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Gig Report: Skarlett Riot @ The Flapper, Birmingham

It's always interesting to see a familiar band in a new setting. There's just something about going somewhere outside of your usual surroundings that can make a gig that much more exciting. I've been following Skarlett Riot for a long time. They always manage to put on a great live show. So, let's just say it was worth the trip to Birmingham. The Flapper is a pretty nice venue. Located on the canal, it's a nice place for a rock show. The crowd was really good too, creating a fun atmosphere for the bands to bounce off of all night long. This was a packed line-up too, supporting Skarlett Riot for the night were hard rockers, Fahran who I have seen live before. To be honest, I have never seen a bad show from them, so I was excited to see them again. Also, opening the show was local rockers, Sister Shotgun. I have to say not a bad way to spend my birthday.

I have to say, I am really impressed with Sister Shotgun. Their energy was incredibly infectious. As soon as they came on stage they started to rock the venue. Their blend of glam metal and hard rock is compelling and their set is just filled with personality. Frontwoman, Chloe Ozwell is such an enigma on stage. The way she hyped up the crowd was well integrated into the set. She was charming and charismatic and clearly loving her time on stage. This is the way you open a rock show, full of pep and charisma and, obviously, with some kick-ass tunes. Speaking of which, their songs are really good. The solid riffs and tight rhythm sounded awesome on-stage, it got the crowd cheering and the energy in the room was electric. Especially with the announcement of new music. Now I will admit, I knew very little about them prior to this show but I can say that walked away from the gig as a big fan. Their songs were fun to listen to, their stage presence was excellent, they clearly enjoyed themselves. Yep, not a bad opener at all. They were fun in all of the right ways and got the crowd amped up for the rest of the evening.

Following a performance like that would be hard for any band. Luckily next on stage was the excellent and proficient rockers, Fahran. Riding high on the upcoming release of their new album, slated for release later this year, they rocked up, their set packed with some of the best tunes and some newer singles as well. Though Sister Shotgun was a more lively set, this still had its charm. They were super tight and they came with everything in check. Superb riffs, well-executed solos, anthemic hooks and a butt-load of personality. They completely filled the stage with their presence and their songs filled the rest of the venue. There are some interesting intricacies in their playing that makes them and engaging band to listen to. Just little guitar licks and bass lines here and there that give the songs a more interesting dynamic. Also, when the vocal harmonies kick in, it gives their music another layer. Every time Fahran hit the stage I know it's going to be a good time... and this night was no different. 

The final round of the night was about to come in and the enthusiasm in the room grew. The crowd went nuts as soon as Skarlett Riot made their way on to the stage. They blasted into their set and the crowd was met with the presence and personality of the band. The set was mostly comprised of songs from their 2017 album Regenerate mixed in with some of their older stuff. Which I think worked. I mean, it kept the energy of the set in high gear. Rip-roaring riffs, tight rhythm, slick bass grooves and a commanding vocal performance all came together into one showstopping powerhouse show from the band. Songs like, "Break", "Affliction" and "Calling" getting great responses from the Birmingham audience. I will say the crowd was on form for singing along in the evening. Also, a lot of the call and response segments of the night got some very loud cheers in the night. There were a couple of nice surprises in the set like, "Feel" from the Sentience EP and "Divide Us" from We Are The Brave. Yet, I think the most poignant part of the set had to be the slowed down rendition of "Broken Wings". This was the emotional highlight of the evening and I really appreciated this alternate take on the tune.

Capping off the set with "Stand Alone" and guitarist, Danny Oglesby barging his way into the audience to rock out with the fans, this brought this evening to a close. Just a great set -closer overall. The band stood tall at the end of the evening with a roaring crowd backing them up. What a night this was! The intensity of Sister Shotgun, the technique and skill of Fahran and just the sheer presence and passion of Skarlett Riot, it was all so glorious. I had a great time and I couldn't think of a better way to spend my birthday.


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