Review by JoJo Anthony
Photos by Joe Schaeffer
Glenn Hughes is one of those legendary rock musicians who when you speak his name to a group of musicians, they all drop everything and will have nothing but praise for. A veteran musician who has played with Trapeze, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Hughes / Thrall Band, Black Country Communion, and the Dead Daisies.
Hughes is currently on tour celebrating the 50th anniversary of the album Burn, where he made his debut as a member of Deep Purple replacing bassist Roger Glover. Hughes is backed by an amazing band made up of Soren Andersen on guitar, Ash Sheehan on drums, and keyboardist Bob Fridzema.
Hughes and his band performed songs that represented his tenure with Deep Purple, which include the albums Burn (1973), Stormbringer (1974), and Come Taste The Band (1975) featuring the late Tommy Bolin on guitar.
The sold-out crowd at the Coach House were fired up as Hughes hit the stage opening his set with “Stormbringer.” The first thing I noticed was the strength and quality of Hughes’ voice. He didn’t shy away from hitting the high and extremely difficult notes on the song. “Might Just Take Your Life,” originally a duet featuring Hughes and Deep Purple lead vocalist David Coverdale, followed. Tonight, Hughes opted to do all the vocals himself.
This performance was very reminiscent of concerts from the 1970s with the band performing extended solos showcasing the talents of each member. “You Fool No One” featured a highly energetic and entertaining solo from drummer Sheehan. The man knew just how to entertain an audience complete with some amazing technique and showmanship.
One of the highlights for me was the performance of the song “Mistreated.” I’ve heard this song performed by great vocalists like David Coverdale and Ronnie James Dio. Hughes’ rendition was by far one of the most soulful versions I’ve heard. Again, his ability to scream and not be annoying is definitely one of his greatest assets.
“Getting Tighter” and “You Keep on Movin’“ from Come Taste The Band showcased just how great Hughes can play rhythm and blues. I recall reading an article in the 1970s where Stevie Wonder referred to Hughes as the best “white soul singer” he ever heard. I couldn’t agree more. The set ended after a long jam featuring solos from every member of the band.
Hughes and his band would return to for an encore with a fired-up rendition of “Highway Star” from Machine Head. Although he didn’t perform on the album, Hughes delivered a vocal performance that was nothing short of brilliant. As I stated earlier, the man can scream with such an ease. The guitar and keyboard work from Andersen and Fridzema were spot-on highlighting their talents.
Of course, as expected, Hughes would close the show with a truly fantastic version of the song “Burn.” Every single band member just put it all out there to deliver nothing short of magnificent. The song is definitely one of the greatest hard rock songs ever written.
Glenn Hughes is by far one of those vocalists that you can sit and listen to for hours and be truly amazed with each song he sings. He was truly humbled and grateful to the audience for attending the show. You can truly see he loves what he’s doing after so many years in the music business. As I said to a fellow audience member after the performance, “I have been to the mountain.” Don’t miss Glenn Hughes on this tour.