AMERICAN Anthems proved rock and roll is still very much alive and kicking.
Although the rockers of the 1970s and 1980s would probably wince at their work being reproduced for a musical, they would surely embrace the spirit with which it was performed.
For the cast and band were nothing short of top-notch, echoing the stars of the past as they fought to re-establish rock’s place in the musical hierarchy above the current X Factor and Simon Cowell-driven scene.
At the start of the evening the audience was promised several things from the show – singers who could sing, a live band who were playing their instruments and no auto-tuning.
It was duly delivered.
A loose storyline followed, centring around the search for legendary showman Rocky Rhodes by his old bandmates for one last gig, but it was little more than an excuse to belt out classic tracks, including Van Halen’s Jump, Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run, Boston’s More Than a Feeling, and old favourite Don’t Stop Believing, by Journey.
The voices on display were mesmerising, with an astonishing range of talent delivered by the lead vocalists.
Andy Wood stood out, matching the sound of Michael Bolton, Jon Bon Jovi and Steve Tyler all at once, while Rebecca Kelly and Tiffany Low also shone, bringing the likes of Dusty Springfield and Dolly Parton back to the stage.
To cap things off John Parr, right, emerged to play his 1985 no.1 hit St Elmo’s Fire, raising the energy levels in the audience to stratospheric levels.