Tentatively, but surely, the pitter-patter of people’s feet echoed around Manchester Academy as they made their way towards the stage for a dose of straight-forward stoner rock, courtesy of the most talked-about band to appear in 2011, Kyuss Lives!

When the first band, German quintet Burden arrived on stage for their set, they wasted little time in showing what they were made of. Standing before Manchester were rugged lead singer Thorsten, on guitar were Marcus & Saint D, bassist Johnny and Dave on drums, beating away to harsh stoner rock sounds that vibrated the floors with such intensity.

Burden received a very respectable reception from everyone watching their performance, despite being relatively unknown to the crowd. Each song was very different and expressive, relevant to their sound. Even at one point, the singer grabbed his fellow band mate Marcus’ guitar and proceeded to pluck to a few heavy riffs and even playing a solo! As Burden concluded their set with their last song, they stated “it was a slow one for the ladies”, which got quite a few squeals from the girls and laughter from the men. That added a little touch to their set with such effect that they did their job very well, with pleasing results.

Before we were escorted to Burden’s interview with the rugged lead singer Thorsten, we managed to catch up with the first two songs of BloodCargo‘s set . Perhaps is was the crowd pleasing set from Burden that set the bar high but we felt as though that  BloodCargo tried their best to entertain the crowds although it did feel a little as if it was quite forced. Their energy was there, however, but it was not expressive enough and all that could be seen in the crowd was shaking heads and shrugged shoulders. Quite a harsh observation for the second support act, despite being quite known. Not a good sign to be feeding off a little negativity but they did their best to please their crowds, it was a valiant effort.

With the massive flag draped over the stage and together with the harsh lighting, led to stirrings in the crowd as to how Kyuss Lives! would explode on the stage. With the announcement that original guitarist Josh Homme (singer/guitarist of Queens Of The Stone Age) was not going to join forces for this amazing opportunity, the question was on everyone’s minds was “Will it be worth the money?” As soon as John Garcia (vocals), Nick Oliveri (bass), Brant Bjork (drums) and Bruno Fevery (guitars) made themselves known to the public, it was a straight punch to the face with their opening track ‘Gardenia’. Several more tracks that included ‘Hurricane’, ‘One Inch Man’, ‘Thumb’ and ‘Conan Troutman’ were other blows to the stomach after that. We could see Manchester was becoming hypnotised by the stripped down stage, subdued lighting and their authoritative presence. John Garcia, fully equipped with his dark shades, gave his subjects passing glances, although not many words were exchanged.

It was quite acceptable that it was more a straightforward performance that the band was aiming for, no gimmicks seemed to be the approach. Garcia played with the microphone stand, getting his groove on midway with the set that included bone-crushers ‘Freedom Run’, ‘Asteroid’, ‘Supa Scoopa & Mighty Scoop’, ‘Fatso Forgotso’ and ‘Tangy Zizzle’. During the set, they did quite a lot of improvising making it feel as though Manchester was on a rollercoaster ride. It even got them to follow the sounds with their bodies as if they were on the ride. The screams were so loud and explosive that it finally provoked a grand smile and clapping from Garcia.

After a brief introduction to the band members, who were standing tall, they set about imploding the floors with ‘Odyssey’, ‘Whitewater’, ‘El Rodeo’ and ‘100°’ to signal something special. After a brief break, in preparation for their encore, they recounted a very witty story involving going to the pub and asking for a beer, not just any old beer, but “AN ENGLISH BEER!”. We was startled by the eruption in response, that cracked a lot of smiles for Manchester to witness. With the closers ‘Allen’s Wrench’ and ‘Green Machine’, the audience exploded for the last time that marked a very uniquely shattering performance from Kyuss Lives!.

As we left the Academy, the one thing that struck us the most was the audience knowing all of the songs and never faltered to not be mistaken by which song was played. This came as bit of a surprise for us as Kyuss Lives! did not mention which songs were being played. It just goes to show that their music is timeless, despite being disbanded since 1995 their fas have not forgotten them. Nonetheless, it ended on a high note for quite a special night that comes round for once in a while. Shame to those who missed out!

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