Reviewer: Tracey Bell
Venue: The Theatre Royal Wakefield
Reviewed: 9th May 2018
North West End Rating: ★★★★★
Never have I seen a music concert, rock or otherwise impress me as this did tonight. I cannot urge you strongly enough to go and experience this show. It was an absolute masterclass of live music, this energy filled spectacle claims to chart the evolution of Classic Rock both visually and aurally. In reality this hybrid show does far more than that, it is a complete and comprehensive onslaught of outstanding musicianship, authenticity, attention to detail, stage presence and staging, clarity and professionalism.
Take a bow boys, this show is simply stunning and comparative to all of the big names I have seen at arenas! Your audience were left believing they had been in the presence of Rock Royalty from Deep Purple to Toto, Rainbow to Def Leppard, Quo to Van Halen, not forgetting Whitesnake, AC/DC, ZZ Top, Alice Cooper Queen, Guns and Roses Led Zepplin the list goes on.
This instantly likeable band consisted of 6 members (DJ, Mark, Ed, Paul, Emmet and Brian - all of very different age groups) and have been touring for over 25 years in different combinations. They have 2 record deals, numerous top 20's, they have performed in 11 countries around the world and shared the stage with the likes of Whitesnake, Big Country and Joe Santriani. This pedigree is evident as they breeze through each exceptionally authentic song with consummate ease. It was jaw dropping how many classic rock band sounds they recreated whilst still remaining more than a typical 'covers band'. Their replication could be described as a self-styled homage to Rock music.
With four out of six members of this multi-talented band taking lead vocals, five playing guitars at some point, one on keys and one very capable drummer, their rapport with each other and the sheer love of the music they are recreating was a delight to witness. There was no need for long drawn out crowd pleasing interaction with the audience, this band lets the music do the talking. They had the balance of chat and music just right. I do not want to mention any band members individually as they are just that - a band - a unit.
I personally delighted in the two numbers from Foreigner - 'Cold as Ice' and 'I've Been Waiting for a Girl like you' but, was equally in awe of their 'Thunderstruck' and 'Back in Black' by AC/DC and Rainbow's 'I Surrender'. In fact, there were so many highlights it would be easier to say what I was less impressed by!.... And after a moment’s consideration, that would be nothing! I was transfixed from the opening Def Leppard song to the encore of Status Quo's ' Rocking all over the world'.
These guys are fantastic and deserve a packed arena and I do pray they will get their lucky break very soon. The amount of rehearsal to make the sets look so natural and easy, has to be huge and it shows. Thank you for an uplifting and eye opening evening. I will definitely be there again next time you are in the area. This is an unequivocal 5 star show.
'A class act, shockingly impressive and simply breathtaking'.
Reviewer: Peter Downing
Venue: The Forum Theatre Barrow In Furness
Reviewed: 15th May 2018
The Mail: ★★★★★
15th May 2018
REVIEW: Rock Icons Show lives up to its name in Barrow
THIS show tonight was absolutely rocktastic and was one that I was really looking forward to, as even though I like many genres of music, classic rock is right up my street.
It also had its fair share of great light-hearted comedy injected into it because as the house lights dimmed and the air of excited expectancy started to build up, there was (what appeared to be) the usual theatre tannoy announcement about switching off mobile phones and the use of cameras during the show.
Only it turned out instead to be a very funny, short Monty Python-type sketch about someone annoyingly answering their phone and talking out loud - such was the lovable humour of these six talented Irish lads.
Then.....BANG....the stage lighting effects suddenly exploded into life and the band strutted onto the stage in true rock star style whilst playing the opening riff to Def Leopard's Animal. As they finished off that song and as the tumultuous applause for it had barely even started, they straight away hit the audience once again right between the eyes with yet another well-aimed rock classic, Alright Now by Free. I was completely won over at this point because that is my favourite rock song of all-time. What a fabulous start to the show.
These superb showmen certainly knew what songs to play and they lived up to their Rock Icons Show title as they had the room rocking in their seats right from the start with iconic songs that had the audience singing along and nodding their heads in unison to the pumping beat of the drums and anthemic guitar riffs.
Every song was a well chosen gem where, in particular, one slower song seemed to be the most talked about in the bar during the intermission. That song was the excellent Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd and where they also did it great and accurate justice.
There was no shortage of talent in this band, as was prevalent when some members changed instruments and also took turns on centre stage for solo lead vocal duties. This too added some excellent revolving variety to the show. There wasn't a riff or vocal part that they couldn't handle with professional ease. The humour, adlibs and banter with the audience in between songs was also very entertaining and demonstrated the warmth of their friendly and very likeable personalities.
Being the brainchild, four years ago, of its founder member and leader, guitarist and lead vocalist, Ed Hannigan, he told me that it is more than just a rock covers band, it is actually a 'travelling theatre stage show experience' with its own PA system and lighting effects, video backdrop and stage props, like the 'apparent' huge wall of Marshall guitar speakers behind them.
The stage set-up was great too, with drums and keyboards on risers to either side, which left lots of space for the guys to move around and perform in, as it was indeed a very animated show where the lads covered all of that space and often encouraged the audience to sing along too.
To sum up, these very talented Ireland-based lads have definitely done their homework, paying meticulous attention to each and every detail of the songs in order to be able to replicate them as close to the original as possible.
Tonight, we were treated to the popular hits of Deep Purple, Rainbow, AC/DC, Bon Jovi, Toto, ZZ Top, Queen, and many more, and with a finalé of Status Quo's Rockin' All Over The World they had the whole Forum audience on its feet rockin' their socks off and baying for even more.
Review by PETER DOWNING
Venue: Aberdeen Arts Centre
Reviewed: 20th May 2018
Denim & Blether Blog: ★★★★★
There is a huge amount of great new music out there, much of which has its roots in the classic hits that have made up the foundations of hard rock for the last 50 years. There are hundreds of cover and tribute bands up and down the country who play the rock standards every week, but there are very few who deliver a show as good as I saw last week.
The Rock Icons Show ended a lengthy UK tour at the Arts Centre in Aberdeen, Scotland with a stunning performance. The brainchild of talented musician and producer Ed Hannigan, this is a stage show experience, delivered by a tremendous group of Irish rock musicians who perform the biggest rock hits from right across the decades. Where this show differs from many other cover/tribute acts is in the musicianship, which really is top class. From creating the true sounds with authentic instruments, through to some exceptional vocals, this is a classy, professional show.
As for the set list, well when you start with Def Leppard’s Animal, you have got my attention! From there it was slab after slab of rock from the Gods of the genre, including Deep Purple, AC/DC, Van Halen and Guns n Roses, through to Toto, Journey and Foreigner. Vocally the whole band is very strong. Rainbow’s ‘I Surrender’ has some eye watering notes which vocalist Mark did a tremendous job on, and the close harmony backing vocals were also excellent throughout the night. Main man Ed showed his versatility too, often singing lead himself, whilst peeling off some great guitar solos.
Another nice aspect of the show was some great banter between the band themselves, and also the audience. A section where photos of each member of the band from the ’80s was put up on the big screen was good fun and got a great reaction from the crowd. The set itself was terrific too – a wall of Marshalls, drum and keyboard risers, big screen backdrop all set to great lighting. Some acts could learn a thing or two about live sound from these guys too, as the show’s production team delivered a high quality experience.
Back In Black, All Right Now, Cold As Ice, Rebel Yell, Jump, Livin' On A Prayer, the hits just kept coming and the audience loved it. From some who were obviously there back in the day, to young kids jumping about to Sweet Child O’Mine, this was a feelgood night out for everyone. Highly recommended – catch them next time if you can.