Sound: Very impressive. The 'Phonics sure do know how to put on a great show. If there's a critisism with the sound, the bass was way too quiet until about three songs in. I was down the front, and the sound was great, very clear. One interesting thing was the amount of guitars that Kelly Jones used. Throughout the concert, he played a Fender Jaguar, 3 Gibson Les Pauls, an acoustic (Tokai I think), 2 Fender Telecasters, a Strat, and two different SG's. Nice collection eh? // 9
Perfomance: Very well performed. The band seemed to enjoy themselves. Drummer Javier Weyler was shattered after the first two songs, which was funny, but he was very energetic. Also, in past years Kelly Jones has been portrayed as a sort of poser/phoney guitarist. However, the way he solo'd all evening he looked like a real guitar legend. Set-list:
01. Superman - the band walk out after a long (too long) disco style intro tape. Cool, bassy intro, slow, steady, grimey, backstreet song. Nice opener 9.
02. Doorman - explosion. Fast drumming, thrashing chords, screaming vocals, wah pedal crazy, squealing guitar solos. The concert has begun 10.
03. 1000 Trees - gets everybody singing. Powerful, feel-good chorus 9.
04. Vegas Two Times - heavy, very heavy. Everyone started headbanging. I checked my ticket to make sure I was watching the Stereophonics 8.
05. Madam Helga - very well played. This is around the point when the crowd really got going 8.
06. Devil - Richard Jones' bass playing was sounding perfect on this song. The chorus hit you like a train. Everyone bellowing 'Be my devil, aaaangeeeeel!' 10.
07. Mr Writer - a chance to cool down after Devil, mysterious, merky song, not the best of the evening 7.
08. Rewind - slow song, loads of reverb, sounded great. The light show was impressive on this song 9.
09. Pedalpusher - cool song, catchy riff, weird vocal effects 7.
10. Roll Up And Shine - played to perfection! The crowd really got into this one 9.
11. Deadhead - not one of their most famous songs, but a personal favourite. The crowd didn't seem as lively here 8.
12. Step On My Old Size Nines - kelly got out the ol' acoustic and strummed his way through this little number, letting the crowd sing it for him 10.
13. More Life In A Tramp's Vest - the joke Kelly told was longer than the song itself. Still, short sweet, but awsome 10.
14. Maybe Tomorrow - just Kelly, a Strat, and the crowd singing along. Brilliant 10.
15. Bartender And The Theif - and the beast is unleashed. The crowd is in a state of uncontrolable mayhem. The band are thrashing the hell out of their instruments as Kelly and Richard scream out the famous chorus line 10.
16. Local Boy In The Photograph - played with power. Ten times better than on record 10.
17. Traffic - I can think of better songs they could've opened the encore with 6.
18. Just Looking - possibly the best song of the evening, on a par with Bartender and 10.
18. Dakota - a definative song to round off a brilliant evening. Thanks to the Stereophonics for making my legs ache and my voice non-existant 10. // 10
Overall Impression: Well, Birmingham was certainly rocked at the NIA on the 10th Sept 05. The Dead '60s were quite a dissapointment, but the Phonics put on a show played like a greatest hits album. Shame about the lack of banter from Kelly. And a shame about a few drunken idiots around me. Apart from that, sound was good, performance was great, a good birthday present. Thank you Kelly, Richard, and Javier, I may come and see you again. // 10