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Rival Sons // Live @ Bogart’s // 10.30.22

Article & Photos by: Linda Carlson

Cincinnati, OH – Halloween Eve at Bogart’s found Cincinnati’s WEBN radio station hosting “WEBN Night Of The Rocking Dead,” with headliner Rival Sons.  The WEBN crew really embraced the spirit of the Halloween theme.

WEBN Hosts

Giovannie & The Hired Guns opened the evening.  Fronted by lead singer Giovannie Yanez, this Texas band has built a strong following through sweat, hard work and determination.  Jerrod Flusche (guitar), Milton Toles (drums), Alex Trejo (bass) and Carlos Villa (guitar) round out the band’s dynamic lineup.  Their music is decidedly rock ‘n roll, with shades of country mixed in.  Their performance, however, was all rock.

Giovannie & The Hired Guns

It’s been five years since I last experienced a Rival Sons performance (Rock on the Range, The Ride Festival).  Those earlier performances were powerfully raw and soulful, and it was with some curiosity that I awaited this set.  Five years can bring a lot of change to an evolving band.

Jay Buchanan was as mesmerizing as ever to see live.  Although wearing a stylish three-piece suit on stage, it was minus a shirt, and with earthy beaded chains around his neck.  This was not a corporate look, but there was a certain elegant polish to it, a refinement.

Rival Sons

With his hair tied back, Buchanan’s face was never obscured, and his expressions were never hidden, which added a visual layer to his performance.  He did not hide while he belted out incredibly soul-infused songs, one after the next.  He didn’t engage directly with the audience, frequently staring to the back of the venue, seemingly lost in each song.  In fact, you almost felt you were watching a private moment, a private expression of emotion.  It was quite special.

Rival Sons

Guitarist Scott Holiday, on the other hand, is a showman of a different sort.  Sporting a handlebar mustache, sunglasses and slicked-back hair, he has a flashier stage presence.  His musicianship is spectacular, and he played directly to the crowd, switching out guitars (including a double neck guitar) throughout the set.  His is a different kind of pleasure to experience.

Rival Sons

Together with Dave Beste (bass) and Michael Miley (drums), the band put forth a bluesy rock set that is well worth an evening out.

Rival Sons

Check the band’s website for their full tour schedule:

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Linda Carlson
Linda has been photographing people since she was ten. Forever intrigued by the complex beauty of the human form, she brings the eye of a portraitist to the unpredictability and spectacle of the concert scene.