On a cool but pleasant evening the tour buses were parked outside the Limelight having delivered their precious cargo of rock treasure to Belfast. Inside, the 24 carat gold rock legends, The Dead Daisies, had set up a special treat for the first 50 or so dedicated rockers – Yup, the first few in the queue who were outside by 6pm unlocked the achievement “Dead Daisies Meet and Greet” earning themselves an intimate acoustic set by the band before the main event. And, boy, did they put on a great cosy little set lasting almost an hour with chat and song. Songs like “Set me Free”, “Lock and Load”, “Get a Haircut”, and “Hard Luck Woman” alongside some sublime covers like “Maggie May”, “Ramble On”, “Let It Be”. And if that was not enough John, Doug, Marco, Deen and David hung around to meet and chat before heading back to their rooms to prepare for the evening.
And so the impromptu stage was cleared away and the doors thrown open for everyone else to get in. Soon the Limelight One filled with fans of all ages and backgrounds as tonight was going to be something special all round.
On stage first was the local legends, No Hot Ashes. Whilst they had been formed in the early 80’s their debut album was finally released in 2018. And it was quickly plain to see they were making up for lost time and lost friends. Blasting off with “Come alive”, “Good to look back” and “Satisfied”. Each one landing with delightful gusto and sheer joy as in-between the songs Eamon Nancarrow bantered with Dave, Nial, Paul, Steve, and Tommy and with the well packed audience.
On they went with “I’m Back”, “Glow” and “Over Again” producing good old rock and roll as the crowd lapped it up with aplomb. As they delivered each tune smiles became more abundant and the crowd more animated as they responded to seeing a great professional act perform their hearts out. Finishing off the set they played “Running Redlights” and “Johnny Redhead”. The crowd revelled in the upbeat and rousingly energetic show pieces No Hot Ashes brought to the stage. What a show they put on and they were the perfect warm up act.
It wasn’t too long before the second round of The Dead Daisies started. And what a start! “Midnight Moses” and “Evil” kicked it all off to great appreciation as the crowd went wild with ecstasy when John turned to the crowd and stoked the energy up to 11 calling on everyone to “Make Some Noise”.
Then into “Rise Up”, “Dead and Gone” and “What Goes Around”, the crowd responded to every note, every word and every beat as The Dead Daisies gave an amazing show for a Limelight that was packed to the rafters as every single member of the band played their part perfectly in a ballet of rock and roll.
John talked to the audience, all on bated breath, how the next song was about all those who thought they had hated on him, and thought they had buried him. And so, pounding from the stage came “Resurrected”. The enthusiastic audience constantly found a boundless energy with the musical perfection rolling of the stage. John, with limitless talent, warbling out incredible vocals, Deen pounding out the beats, David caressing notes from his guitar, Marco with a swinging and thrusting bass, and Doug producing absolutely sublime solos.
Each member of The Dead Daisies pirouetted through an incredible professional show that just brought pure joy to everyone there. All the time John engaged the crowd with a mischievous smile on his face calling on Belfast to sing their hearts out, And Belfast responded with everything they had.
On they went with “Last Time I Saw The Sun” and “Join Together” kept the place heaving as rockers of all ages roiled in a trance of rock. Nobody there could hold back when out from the Amps came “Burn It Down”. Then came on the “All The Same”, “Band Intros”, “Leave Me Alone” and “Bitch” with pounding energy that resounded round the whole room with pure delight on every face. The five man group moved and played as one and it was a joy to behold.
“Song And A Prayer”, “Long Way To Go” and cover of the Beetle’s “Helter Skelter” finished of an incredible set that gave unadulterated delight to the crowd. The power of The Dead Daisies on stage was plain to see. And as if to cement beyond doubt how great a show they can give, on they came again to deliver an encore with “Mexico” and an incredible rendition of Deep Purple’s “Highway Star”
To be in the presence of No Hot Ashes and The Dead Daisies in the one night was a special thing indeed. Both bands held court on stage and the crowd in the palm of their hands.
The Dead Daisies put on such a show and is not to be missed. Their professionalism, their skill, power and stage presence, and their humble down to earth attitude in one whole package is worth every penny.
Review by Ivor Whitten, Happy Metal Geek
Photos by Darren McVeigh, Metal Planet Music