to get airborne, so much so I am sure he earnt a shed load of air miles after that performance….
Both bands put on a five-star performance which was an absolute pleasure to witness…
Set list:- ‘The Lion’, ‘Old Train’, ‘She’s A Witch’, ‘Denim Danger’, ‘Golden Woman’, ‘The Enforcer’, ‘Black Forest’, ‘Fuzz Mountain’, ‘Live Free’, ‘Country Livin’, ‘For The Sun’, ‘Seven Seas Blues’, ‘Get My Things & Go’, ‘New Soul’, ‘Warriors’, ‘Sweet Mountain River’, ‘Why Are You Not Rocking?’, and ‘Don’t Tell Me How To Live’.