It’s Sunday evening in West Yorkshire. And whilst the locals decide on how to spend the last few hours of their weekend, some may opt to watch a movie or Netflix whilst others decide to take the rare opportunity to see a Hollywood screen star in real life.
Some may know him as Jack Bauer in 24, Tom Kirkman in Designated Survivor or David in the Lost Boys, but tonight Kiefer Sutherland puts his acting career on the back burner as he takes to the stage to showcase the musical side of his artistry. Is there nothing this man can’t do?
Having appeared in such a multitude of cult movies and television shows has resulted in a Sutherland amassing a huge global fan base and tonight the Leeds chapter are out in force to witness this rare up close and personal appearance. And whilst Sutherland has now toured the UK a few times with his band tonight’s show is, in fact, his first concert in Leeds.
Having glimpsed at the stage set, there is very much a homely vibe featuring a table with a lamp and ornaments, a Persian rug, a couple of cold beverages and a pair of guitars. And as the man of the hour treads the boards he enters the room donning a Fedora hat, a suit, white shoes and brandishing an acoustic guitar.
Sutherland’s musical repertoire can best be described as sitting somewhere comfortably between the country, roots and Americana genres. And backed by his incredibly talented five-piece band the versatile US artist showcases songs from his two albums.
Incorporating instruments such as the pedal steel guitar gives songs such as ‘Shirley Jean’ and ‘Open Road’ that unmistakable Americana touch. The latter of which being a homage to Sutherland’s road crew who have backed him on over 500 shows across the world during the last three and a half years.
The infectious grooves of ‘Going Home’ highlight a more rock-orientated sound of Sutherland’s set. Similarly, the foot-stomping country-rocker ‘Blame It On Your Heart’ is the only cover to have been recorded on either of the US-based singer, songwriter’s two albums and quickly follows.
Despite his level of fame, Kiefer Sutherland seems to have no heirs and graces, and frequently interacts with those in the front section of the stage. He even takes the opportunity to have a drink with the crowd as he raises a glass of what looks like whiskey or it could be Jack – if you will excuse the pun. The audience reciprocates, which is a nice touch indeed.
One thing that sets the great country artists apart from the rest is their storytelling ability and this is something that Sutherland has in spades. His tales are witty, informative and sometimes even heartbreaking particularly in the case of the heartfelt number ‘Saskatchewan’.
As Sutherland heads into the final third of the show he ups the tempo with a barnstorming rendition of ‘This Is How It’s Done’ along with ‘Rebel Wind’. During the closing stages of the latter Sutherland raises his white electric guitar aloft like a rock god.
A two-song encore that includes Sutherland’s incredible take on Bob Dylan’s ‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door’ and the Tequila fuelled ‘Agave’ brings the show’s eighteen song setlist to its explosive conclusion.
Having had such a successful acting career some may wonder why Kiefer Sutherland would turn to music. But as an artist, one thing you’ve got to do is keep pushing yourself into new areas and be creative. Tonight, Sutherland proves in Leeds that his talent knows no bounds.