TVD Live Shots: Backyard Babies and
The Wildhearts at the
O2 Forum, 2/1

The Backyard Babies and The Wildhearts on the same stage both with headlining sets. Who would have thought it would have come to this? I mean that in the best possible way—two legendary bands from Europe who are the last great warriors of unadulterated rock ‘n’ roll, carrying the torch and pushing their beloved genre forward.

Let’s start with the Backyard Babies. Frontman Nicke Borg and guitar sensation Dergen lead the charge by taking the crowd back to the glory days when sleaze rock ruled the world. These guys make rock ‘n’ roll look easy, and the fact that they sound this good live is a testament to the legacy that they share both collectively and individually. From past projects, side projects, previous bands, it’s all led up to this moment and, most importantly, their brilliant eighth studio record, 2019’s Sliver and Gold.

The setlist came in fast and furious. “Shovin’ Rocks,” “44 Undead” are the new classics, “Th1rte3n” or “Nothing,” and “Minus Celsius” are the timeless songs and fan favorites. The best thing about their set, though, is that it all flows together perfectly. Add to that the antics and aerobatics of these road warriors, and you have the perfect co-headliner with the rock ‘n’ roll juggernaut that is The Wildhearts.

I’ve seen The Wildhearts four times since moving to the UK three and a half years ago, and I can tell you 100% that they are playing at a different level than ever before. I’m not sure what’s changed or who’s stepped up, but holy shit—these guys were absolutely on fire. The setlist had all the classics (minus “Suckerpunch,” which I was hoping to hear), but the songs that stood out the most came from last year’s magnum opus and critically acclaimed masterpiece Renaissance Man.

It was a date night with my wife who loves anything and everything that Ginger Wildheart does. She doesn’t go to nearly as many shows as I do, but she came out for this one and was not disappointed. I remember leaning over to her every few seconds during “Dislocated” and saying “Those fucking harmonies are amazing.” Actually, I think I said that to her throughout the set to the point where it may have become a bit annoying.

Either way, what an epic night for rock ‘n’ roll in London. The dual headlining set works brilliantly, and I wish that more bands would partner up for these types of tours. Seventy-five minutes each works very well, and the crowds seemed to love it. The only issue—I love seeing the opener, but they went on so early it was tough to make it out. Maybe next time it should just be an evening with the Backyard Babies and The Wildhearts, and throw in an extra song or two from each.

That’ll do.

BACKYARD BABIES

THE WILDHEARTS

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