The much anticipated Smith/Kotzen tour rolled into a sold Brudenell Social Club tonight. The Leeds crowd were clearly getting themselves ready for a night of guitar wizardry and solid blues-based rock n roll. Smith/Kotzen released their debut LP in the midst of the pandemic, closely followed by an EP of additional material and the fact that many of the shows on the tour are sold out, everyone (including the band) was ready to hear this material live.
Opening up was London based The Dust Coda. Founded in 2013 these chaps have quickly become one of the leading bands in the New Wave of Classic Rock Movement, with their latest release “Mojo Skyline” reaching No 27 on the UK Albums Chart. Despite the headliners giving them the majority of the stage, the boys looked a little cramped on the small stage. However, that did not stop them from belting out a great set. Leaning heavily on the aforementioned “Mojo Skyline” you can see why they have become a popular live band with John Drake’s powerful vocals matching the Adam Mackie guitar sound perfectly.
The main room at The Brudenell is now completely rammed with very little space to move. Unfortunately, a power issue led to a looooong delay in Smith /Kotzen taking the stage. Praise must go to the majority of the fans who waited patiently in anticipation. As the main PA kicked back in the crowd were as ready as the band for a show. Tearing into the opening number “Taking My Chances” the band were on top form. What has always surprised me is the quality of Adrian Smith’s voice on the LP .. live, however, it’s on a new level.. The boy has got a set of pipes on him for sure!!! This was a performance that was well worth the wait. Richie Kotzen’s not half bad either !… with the 2 stars trading both vocal and guitar licks with ease. The all Brazilian backline of Julia Lange (Bass) and Bruno Valverde (drums) provided a solid, powerhouse rhythm section driving the tunes to a new level.
Stand out tunes? Well, there were too many to mention … each song had extended solo sections allowing both guitarists to shine .. If i had to mention one then it would be Scars where the interplay between Smith and Kotzen was sublime as each player traded licks showing off their particular styles with pure joy in their eyes. The synergy between the band really was a joy to behold .. a pure musical phenomenon. Oh and let’s not forget the amazing, hard-rocking, covers of Wasted Years (Iron Maiden) and You Can’t Save Me (Richie Kotzen)
There are a couple of dates on the tour with tickets left on this tour and I would highly urge you to grab one before every date sells out … I promise you will not regret it one little bit …