Stereophonics - FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield
Infamous Welsh legends Stereophonics kicked off their headline tour last Friday with a bang at FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield. As always, Kelly Jones brought an excellent performance alongside support from ethereal Wind and the Wave.
Stereophonics have been around for, what one of the security guards said, 'donkeys years'. Almost two decades on from when they were at the top of their game and dominating the UK charts, they are out touring their seventh album, Kind, selling out arenas and all with Kelly Jones, the frontman who's looking not a day past 30. Stereophonics have kept to their roots with their normal Brit rock sound, with a constant output of tracks to impress.
The evening itself was predictable however Stereophonics really did put on an amazing show. The opening track being C'est La Vie, one of the bands more upbeat songs with gritty guitar lines and a poppy memorable chorus was echoing off the walls of the arena. It really set the mood for the rest of the night - which was a contrast between hard rock and acoustic ballads.
The crowd were going completely wild for the band's well known older tracks, Maybe Tomorrow and Have A Nice Day. With the voices of almost 13,000 patrons belting out the lyrics to a song most would have listened to since childhood, making it the most memorable part of the night. The groovy basslines and reverberating guitar lines meshed together beautifully with Jones' voice, which hasn't aged a bit since the release of Local Boy in the Photograph.
Towards the end of the gig when tensions were high and spirits were low from previous exhilaration, the systematic approach to Stereophonics was evident. Guitar solos seemed to get longer and longer and more anticipated. There was a very loving and funny tribute to late drummer Stuart Cable with Before Anyone Knew Our Name, where emotions and crying was seen widespread. The two closing songs Just Looking and Dakota sealed the deal on Stereophonics' time capsule of a concert, with no-frills rock inducing echoes of voices heard for miles and miles.
There may not have been a lot of change in Stereophonics, with their signature style being evident in this event. That may be reassuring to some, however tiresome to others, but one thing we can all agree on is Stereophonics really encapsulates the 2001/2002 rock scene and puts it out just as great 19 years later.
Photography by Jake Camp