Whoever thought that these two bands had enough in common to go out on tour together deserves to lose their job as this was a seriously mis-matched bill that didn't benefit either band and judging by the barbed comments of both lead singers neither seemed that happy to be on tour with the other band.
Sadly we arrived in time to see all of Hoobastanks set and soon wished we hadn't, I had always avoided them believing any band with a name as bad as Hoobastank were worth avoiding, sadly this proved correct, as I really don't get what they do, as they played a set of what's best described as landfill pop metal of the blandest sort. While in between songs the singer marveled at finally playing a show on this tour where the audience actually featured fans smiling at them and enjoying the bland music they were playing very tightly indeed. Sorry London we have failed as they deserved the heckling they have obviously got elsewhere in this tour.
I was bored after the first 3 songs and it didn't get any better for me the only highlight in the set was the song that featured the much-repeated question Why Are You Running Away From Me? To which the obvious answer is because you thought Hoobastank was a good name for a band.
Now to give them there due, a good part of the audience did sing along to the bands 2 or 3 hits and did chant for more at the end of the set, but everyone I spoke to afterwards that I knew had a similar reaction to me of being totally bored by the Stank. I really hope I never have to see them live again.
After the break it was time for Buckcherry whose new album isn't out for a while yet but who opened with the lead track from the new album that's a cover of Nine Inch Nails classic Head Like A Hole that they played nice and sleazily as you'd expect as Josh really gets the sleazy intent of the song.
Then it was time for Buckcherry to prove they really do only sing about Sex and Drugs and rock and roll on It's a Party that got the Buckcherry fans in the audience going and started to drive some of the Stankheads to the exits.
Somebody Fucked With Me was next, they sure did convincing you to tour with Hoobastank, as that was never going to get the place going to lift the band, who are pretty baggy at the best of times and by this point in the set the sound man had just about made both guitars sound good in the mix.
Then it was time for Josh to give us his normal advert for the joys of Cocaine on Lit Up one of the bands big hits and as they have done for quite some time in the middle break down Josh tells us the song is about the first time he took Coke and what it did to him damn he likes that stuff and the crowd as usual went nuts for it, well those of us still in the Empire that is as it had thinned out a good bit.
We then got the second cover of the set a good crunchy take on Icona Pop's I Love It that of course Josh has to add a good few swear words to turn it from a pop banger into a sleazy rock song we can all sing along too without realizing that it's normally Charlie XCX whose vocals make the original so catchy, damn this is a good choice of cover being a totally unexpected choice.
Josh then thanked everyone who had pledged on the new album Warpaint before they played the title song from the album and Warpaint sounds every bit as sleaze ridden as it needs to be even if it was played louche and baggily would we expect anything else from them.
Out Of Line seemed like a good thank you to whoever it is that has made sure this lot are still alive and able to continue living the Rock and Roll life. That of course on a Friday night entails getting Too Drunk Too Fuck but not in a Dead Kennedy's way no in a Buckcherry style and I have to say the Buckcherry song is no way as good as the more famous song of the same name.
Sorry is as impassioned as they got and Josh says sorry to everyone he's hurt over the years. Bent which is the bands new single went down well enough but is not as memorable as some of their old singles sadly.
Gluttony is as much of the bands manifesto as anything as they want it, need it, have to have it etc and they play up to it brilliantly.
Then Josh had a dig at Hoobastank reminding everyone that Buckcherry play all the songs with their instruments and no samples or triggers before asking what everyone wants to hear next and claiming it's Two Tickets To Paradise and they start playing that old Eddie Money classic before it quickly morphs into Crazy Bitch that they play fast and loose with as it also includes the band intros and a snatch of Proud Mary along the way as they bring the show to an end for those of us that stayed till the end.
They didn't get an encore and with only about a half full venue at the end of the show that wasn't a surprise, but that is what comes of having as badly put together a bill as this.