From the Hollow over the Hill to Reach Dan Reed Network

Yes, tonight at the Muni we rocked and were delighted to travel from the Hollow over the Hill to Reach Dan Reed Network we were unified in the power of original live music.

First, we had to explore the rock from Hollowstar, who had the task of opening for an excited crowd full of impatience to hear Dan Reed in Wales again.  Hollowstar captured our attention from the first chord from the pair of PRS guitars, deep bass lines and soaring vocals and drumming that would keep us on our toes. They delivered melodic rock with attitude with confidence and style. The six-song set was a short taster of what these young guns have to offer. Yes, Joe, Phil, Tom and Jack got Friday night in Pontypridd off to a meaty start with some rhythmic rock from lullaby’s through to the heavy riffs of their new single Let You Down. One thing is for certain they didn’t let us down as they wove emotion and swagger through the songs including All I Gotta Say and tracks from their EP Some Things Matter. The rapport was building as Joe connected personally with the crowd and he challenged Wales to sing better than Glasgow. We did by returning the refrain Bye Bye Baby Goodbye with gusto and power of Welsh singing. They left the stage with many new fans as this superb band full of youthful swagger and smiles extremely entertaining and left us wanting to hear more from Hollowstar. The stage was getting warm and we wanted more. Not long to wait and the second helping of young rock step on to fill the Muni once again with live music.

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Mason Hill filed this spot, with many in the crowd looking forward to the set having heard them play on the mountain in the rain on a wet Steelhouse Sunday. Dramatic opening lights dimmed, vocalist Scott in silhouette as he opened the set with a solo. Then Mason Hill exploded into a full onslaught of power rock as the band joined him on stage,  opening with Survive from their self-titled EP. This was going to be for many a far too short a set from a young band that are creating conversations around them as they deliver rock fuelled riffs and tonal changes across the set. They are on the crest of a wave ready to take the next step on the climb to rock fame with a second number, not a favourite the fans know, a new number Hold On. This is a five-piece demanding attention with strong heavy rock that unites them in a sound that is never over the hill. They are accessible and never Out of Reach. they may sing Against The Wall, they are playing from the front with music fans and the ever-increasing ranks of followers.  The two guitarists, James and Marc use the different sounds from the Les Paul and PRS to give a difference in tonal shaping and textures. The energy exudes off the stage and the rhythm section Matthew and Craig rock out a tempo that creates a bedrock of sound. The final number they played, before the happy and expectant crowd heard Dan Reed Network, was a Chris Cornell, Audioslave cover Cochise which left many in the audience very happy indeed.

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The wait was short at the warmed up venue thanks to the stunning performances from Hollowstar & Mason Hill young bands making a name for themselves. The moment we had all been waiting for Dan Reed and the band stepped on to a stage in Wales once again. The cheers were rapturous before a note was played or Dan had danced across the stage with a leap.

Straight into  Rock You All Night Long we were moving with the funky rock beat that defines Dan Reed Network. They are so entertaining. Having been looking forward to tonight so much, I was not disappointed they were better than I had imagined. What a perfect start to a weekend.  Everyone was joining in and really enjoying the atmosphere created by the superlative frontman Dan Reed himself.  Once again Dan’s vocals were full of warmth and energy reflecting the athleticism in every move and posture he creates augmenting the music never a distraction, absolutely mesmerizing.  The setlist was a mix of tracks from across the times with tracks from his recent albums Fight Another Day and Origins. They may have played the uplifting, rousing Divided, one thing is for sure we were united under the umbrella of live music that flows and connects us individuals to each other. Common ground was found with each other as we were moved physically and mentally by the music. The Muni was partying for a full two hours, it was pure joy thanks to the two Dan’s, Brion, Melvin and Rob what a band of musicians. This is what gigs should be like everytime a celebration of music, humanity an unadulterated enjoyment.  A genreless paradise!! What makes this act standout? The musicality is extraordinary on every level. Dan on drums and percussion brings rolling drums and stinging cymbals that allows the charismatic bassist Melvin strut his self in full funky glory as the bass notes are manipulated under his fingers. Never to be overlooked is Rob on keys a wizard over the ivories adding so many layers and textures. His talents are bottomless as he showed when he came out front to perform one of his own numbers singing and playing the guitar to be joined by the band. Or when he took over drumming duties when the Dan stepped forward to deliver a song. Last but never least in the network is guitarist Brion his fingers work a special kind of magic as his six-strings. His playing is a masterclass as he smiles and interacts with his fellow networkers and Dan up front. The combined energy of the band is enough to light a small town. The music definitely shone a bright hot light over the audience in Pontypridd.  Brion’s solos were smoking hot full of spiciness that combined with the force of Dan Reed Network ensured that Pontypridd jumped with delight as one tonight. We were truly networked together as one as the clever artistic and clever medley unfurled. so many highlights that will be forever etched in my music memory bank. Rainbow Child dedicated to Lola, a little girl who Dan Reed photographed sitting on her Dad’s shoulder photographing Myles Kennedy at Steelhouse provided a magic moment.

Every number was a highlight that sparkled from Champion through to Stronger Than Steel this is live music nirvana. We were taken to a better reality as the set closed with Ritual. No this was not the end. They returned and sung acapella, Long Way to Go with amazing harmonization, like a holler we were transported back to the power of vocals working together delivering a message that united the tribe.  The two opening bands are young guns learning their trade. Whilst Dan Reed Network is on a totally different musical place on a different spiritual plane.  A place that I want to stay on as it was energising, positive and full of love and music that united.

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Dan Reed Network Setlist
Rock You All Night Long
Divided
Forgot
Under My Skin
Doin the love thing
Baby Now I
Rainbow Child
Joe’s Song
Fade to light
Lost to you
Tiger
Stronger Than Steel
Champion
Save The World
Ritual

Mason Hill Setlist
No regret
Survive
Hold On
Out Of Reach
Wait For You
Against The Wall
Where I Belong
Now You See Me
Cochise

Hollowstar Setlist
Money
Lay Down Some Things Matter
New Age Lullaby Some Things Matter
Feel The Burn Some Things Matter
Let You Down New Single
All I Gotta Say 2018 single

 

From the Hollow over the Hill to Reach Dan Reed Network

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