Buckcherry just brought their Spring Tour supporting their most recent album, Confessions, to the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg, PA. The band is also using this current tour run to promote their upcoming EP which Josh Todd revealed during the show is simply going to be titled Fuck . The newly renovated venue wasn’t packed for the majority of the night but by the time Buckcherry came on at 10:45 it had filled to a respectable amount of people.
If I had to give an estimate I would put it at being around 1,500 people on the floor and a fair amount upstairs as well. The atmosphere in the Sherman was very chaotic and party like as people moved from side to side yelling in excitement for the band to hit the stage after what felt like hours of opening bands. But tonight was going to turn out to be a very special night for both the band and the fans.
As the lights flickered to life and the band walked out you could see the joy of the faces of those in the front row who had been waiting for this moment since doors opened at 7pm. In fact the entire front row on the barricade were fans who purchased a “VIP” package, not a bad value when you think about it because I’m pretty sure they got in the venue earlier than everyone else which meant spending less time out in the rain. Their dedication payed off because Buckcherry kicked the Sherman theater party off with long time fan favorite and radio hit, “Lit Up.” Like most songs they play live, this song was transformed from the normal 4 minute studio version into almost an 8 minute jam session track with Josh telling a story in the middle of it and talking with the crowd. After that song wrapped up the band beginning played the intro riffs to “So Far” and Josh just began screaming if the crowd wanted to go faster over and over, each time getting the crowd to yell louder and louder before starting the song off properly.
By the third song he had already taken off a few layers of clothing as had most of the band actually. It was starting to get hot in the venue from the lights and the numerous people jumping around, not to mention that the band themselves were moving around just as much on stage. There is something really unique about a Buckcherry live show that their studio albums just don’t capture. Stevie Dacany’s solos have a new breathe of life added to them and Keith Nelson’s are equally as inventive when played live. Xavier Muriel really is the backbone of the band’s live show though because through out all the new addition to the songs he keeps a constant and steady beat so the transition back to the studio version can be seamless.
Vocally, this is the best I have heard Josh Todd ever live. The first time I saw them was 2009 on the Black Butterfly tour and I caught them last May at the Sands, both times were great in their own right but it is very obvious that Josh has been working out more. He looks great and that fitness came through in the performance because he never got winded as he jumped around the stage. His snarls and unique raspy sound are completely his own and it would be unjust to compare him to any other vocalist in rock. Since the beginning of Buckcherry he has always had a signature sound that has only gotten better as the band has matured.
Before the end of the set the music stopped and the band surprised Josh with a cake for his 43rd birthday. The smiles on stage showed just how close these guys are with each other and the crowd was lead in singing happy birthday before they got back on track to end the main part of their set with “Crazy Bitch.” Some of the crowd left after that song thinking the night was over but the ones that stuck around for the encore were treated to a new song off the upcoming EP. The song isn’t entirely their own but their version of it is going to be a rock music hit for sure, I’m talking of course about I Love It (Say Fuck It). Yeah, they are covering Icona Pop but hear me out, Josh’s vocals really work with the lyrical style of the song and the rest of the band make the backing track music almost sound like an AC DC song.
The last song that Buckcherry left fans with was “Too Drunk,” which was a truly fitting way to end the evening. The night started with a party and ended with a party, sure it slowed down a bit for a few heartfelt songs but the excitement never stopped.
Buckcherry has been doing this for longer than most musicians in the rock scene at this point and it really shows in the live show. They are polished, sound tight, but still have a lot fun while doing it. The hardcore fans were more than satisfied with a setlist that contained some older songs such as “Lawless and Lulu,” “Next 2 You” and “Ridin’.” The casual fans of course had their fill of the radio hits and even got treated to “All Night Long,” which is always a fun song to see live.
Don’t expect to see this band stop doing what they love anytime soon, hopefully we are treated to another tour date in the area this summer once their new EP comes out later this year because PA clearly loves Buckcherry.