I wish I had been born 30 years earlier and been old enough to make it to Woodstock in the days of Hendrix and others. I wish I had seen ACDC and the Rolling Stones in their hayday. Oh how I wish. Rock and roll is a music genre with an identity and one that some would maybe argue is having a crisis in the last few years. What was once hardened rockers living life to excess and sucking the absolute last bit of energy out of themselves every show slowly turned into gelled hair teen pop rock bands packaged up by media outlets to sell toy dolls. You may be about now thinking “wow Andrew, it’s just music” but it’s not JUST music. As I have said in previous write ups, for some of us, through everything life throws there’s always the music to turn to.
Now that I have dropped the hammer on my personal gripes with “modern rock” let me sing praises. Because the truth it I do wish I had seen the bands of yesteryear but bands like The Glorious Sons and others are restoring my faith. Perhaps it’s the children of the first rock generation coming around to revive things, I’m not sure. But I love it. Glorious Sons is a no bs band out of Canada who has the gritty unapologetic rock vibe anthems you gotta enjoy. Teamed with Johnny Yuma, the Glorious Sons are now a definite favorite for me this year.
Johnny Yuma, where shall I begin. Literally and musically and I am baffled where they were before now in the local scene but later is better than never. Johnny, Johnny, and Johnny as they were introduced came to celebrate the death of rock and roll. I hope the funeral is premature guys!
Their set wasn’t long being they are still a young band but man, gimme more. The group may still be working out their flow with live gigs but they seem to have a solid balance between one member’s dry witty narrative, an energetic drummer, and some of fun solo work on guitar sprinkled in. Though in the narrative there never was any mention of why the dresses, still curious on that. Johnny Yuma has an old school almost reckless rock sound and vocals which I have missed in the current rock scene. Definitely have to put Alabama Woman and Knock Knock on my playlists. The tracks stood out the most to me and put every band member in the spotlight briefly. Local pride for our Minnesota bands doesn’t hurt my love for this band at all either.
The Glorious Sons, rockers of the frozen north, and phantoms of my favorite playlist for the last year with my obsessive listening to their song Heavy. If Johnny Yuma was the funeral of rock then now was the resurrection. It was finally time for me to see them live and I was antsy I won’t lie. You get the idea of something built up in your head for long enough and there is always the risk for it to be trashed come show time, literally. Glorious Sons though, not a lick of disappointment here folks.
My first cassettes and even CD’s were bands like Doobie Brothers, Styx, Boston and other classic rock bands. Yes kids even yours truly who goes to boy band shows is old enough to have had a tape deck. I have always loved the raspy blue collar southern rock sound and it’s a sound that feels like nobody can bring anymore. I thought that at least until last year when I let Spotify do some searching for music I may like and The Glorious Sons came on. They became a windows down car karaoke favorite instantly. Songs like Heavy or Godless Graceless and Young will satisfy most rock fans and rightly so. For the more crude fan maybe take a listen to Kill the Lights or Sawed Off Shotgun. Either track is solid and in a live show were even more enjoyable. Fans in the crowd I thought would maybe wince at the lyrics were singing along and loving every second.
Now if I haven’t sang the praises of The Glorious Sons enough, permit me to do so a little more. Because frankly I am already looking forward to them coming back and taking on the First Ave main room. During their playing of tracks from their newest album, Young Beauties and Fools, there was at least 2 or 3 songs where the crowd joined in. And on one song the sons stopped singing and turned their mics to the crowd to finish out the track. Those moments are always jaw dropping and I can’t help but think how the band feels hearing people from thousands of miles away from them for so long sing their words. It’s amazing just as a photographer. So much so I forgot to keep shooting. Oops.
The Glorious Sons lived up to all I had hoped for and then some. I hope that their sound and Johnny Yuma continue to have success for as long as they desire it because they deserve it. Both bands love what they’re doing and it’s contagious with their concert energy. Now I understand why one fan near me had seen the Glorious Sons 12 times previously.