27 February 2016
Reviewed by Catherine Joyce
Last night we went to The Lowry in Salford, Manchester to see The Classic Rock Show, a three hour “best of” 70’s and 80’s rock. As a teenager in the 80’s I was a huge fan of rock music and loved watching Top of the Pops and dancing around the living room with my sister. Whilst I can’t watch Top of the Pops anymore I still enjoy rock music and have lots of the greats in my music collection so I was really looking forward to hearing some of my favourite music live. The gentleman sat next to me confirmed that we were in for a good night as he had seen the band before and when the band started playing Led Zeppelin’s ‘Whole lotta love’ we knew we were in for a good night.
The band consists of eight members who are all very talented musicians, however the show was all about the guitar riff, with four of the band playing guitar. James Cole and Harry G alternating lead guitar with Wayne Banks on bass and Alex Dee combining guitar with singing and playing the saxophone. Vocals were shared by Ricardo, Harry and Alex with Emily Jollands taking the place of Stevie Nicks for the Fleetwood Mac classic, Rhiannon.
Vocalist, Ricardo Afonso, was amazing, especially during my husband’s favourite track of the night, the AC/DC classic Back in Black, he had such a powerful voice and could really hold notes for a long time.
My husband was pleased to find that Dire Straits, one of his favourites, appeared twice on the bill and was especially enjoyed “Telegraph Road”, which at around 15 minutes was the longest song of the night.
For me the sheer power and energy made Meatloaf’s Bat Out of Hell my favourite song of the night and I was still singing it on the way home!
As you would expect from a rock concert there was an amazing light show to complement the music and original videos were projected onto the backdrop of the stage.
In the second half the audience really got into the spirit of the show and everyone was up on their feet dancing, clapping and singing along. There was a real mix of ages, from children to grannies and everyone was having a good time.
The show’s website advertises the “Top 20 guitar riffs of all time” and we would agree, seeing the show was like having the best pub jukebox only we were hearing it live.
The show was performed in the 1700 seat Lyric theatre, which is a wonderful modern venue at Salford Quays with a huge stage area. There is a newly refurbished restaurant and bar in the theatre and other restaurants are located in the adjoining shopping centre. Plenty of parking is available in the nearby multi storey car park, we paid £5.50 for our evening visit.
If you grew up with LP’s, rock music and watching Top of the Pops then I am sure that this is a show that you would enjoy.
For more information and tour dates visit www.theclassicrockshow.com.
For other shows at The Lowry visit www.thelowry.com.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000