Richie Kotzen // The Davy Kerrigan Project // Live Review // The Limelight // Belfast

The next 7 days, two of the guitar world’s greats pass through this venue. Tonight we have the majestic Richie Kotzen and this day next week Paul Gilbert and Mr Big, of course, Richie himself being a one-time member during Paul’s absence from the band. This is every guitar player’s wet dream, having these guys grace the city means a lot to the rock community, we are often overlooked here when the tours are whisking their way across the UK, that extra jump across the pond to Belfast or Dublin can be an additional expense too far, but thankfully Richie is here! He is Safe, sound, and ready to bring his glorious catalogue to Irish shores north and south!

Up first is local guitar legend, Davy Kerrigan, the last time we crossed paths with Davy was when he was supporting Kris Barras at the Empire pre shamdemic, so it’s great to once again reconnect with this killer blues-rock player and his band as they rock their way across a groove-laden, in your face collection of killer guitar infused tracks. I’m sure it’s a bit of a nightmare for local promoters trying to find someone willing to play in support of a guitar god like Kotzen, but Davy K can fill those boots and thankfully he has. I guess we need to find more shredders locally and get them prepared for the next generation of guitar gods who will play Belfast in years to come. If you haven’t yet checked out Davy K, he’s seriously prolific on the local scene and can be found playing all across Northern Ireland so do check him out and I am sure you’ll catch him local to you in the near future. His classic easy on the ear, blues, rock. Southern rock-infused sound is timeless and if you love tight hard hard-hitting blues rock Davy K will be right up your street.

Davy K Online



8:30 on the dot Richie and has band take the stage, no fuss they just dander on quite unassuming and get stuck right in!

Our good friends over at MPM caught up with Richie earlier today whilst at The Limelight, Richard Henry in fact sat down with Richie to talk about his extensive career and his evolution as a player over the years, now I wouldn’t be as familiar with Richie’s back catalogue as Richard so I wasn’t quite sure what an RK show would be, but a half a dozen songs or so In what you get is a soulful, bluesy RNB explosion of the finest kind, dabbled with funk thankfully bathed in the most glorious light I’ve seen in a while!

Check out that interview here:

Richie’s band are just stunning, his backline is on point, and the baselines thumping through the PA are just glorious as I stand a watch him do the most amazing fluid melodic runs all whilst the drummer infuses the stellar drum patterns to compliment Kotzen’s incredible songwriting. As discussed earlier today Richie points out he doesn’t like to play the same solo twice in a row and far prefers the more fluid improvised style of guitar playing that allows him to express himself on stage and feel the full freedom the instrument allows him to have, and he is clearly having fun tonight, the guitar solos are breathtaking, for any six-string wizard your in heaven right now! The tone from his signature Tele is a behemoth! Married against his silly vocals as a live entity Kotzen is a monster! But seriously, that tone, wow! Richie is playing through a hand-wired Marshall tonight and it is singing!

Of course, along with the perfectly curated setlist you get long exaggerated improvised guitar solos that allow all band members to stretch their proverbial musical muscles, the trio perfectly in sync, in the pocket of the groove all watching each other like hawks for the slightest deviation in the plan, anything can change at any time but these guys will always catch it, musical maestros for sure. A glorious musical education unfolds in front of our eyes and you kind of realise that gigs like this don’t happen here every night of the week, this is something pretty special, we may have had to wait for Richie to bring his magic to our shores but my god it was worth the wait!

As I scan the room it’s a fantastic mix of gear heads, but filled with ladies too smiles beaming as they dance the night away to Richie’s soulful soundtrack, his setlist caters for all in front of him with blazing tracks with blistering solos right through to slow burners with heart and soul, one of the standout gigs of the year for me, a really simple approach, three guys just slaying it on stage doing what they love and they do say if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life, it looks like it!

As the night sadly comes to an end, after around 90 odd minutes of glorious music the lights come on as Richie and his band take their bows, the buzz is incredible, the laughter and smiles far and wide as his army of fans finally soak it all up that we finally had this legend in our hometown working his magic, it was a sublime nights music in a great venue amongst friends, life is good.

Make sure you check out Richie’s dates and get yourself along to a show, you can thank me later.

Richie Kotzen Online

Photography: Mark McGrogan

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