H.e.a.t: Live In London
It's long been held that if one band is capable of breaking out of the constrictions of the Melodic Rock scene, then it's Sweden's H.e.a.t. Two albums with Kenny Leckremo at the mic were an AOR orgasm, yet since the departure of the "irreplaceable" singer, this outfit have gone from strength to strength. Swedish Idol winner Erik Gronwall has proved all the doubters wrong by not only being the consummate frontman this band needs, but a focal point of Hard Rocking energy. The Address The Nation and Tearing Down The Walls albums toughened up the H.e.a.t sound significantly, broadening their appeal in the process, while a succession of triumphant Firefest appearances proved again and again that the lads from Sweden are a live force to be reckoned with; hence this album was a no brainer.
Live In London genuinely does that rare thing; capturing the raw energy and enthusiasm that a band puts into every show and brings it straight into your front room. Yes, the compact London Garage audience have maybe been augmented to turn their raving adulation into the noise of thousands, but it all adds to the effect and when the performances themselves are this impressive, then it matters little (and truth be told, the effect is certainly better than on some lacklustre live outings I've encountered). Unsurprisingly the set list concentrates on the two Gronwall fronted efforts, the singer proving even more powerful live, while the slimming down from a two guitar outfit to a single axe attack when Davey Dalone handed in his cards has made no effect on the H.e.a.t hit one little bit.
The opening salvo of "A Point Of No Return" and "A Shot At Redemption" hit with serious force, before the more melodic "Better Off Alone" brings Jona Tee's keyboards right to the fore. Eric Rivers seems to thrive on the freedom of being the sole six string in the band, his solos burning intensely, his riffs razor sharp. Gronwall is an irresistible force, his sweaty exuberance dripping from every note he belts out and unlike many live offerings, you can really feel the effort and power behind what he's doing. During "The Wreckoning/Tearing Down The Walls" he whips the audience into a chanting choir, while he helps the Abba-Britney Spears rip off "Mannequin Show" to suddenly find a massive pair of balls! The rhythm section of bassist Jimmy Jay and drummer Crash hammer their message home with a thump seldom captured on the band's studio albums, providing main set closer "Emergency" a bombastic boost, while encores "Breaking The Silence" and "Living On The Run" simply sum up what this excellent band is all about.
Usually I can take or leave live albums, but with Live In London H.e.a.t may well have released their best offering to date – and that's high praise indeed.
1. Point Of No Return
2. A Shot At Redemption
3. Better Off Alone
4. 1000 Miles
5. It's All About Tonight
7. The Wreckoning / Tearing Down The Walls
8. Mannequin Show
9. Late Night Lady
10. In And Out Of Trouble
12. Enemy In Me
14. Breaking The Silence
15. Living On The Run
Added: February 21st 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: H.e.a.t online
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