What must it feel like: one day you’re playing in a sold-out stadium in front of 60,000 people; the next day you’re playing in a half-filled club with 80 people. This is what Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown are experiencing day-to-day on their first European tour. In-between their opening gigs on the mega huge AC/DC (with a hint of Roses) tour, they play their own headlining shows; for example at Frannz Club in Berlin on Tuesday. And you know what: they’re handling it like pro’s.
Because Tyler and band are clearly on a mission. While still being virtually unknown in Europe, they have gathered a large following in the United States over the past years. Not surprising: Tyler Bryant, at the tender age of 25, already has a career of twelve years behind him. His fans include Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Joe Bonamassa; for whom all he opened shows. The obvious next quest is to conquer Europe.
During Tuesday night’s performance, it showed that this was clearly not The Shakedown’s first gig. The band was super-tight, stylistically perfect, never dropping a beat, never missing a riff. The Shakedown is a well-oiled machine, rumbling through the old continent with a ‘take-no-prisoners’ approach. At the same time, this also led to the feeling that the whole thing somewhat lacks authenticity. The ‘thank-you’s’ in-between songs at times felt a bit insincere, the ‘rock god’ poses often just that: poses. But hey: in the end it’s also work, there’s a reason why it’s called show business.
And the last thing you can say about Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown is that they didn’t give it their all. Underneath the shiny layer of polished American rock dreams, beats a real heart filled with a passion and affection for rock and blues biggest legends. And the audience, no matter how small, rocked. The AC/DC riffs, the John Bonham drum beats, the Jagger looks of Tyler; the happiest of rock and roll dreams. It was one-and-a-half hour of pure pedal-to-the-metal screaming guitar solos and flying hair. And I loved it. Watch this band!