Buckcherry Live @ O2 Islington Academy, London (UK) - 12th June 2009

Music, just like any form of art, is an instrument to describe things for which words are just not enough: a soul, a feeling, a moment of deep joy or despair. I always felt that those who could write music were some lucky bastards, wished I could scream with their voice, and occasionally I'd find a song that would scream for me. Unfortunately it doesn't always work this way. Often nowadays music doesn't scream or even say much, it's nobody's voice but that of greed or a craving for undeserved fame. It follows trends and market research, uses dull reality shows as a platform and is disposable just like the bland messages it carries. It doesn't speak for the artist, but for the X Factor's audience...

And then, occasionally you get a Buckcherry, and you know there's still something real out there.

Buckcherry's trademark brand of rock 'n' roll doesn't follow any trend, it never did, it's always been out of its times, still the O2 Academy Islington is sold out tonight, despite somewhere else a big number of rockers are facing the mud at Download. These guys don't just sing about cocaine, they are cocaine, of the legal kind yes, but just as powerful and energetic. These guys don't just sing about sex and pornstars, they are rough, piercing and liberating like an unexpected orgasm with a total stranger.

"Next To You" is the dynamite opening for this gig, which takes us through the entire Buckcherry's career, with highlights from each album. "Riding" makes you want to go wild all night, then the moving ballad "Sorry" reminds you that even bad guys have a heart. "This is about the first time I had cocaine"! "Lit up" comes maybe too early but who's complaining? The O2 is coming down, screaming and jumping, while Josh Todd loses his jacket and takes our breath away, dancing like a man possessed. I particularly liked "Everything", "Too Drunk" from the latest release "Black Butterfly" is definitely better live, while "Pornstars" is the sexiest thing I've seen in the last couple of years, and I've been working on a beach... It's time for goodbyes with "Crazy Bitch", and since "Lit Up" was early on the bill it's probably really over... Or is it? With unreduced energy and growing sweaty sex appeal, Josh Todd & Co are back with "To the Movies" and the final surprise, largely appreciated by every fan present here tonight: the beautiful "Lawless and Lulu" inexplicably left out in too many shows, from that first album which gave rock 'n' roll a shot of adrenaline just when its heart seemed to be stopping.

And it's really over now. I feel like I had ten cans of Redbull, but a lot happier and healthier. Got some energy to spend... "All the way from the west side of town we get up and we never come down got the juice and we're loose cause we want to get wasted"... The night is still young!

by Cristina Massei

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