CONCERT REVIEW: The Big 3-0 Tour – Gun / Dan Reed Network / FM – Barrowland Glasgow – 21st December 2019

The Big 3-0 Tour // Gun // Barrowland Glasgow // Photo Credit James Edmond

It’s the last weekend before Christmas and the festive activities are well under way, there’s no better way of celebrating than popping along to the Barrowland’s. Tonight, three of the finest bands, are celebrating thirty years of their albums release.  Tonight, all three bands are playing their albums in full GunTaking on the world, Dan Reed NetworkSlam and FM performing Tough it out, this is sure to be one big party.

To kick us off tonight we have FM, featuring Jem Davis – keyboards, Pete Jupp – drums, Steve Overland – vocals & guitar, Jim Kirkpatrick – guitar and Merv Goldsworthy – bass.  The venue was three quarters full as the band took to the stage, an early start to the show saw the crowds still queueing around the building waiting to get in. Opening with “Tough it Out”, delighting the fans that had got in early to gain their prime spot at the front of the stage. Steve, with excellent vocals wandered around the stage catching the eye of the fans as he performed, backed by the rest of the band, laid their mark on the venue. It is just over a year since the band played the venue supporting Saxon. Already familiar with their surroundings; this time it’s different,  with more of their own fans up front,  the atmosphere was electric in anticipation of tonight’s celebration, it was evident from the initial song this was a special night for both band and their fans.

Packed with every bit of energy and emotion they played a stunning set featuring “Don’t Stop”, “Everytime I think of You” and the excellent “Burning my Heart Down”. The Glasgow crowd encapsulated the music along with the powerful energetic stage show.  FM, a household name, compared to Dan Reed Network and Gun, were really turning heads with their music and the passionate vocals from Steve Overland, putting on a big show, they performed the excellent “Obsession” before grabbing the crowd and pulling them into the set with “Does It Feel Like Love” and “That Girl”. The stunning guitar solos, coupled by the energy of the band on stage made it an explosive start to the evening. Steve said ‘it is hard to believe this album is celebrating thirty year anniversary’ ,  before the band finished their set with “Killed by Love”, receiving a rapture of applause at the end,  the band said their goodbyes to the Glasgow crowd as the venue lights came up it was time to get ready for Dan Reed Network.

The changeover was quick, the newly hung backdrop showcased that Dan Reed Network was next up in this mega line up. The lights dimmed, it was time to welcome Dan Reed Network, celebrating thirty years of the iconic “Slam” album. Formed in Portland USA in 1984, touring all over the world the band featuring Dan Reed – Lead Vocals, Guitars. Brion James – Guitars, Vocals. Melvin Brannon II – Bass, Vocals. Rob Daiker – Keyboards, Vocals. Dan Pred – Drums and Percussion, took to the stage with a bang, opening with “All my Lovin’” before exploding into “Make it Easy”, Dan covering every part of the stage, delighting the crowd with dance moves. Full of emotion the band performed the title track from the album, “Slam”, with glowing smiles across the stage, you could feel passion flowing from the stage into the capacity venue, it flowed like water running down a hill filling every crack as it passed.

Dan introducing the band to the Glasgow crowd went through all the members, before introducing  himself as Boris Johnston, this produced a hail of boos, he then changed it to Donald Trump, a louder set of boos could be heard, before calling himself Michael Jackson, a round of applause from the delighted crowd, before introducing  “Rainbow Child”, performing the song in all its glory, it feels a much fresher track today than it did thirty years ago, all around the venue  camera phones could be seen capturing the moment either in still or video to capture their memories of the show. Dan loving every minute, shared stories on stage, dedicated the next song to Dante from Gun, this is “Stronger Than Steel”, filled with emotion and energy the band performed an outstanding version, that had the Glasgow crowd in awe. Dan Reed Network were on fire, holding the Glasgow crowd in their hands, leading them in a direction some have never ventured, but willing to take that step into the graceful world of Dan Reed Network.

Playing an excellent version of “Under My Skin” the band broke into “The Christmas Song”, Dan started it off by singing “Chestnuts roasting ….” Before passing the mic around the band to complete the song, before returning to “Under My Skin”, which was a nice touch from the Network. The band finished off their set with “Lover”, and “Come Back Baby” before closing with “Seven Sisters Road”, taking their bows, the band went off stage to a tremendous applause from the Glasgow crowd.

It was time for local boys Gun to take to the stage, the Lights dimmed, with darkness all around, the red strobe lighting was flashing on stage to reveal the word Gun on the back drop, the intro was building, the atmosphere was already electric, a white flash appeared and Jools Gizzi was playing the opening riffs of “Coming Home”, the venue was bouncing, you could feel it through your body. Dante appeared to a hero’s welcome, arms spread out, he greeted the hometown crowd. The band are no strangers to this iconic venue, were back in their native home, performing to their fans from around the city and the UK under the lights of the famous Barrowland venue. Frontman Dante Gizzi was on another level, energy flowing from every moment straight into the bodies and souls of the hometown crowd. They blasted in to “Better Days”, and “She Knows”, Dante taking in the remarkable venue from new heights. With Joolz and Dante living within walking distance of the venue when they were growing up this was like playing in their living room, not caring what the neighbours thought and turning the sound up a level to make sure every word could be heard around this awesome venue clearly was not needed, as 80% of the venue was singing along word for word.

Delighting the fans with “Can’t get any lower”, Dante said “As you know Taking on the World album is not one and a half hours long so we will be playing songs old and new, so let me see your hands in the air” as they started the opening chords of “Word Up”, the crowd were waving their arms in time, like a slow motion sea rippling across the venue. To say the band had the crowd in their hands was an understatement, they had them in their back pocket.

Jools introduced the next song, telling a short story about a recently passed friend of the band, that should have been in the venue tonight, who is now watching from above, sing this for him this is “Taking on the World”, it was performed with emotion and pride and as Dante handed over the vocals on the chorus to the audience, he knew they would not let him down, taking the roof off the venue both crowd and band paid their respect to a fellow Gun fan that was taking away too soon.

Performing the title track from their latest album “Favourite Pleasures” the crowd were in full voice, followed by fans favourite “Don’t Say is over”, tonight’s show was not over yet, there was plenty more in the engine to last well in to the wee small hours. As Dante introduced the band Andy Carr – Bass, Tommy Gentry – Guitar, Paul McManus – Drums and my big brother Jools on Guitar, this was passed back to Jools who said “This is my wee brother on vocals Dante”. It was time to get back to the party with “Money”, “Inside Out” before closing the set with “Steal Your Fire”, as the band left the stage, the stage lights loomed bright, and the crowd knew their heroes would be back soon.

After a few minutes the band came back on to a heartfelt applause from the hometown crowd, Dante asking the audience are you ready to pogo, then saying not sure if my hips can take it but will give it a go, the opening chords of “Shame on You” rang out and the venue erupted into a frenzy with the band and crowd jumping around like it was back 1989 all over again. Looking as if the song was ending, the boys blasted in to “Fight for your right” turning the Barrowland into a frenzy as Dante and co were enjoying the moment, Dante asked the crowd to stay in their places so they could take a photo to add to the band memories. Before leaving the stage to amazing applause from their adoring fans old and new.

A night when three bands took a time machine and whisked the Barrowland and Glasgow crowd back to 1989 to celebrate three amazing albums,  a night of music that will live on in the memories of the fans and the famous Glasgow venue.

Review by Karen Edmond photographs by James Edmond