After the frankly dreadful show Buckcherry played at Shepherds Bush Empire in February it was a miracle they sold any tickets for this or that they even risked another London show on the Warpaint Tour, but at least this time they had a bill that made total sense so we didn't have to endure a dreadful mis-matched support act like Hoobastank most of whose fans walked out as soon as they heard how sloppy Buckcherry sounded that night. I only agreed to go to this show as I wanted to see The Treatment again and to see if playing with a great live rock band as opener might push Buckcherry to play a good set.
We got into the Islington Academy while first band on Rocky Kramer were in the middle of a rifftastic soloing section of what turned out to be the bands penultimate song it was showy and great fun and they made me think more of bands in films than actual bands being somewhere close to the bands in Light Of Day and Velvet Goldmine. Before they played the last song Rocky introduced it saying how he wants to be a Rockstar and the song is called Rockstar it was very tight 80's metal and the keyboards meant it had a bit of a Europe feel in places while wanting to be glam rock by the time the song had finished, in a song and a half they had already played and sounded way better than Buckcherry had in February.
After the break it was time for the current line-up of the Treatment to really get the two thirds full Academy really going as they ran on stage and launched into Hang Them High that sounded like AC/DC meets Airbourne and rocked like hell as Tom Rampton started to work the crowd up while screaming his vocals.
Let's Get Dirty was good old sleaze rock in a very kids of NWOBHM way but it got everyone going and sounded great, but then they are about as tight a band as you could get. Let It Begin blew through the Academy like a proper rocking runaway train with full on riffing guitars and Dhani Mansworth's super rock-solid drumming driving it on.
Then it was time to get down with The Doctor that had a good amount of the audience both singing along and clapping along and making sure everyone was having a rocking great time. On the Money was well dead On The Money without a note out of place and Tao and Tagore Grey battling with each other for guitar supremacy as they shredded away damn they had the whole place with them.
Tom made sure we knew that Bite Back was off of The Treatments latest album Power Crazy and was every bit as rocking as the rest of the set by this point Tom was really working the crowd up to fever pitch in a way that should have worried Buckcherry as the audience were lapping it up. Luck Of The Draw was the bluesiest sounding song in the set and the only one that wasn't built around a huge riff but damn it sounded great.
Shake the Mountain still sounds every bit as good live as they last couple of times I've see The Treatment play it and they really did have everyone clapping along to it and generally going wild. They then closed with a long loud and raucous Get The Party On that may be a bit cliched but damn when a band rocks this hard and works this hard to get everyone going it doesn't matter as they nailed it and left the stage to a huge round of cheers and applause.
My only disappointment with The Treatments set was that they didn't play the bands cover of The Ice Mummies Running In The Alley With The Dogs as for personal reasons I'd love to hear that played live again but you can't have everything.
After the break Buckcherry started as they had earlier in the year with their cover of Head Like A Hole only this time it was really tight and sounded more like they meant it. Then they ripped into Porno Star like they had all got suitably trashed but not so trashed for it to badly affect them yes Josh sounded just like a man drinking Whiskey in the morning but damn being on tour all year has tightened the band up Stevie D was like a man who had found his mojo again on guitar being focused and on the money all night.
Josh made a big thing about them being from the Westside of LA as he introduced Ridin' that was a passionate plea to the Rock and roll lifestyle and riding around town looking like a bad bad man. Radio Song was obviously what they hoped was coming out the speakers in that car they were cruising in as Kevin Roentgen did his best to outdo Stevie D on guitar they were battling away like they knew they needed to really deliver tonight.
The first big hit of the set was Lit Up and as ever Josh dedicated it to anyone who likes some Cocaine and in the middle told his story of how this song was about his first line on Coke when he was still a kid as ever this song went down a storm with almost everyone singing along to the chorus.
Somebody Fucked With Me was good and focused with the band looking like they were having a blast which was far preferable to how they looked in February. Bent seemed to up the pace a bit and Kelly Lemieux's bass underpinned it nicely.
Josh made sure we knew they had now been around for 20 years and that playing in a rock band was Everything to them and that yes this was on the band's album 15, he really didn't need to ask how many people had that album, either way it went down really well and got most people singing along with them.
Josh then told us that Buckcherry are all about a good time in fact that's all they are, well tonight I agree with him even if the bands song Too Drunk Too Fuck isn't a patch on the Dead Kennedys song of the same name.
Apparently Sorry was written for Josh's daughter either way this was a heartfelt version and sounded pretty damn good. Confessions sounded like they needed to repent a little but still the interplay onstage by this point was good to watch with not a scowl in sight.
They then took us back to the new Warpaint album for a cool version of Back Down before things took a strange turn when Josh asked the crowd for any requests and somehow decided he'd heard someone shot for Footloose by Kenny Loggins and yes that's what they played rocking it up and almost making it their own.
The set came to a close however with a long version of Crazy Bitch that manged to break down into Jungle Boogie as the band tried to transform into Kool & the Gang and then Josh did the band Intros and the song morphed into Proud Mary and finally back to Crazy Bitch it was a the messiest they got all night and left the stage to a good cheer.
Unlike in February they had kept everyone in the venue and done more than enough to get an encore that went all the way back to the first album for Get Back that they played with big grins on the bands faces and lots of formation dancing across the stage it was very funny and cool at the same time the formation dancing continued on Say Fuck It which was in many ways a perfect song to close what had for me been one of the best sets I've seen Buckcherry play I was rather surprised by just how much better they were compared to Februaryâ€™s show. On this form they are well worth seeing.