10/01/13 Denver, CO - Bluebird Theater
10/04/13 Seattle, WA - Showbox
10/05/13 Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
10/06/13 Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
10/08/13 San Francisco, CA - Fillmore
10/10/13 Los Angeles, CA - Fonda
10/13/13 Corona Capital Festival
11/08/13 Glasgow, UK - SSE Hydro
11/09/13 Aberdeen, UK - GE Oil & Gas Arena
11/11/13 Belfast, UK - Odyssey Arena
11/12/13 Dublin, Ireland - O2 Dublin
11/14/13 Manchester, UK - Phones 4u Arena
11/15/13 Leeds, UK - First Direct Arena
11/16/13 Newcastle, UK - Metro Radio Arena
11/18/13 Nottingham, UK - Capital FM Arena
11/19/13 Birmingham, UK - LG Arena
11/21/13 Brighton, UK - Brighton Centre
11/22/13 Bournemouth Int'l Centre
11/24/13 Cardiff, UK - Motorpoint Arena
11/25/13 Cardiff, UK - Motorpoint Arena
11/26/13 Cardiff, UK - Motorpoint Arena
11/28/13 London, UK - O2
THE WIND AND THE WAVE
The band mentioned in their set that they will be releasing their debut album sometime in January or February of 2014, so expect to hear more from them in the coming year.
Like many U.K. bands, Stereophonics is obviously more popular in England, playing to 7,000+ capacity arenas and stadiums (even selling out their hometown gig in Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena, forcing them to play multiple dates to please all the fans). Seeing the band in the U.S. is a wonderful deal for fans, because we get to see them up close and in much smaller venues. Fans who showed up to last night's show were all dedicated fans, having seen the band multiple times, like myself, when the band was at the height of their popularity (circa 1997-2001).
So the first thing I noticed right away was that singer/songwriter Kelly Jones brought with him at least 13 guitars, changing guitars with just about every song! And because of the various guitar jumbling, Jones had a dedicated guitarsmith to keep downtime to a minimum and the music sounding pitch perfect and professional.
Since the tour was in support of Graffiti on the Train, of course about half the set featured those songs ("Catacomb", "Graffiti on the Train", "We Share the Same Sun", "Indian Summer", "Roll the Dice", "Violins and Tambourines", and "Been Caught Cheating"), but the real highlight were the old hits. You can always tell which ones were the favorite by the sing-along audience participation: "Have a Nice Day", "Maybe Tomorrow", "Just Looking", and the set closer, "The Bartender and the Thief". I didn't know 'Bartender' was going to be the last song, but based on the very high-energy performance, it was hard to beat or follow-up to that song and it made for a great finale.
After a few minutes, the band returned for the encore, "A Thousand Trees" and "Dakota".
On a side note, I wanted to say that normally I don't like new albums. Mostly because I'm not familiar with the new stuff and prefer the tried-and-true classics. Having said that, I think Graffiti on the Train is possibly Stereophonics' best album, and I love hearing these new songs live. My only regret that my favorite song on the album, "Take Me" was not played live. This is possibly because the song required a female duet (on the album it is sung with Kelly's girlfriend Jakki Healy).
Anyway, Stereophonics continues their U.S. tour until October 10th, then they head back to the U.K. to play the massive festivals and arenas that they are used to playing. If you live in North America, you really need to take advantage of seeing them at these unbelievable intimate venues!
Stereophonics at Mill City Nights, Minneapolis (09/28/13)