The term “supergroup” has been thrown around in the rock world for a long time now. Starting in the 60’s you had bands like CREAM and BLIND FAITH. In the 80’s it was ASIA and THE FIRM, while in the 90’s and beyond it was BAD ENGLISH, DAMN YANKEES, VELVET REVOLVER and CHICKENFOOT. So when BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION was announced in early 2010 it was with much anticipation, as collectively the players in this band have a wealth of experience and could truly be indicative of the “supergroup” moniker.
The bloodline in the band runs deep as Glenn Hughes and Joe Bonamassa first hooked up in late 2009 and quickly joined forces with Jason Bonham and Derek Sherinian (ex-DREAM THEATER, ALICE COOPER, KISS and PLANET X) to form the quartet. In just 18 months time the band now has two albums under their belt and are currently on their second world tour. The band recently hit the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ on their short mini-US tour before heading back to Europe to do the summer festival circuit.
Leading up to the show I really wondered what kind of crowd the band would draw here in the States. I mean as much as Hughes is legendary from his time in DEEP PURPLE in the 70’s to TRAPEZE and a plethora of other projects, solo and group, over the years and Bonham, who if nothing else (and there is plenty else from BONHAM to JIMMY PAGE band to UFO to FOREIGNER to name a few) has a surname that every rock fan knows by heart, but I would never say either was ever absolutely huge in America and that’s a shame because the talent is undeniable. And, Bonamassa, who has been at it since he was fourteen years old with the group BLOODLINE, and then a now long solo career, is more of a cult hero then mainstream success her in America. So I wondered would this large club and band be given justice on this evening.
Well I was pleasantly surprised as the Starland was packed and the fans were loud and appreciative. You could clearly see it in the band as Hughes rocked around the stage all night showing his best rock posses and faces. They opened the show (after being intro’d by none other than Eddie Trunk and Don Jamieson from VH1 Classic’s “That Metal Show”) with an extended intro which led into a double-shot of tunes off the debut album, “Black Country” and “One Last Soul”. Right from the onset the crowd was pumped and singing along. The band ran through five tracks from the debut, but was a bit heavier on new material as they featured eight songs from the simply titled “2”, which had just hit the stores the week prior. Highlights included the LED ZEPPELIN-influenced tunes “Save Me” and “I Can See Your Spirit” along with “The Outsider”, “Man In The Middle” and “Cold” (killer song which Hughes described as being born from the feelings he dealt with in losing some people close to him recently-Ronnie James Dio perhaps?) but there was so much more throughout the evening as fans were also treated to the Bonamassa solo song “The Ballad Of John Henry” (from the 2009 album of the same name) and of course the DEEP PURPLE classic “Burn” to finish the night.
This was a top-notch performance and everyone in attendance was more than happy after the show. Hopefully the band will return to the US for more extensive touring soon and hopefully more and more people will get exposed to this new “supergroup” who are bringing real classic rock back to the fans in 2011.
By the way, Jennifer Bartram-Schmitt has graciously provided all photographs from the show for use on RockEyez.com.