Thunder rumbles into Leeds

Posted on 26 May 2022
By Frank Ralph
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Thunder rumbles into Leeds

Classic British rockers THUNDER returned to the stage at Leeds Arena for the second night of their much anticipated arena run, having played Glasgow the night before.

With Leeds United having secured their Premier League status for another season there was already a jubilant feel to the evening outside the venue, as the crowd waited to walk in through the door – but the excitement inside the venue once they had was palpable as they waited for three great bands to rock their world.

Massive Wagons seem like the perfect band to get a party going, with front man Baz seemingly needing to get his 10,000 steps in whilst he’s on stage (the man never stays still) the energy starts proceedings in the best possible way.

They’re definitely not built for a seated audience like they have tonight but they definitely get people moving. They’re a band you must see as soon as you can.

Massive Wagons

Massive Wagons

Next up were Californian legends (and the first band this reviewer ever saw live, 30 years ago) Ugly Kid Joe.

With a couple of the line-up not being able to make it over for the tour, they were supplemented by guitarist, formerly of Duff McKagan’s Loaded and founder of the Couch Riffs podcast, Mike Squires and the drummer from local legends Terrorvision, Cam Greenwood who they’ve stolen for the summer.

Strolling onto the stage with his rucksack, Whitfield Crane has the crowd in the palm of his hands from the get go, with an effortless cool. Opening with Neighbor they have the crowd lapping it up and he stalks the stage seemingly making eye contact with everyone in the room.

He acknowledges how great it is to have rock shows back and this is maybe the 3rd time they’ve played live in the last two years, vowing to have the crowd on their feet by the end of the set.

He takes a seat himself though, at the edge of the stage with his legs dangling over during the rendition of crowd favourite Cat’s in the Cradle – a song they absolutely made their own in the early 90s. Closing with the song that launched them Everything About You the whole crowd get to their feet for a final singalong. It’s clear Leeds loves everything about them.

Ugly Kide Joe

Ugly Kid Joe

With the intro to AC/DC’s Thunderstruck and chants of Thunder building to a crescendo the curtain dropped to reveal a band raring to get going. Bursting into Last One Out Turn Off The Lights they look energised and fresh, Danny Bowes voice sounds majestic and the whole band look happy to be back playing on stage again.

The stage set up and mega lighting rig give this show a classic old school rock show vibe, and there’s probably no better place than Leeds Arena to see big shows. Its unique layout makes it feel intimate (for an arena show) wherever you are sat in the room.

Littering the set with a few new tracks from their latest album Dopamine – all of which get a great response from the audience – they play a well rounded show that is balanced between the old and new. But the classics are what makes a great Thunder show and the likes of Love Walked In and Backstreet Symphony get the biggest response.

Closing with the incredible Dirty Love they put an end to a fantastic show, proving that they don’t make ‘em like they used to. To a man the whole band seem to have all aged like fine wines, as has their music.

Hopefully this short 5 date tour is a warm up for something more thunderous.

For a full set of images from the show click here