It was an electric atmosphere for a night of Blues Rock in memory of the late, great Rory Gallagher. 

A Manx, a Scotsman and a Northern Irish man walk into club. No, it’s not the beginning of a joke but the beginning of one hell of a night. Davy Knowles took the honors of vocals and guitar and was joined by former bandmates of Rory Gallagher, Gerry McAvoy on bass and Ted McKenna on drums. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better fit than Knowles (other than Marcel Scherpenzeel who fronts the band in Europe) to take this place, being a self-proclaimed life-long Gallagher fan. You could easily tell that he has grown up listening to and appreciating this music.

This was the last night of the tour with Knowles, and what better place than a venue that has hosted him on many an occasion, and his adopted hometown. It’s clear this town has taken him in as one of their own, welcoming him in with open arms. From the moment the show began, you could feel it was going to be a special one. The majority of Space is seated, but not tonight as many took to their feet right from the first note. At times, everyone was up on their feet as McAvoy encouraged them to stand and be part of the celebration, singing along. 

If ever there was a show that would leave you gasping for breath after, it was this one. Knowles’ playing and vocals were spectacular on the night. Gallagher himself would have been impressed. You could tell by the effort and passion poured into his performance that it was a true honor for Davy to get to perform this music with Gallagher’s former bandmates. It must have also been particularly special for him to perform one of his own songs, “Riverbed” with them.

This was a show compiled of three incredible musicians. McAvoy could barely keep the smile off his face, as he encouraged the audience to cheer and clap along. He certainly played a huge part in helping kick things up a notch. McKenna was last seen in Chicago playing drums as part of the Michael Schenker Fest. Tonight was obviously a different proposition, musically, and he more than made his presence known.  It’s also clear when you see them perform, what an intrinsic part of Gallagher’s sound they were (as Davy mentioned in his recent interview with National Rock Review). 

A touching rendition of “A Million Miles Away” was played for those not there, including all the other bandmates of Gallagher across the years, but more poignantly for the honorary man of the night, Mr. Rory Gallagher. This showcase of his music was the perfect tribute as well as a great way to introduce newcomers to either his music or Knowles. Indeed, a number of audience members who were maybe not aware of Davy before the show were so impressed by his performance that they were excitedly talking about seeking out his music to listen to as they left the venue.

This truly was a show unlike those you would usually see at Space, but man, what a show it was. It might have just been a Tuesday night, but the atmosphere in the venue felt like it was the Friday before a long vacation. If only we could go back and do this one all over again.

Band Of Friends
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Davy Knowles
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Event Date: 24-APR-2018

About The Author

Kirstine moved from the UK to Chicago in 2011, and has fallen in love with the city and its music scene. She enjoys combining her two biggest passions – music and photography. If there is a band with a guitar playing, chances are she’ll be there…camera in hand. Kirstine went to her first live concert at 7 years old, and hasn’t looked back since!

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