It’s not every day that I’m at a loss for words when trying to chronicle a live performance. But make no mistake, this is not writer’s block. It’s just that I find myself at odds when it comes to describing what a dirty honey the show looks like I have many times in the past – to the best of my abilities – and every word I wrote on those occasions still holds true today, and more.
The first time I saw the band play was in October 2019; and while document the show the next day I wrote: “…dirty honey are NOT another ordinary hard rock revival band, and they are NOT on a futile mission to save rock n’ roll. They just kick ass and it’s a group to watch closely: these kids are destined for the big leagues…” Well, those words sound prophetic these days, as the quartet continues their meteoric rise to rock n’ roll stardom. And before you think I sound like an ordinary fanboy, let me clarify: I’m not.
I consider myself a fan of well-composed and performed music, being hard rock, metal, fusion, genre doesn’t really matter, as my personal collection of music can attest. And to my delight – and the delight of the rather modest audience that gathered at Hard Rock Live Orlando last Sunday, that’s exactly what dirty honey serves up – time and time again: no-frills hard rock, balls to the wall, unrestrained, brimming with swagger and enthusiasm, robust and soulful vocals, flowing guitar solos and a roaring bass and drums rhythm section, all delightfully adorned with a broad level of confidence and musical skill, a combination that certainly reminds me of the heyday of some other old-school rockers.
The presentation was part of the Young guns tour, which was first rescheduled due to the uncertainties of the pandemic, and later suffered from the lack of Wolfgang Van Halenthe group Mammoth WVH who headlined the trek, as some cases of Covid-19 in their tour camp forced them to cancel their appearance for the final six shows. dirty honey in a hurry, and although the influx of spectators on Sunday evening did not make them full, the four young musicians played with the same energy and the same enthusiasm as if they were the headliner of a poster of arena. If you like bands like Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, AC DC, The black crows (for which they recently opened, and you can my thoughts from that night here), or even Greta VanFlotte and you don’t know dirty honey, well, you need to correct this omission as soon as possible. But even if none of the aforementioned bands are in your wheelhouse, I encourage you to donate dirty honey a chance, because they ARE NOT a band that imitates the sound of the greats of the genre, but takes elements of the DNA of this music to weave together their own authentic and brilliant compositions. They can’t be the only unsigned band in history to land a No. 1 position on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Airplay chart by sheer luck, do you think?
The song selection was very well balanced, starting with their latest smash hit “California Dream,” Passing by “Break You” – with the corresponding final lamentations of Marc LaBelle which sent shivers down my spine and reminded me of the great Chris Cornell once again – and also with essential pieces from their repertoire like ” Thread “ “Scars” and “Gypsy.” Adding an extra level of freshness, The beautiful addressed the audience and confirmed the presence of friends and family among the crowd, expressing how much they love playing in Florida for this reason, and introducing John Nottothe father of everything saying that his mother was also present. Unafraid to put their own spin on what many might consider a bizarre choice, we were given a blues-infused performance by Prince‘s”let’s be crazy” which, in addition to getting an absolutely unanimous reaction, also proved that these youngsters are equal parts foot-tapping rockers, with their roots steeped in blues rock history. Towards the end of the night, each instrumentalist engaged in a brief spotlight segment, accented by Notto brief addition of the initial part of Zeppelinit is “Ten years after” to his guitar solo, just before they embark on a tasteful and heartbreaking rendition of AC DCit is “Pull to Vibrate” which drove the crowd even crazier. The double shot “When I am gone,” and the eternal “Rolling 7s” – accompanied by a collective chant – closed the proceedings, leaving me once again with the feeling that Father Time had deceived me and that they had not in fact played a long set-list of 16 songs. A deafening ovation sounded for several minutes as they walked forward and said goodbye.
And here I am, once again doing my best to sum up the night’s spectacle and do justice to what I saw. So let’s try something different this time around: I’m sure you’ve heard the old worn-out statement that rock n’ roll is dead, right? Well, if you want to call it bullshit, Dirty Honey is your best ace. Brimming with 70s and 80s rock charisma dressed in a modern twist, beaming with talent, personality and enough chops to make seasoned players swoon, these four guys might as well be the biggest band in the hard rock scene of the planet in a few years. Listen to me carefully.
DIRTY HONEY set list:
California Dreamin’ / Break You / Heartbreaker / The Wire / Scars / Tied Up / Down the Road / Gypsy / Let’s Go Crazy (Prince cover) / Another Last Time / Bass Solo / Drum Solo / Guitar Solo / Shoot to Thrill (AC DC cover) / When I’m Gone / Rolling 7s