Classic rock supergroup The Dead Daisies have to be one of the hardest working bands around right now.

The star-studded five-piece has been touring the globe relentlessly in support of their latest album Burn It Down. Following a spring tour and a subsequent summer festival run the group makes their third visit to the UK this year. 

The last time The Dead Daisies played the O2 Academy Newcastle they were opening for Black Star Riders with the first incarnation of the group some five years ago. So much has changed in that time, with tonight’s line-up being almost unrecognisable from those days, with only founding member David Lowy remaining.

It’s fair to say that The Dead Daisies now appears to have found its definitive line-up featuring former Motley Crue frontman John Corabi, ex-Whitesnake/Dio axeman Doug Aldrich, ex-Thin Lizzy/Whitesnake bass player Marco Mendoza along with their latest recruit former Journey/Bad English drummer Deen Castronovo. The latter of which seems to strike a chord with the Geordies this evening, as chants of ‘Deeno’ resonate frequently around the O2 Academy Newcastle.

Tonight The Dead Daisies deliver by far their most complete classic rock show to date during a two-hour musical marathon that covers all of the bases.

The first half of the show is packed full of high octane rock and roll anthems. The band open with their take on the Sensational Alex Harvey Band’s “Midnight Moses”, “Evil” and a fist-pumping rendition of “Make Some Noise” – and don’t they just. The flare, showmanship and engagement exhibited by each of the band members during the course of the show spurs on the crowd all night long.

Tonight’s 23 song setlist centres on the band’s latest album Burn It Down with seven tracks from the record featuring in the show. This includes the likes of the hard rocking “Dead and Gone”, the groove-heavy “What Goes Around” and a fierce airing of “Resurrected”. With the band’s fourth album they have put forward some of their heaviest cuts to date, and each of these tracks certainly fit that category.

Of course, The Dead Daisies can rock with the best of them, but mid-set they showcase their versatility as the band take things down for a moment with an acoustic set which allows the crowd to catch their breath for a moment. This four-song segment has an almost around the campfire with The Dead Daisies feel to it – tonight the only thing missing is the marshmallows. Tracks such as the beautiful ballad “Something I Said” and the harmonious “Set Me Free” work perfectly in this format.

Usually nestled away at the rear of the stage, drummer Deen Castronovo takes over on lead vocals during a stripped back cover of the Rod Stewart classic “Maggie May”, before the acoustic segment is brought to a close with “Let It Be”, which results in the whole room being illuminated by twinkling cell phone lights. A beautiful moment, to accompany a beautiful song.

However, it doesn’t take long for the band to switch gears, as they belt through the title track of their latest offering “Burn It Down” and the somewhat funky “With You And I”.

As The Dead Daisies head into the final throws of their main set, they deliver a thunderous rendition of The Rolling Stones classic “Bitch”, the incredibly infectious “Song And A Prayer” before the band put their stamp on The Beatles “Helter Skelter”, to great effect. The aforementioned song is the perfect finale to tonight’s celebration of classic rock music.

Following a brief interlude, the five-piece returns to the stage for a two-song encore that culminates with a simply flawless cover of Deep Purples “Highway Star” which see’s Doug Aldrich steal the spotlight as he appears to grapple with both the guitar and Hammond parts of this timeless anthem.

Those in attendance at the O2 Academy Newcastle tonight witness a celebration of music, performed by a group of self-admitted classic rock fans/superstars and the crowd love every minute of it. Who said that Rock and Roll was ‘Dead’? Try telling this to The Dead Daisies.

The Dead Daisies
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Event Date: 15-Nov-2018

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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