Review + Photos by Jason Broadhurst

This is only my second time attending the Manchester Albert Hall but it certainly strikes me as a beautiful setting for tonight, the light from streaming through the windows which only amplifies the heat that is building in the venue. The crowd is full of mainly middle aged fans who have no doubt followed the career of this icon.

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Opening tonight’s proceedings at an earlier than scheduled time is solo act Rick Brantley. Despite the sweltering heat inside the room the Georgia man is dressed all in black but that doesn’t seem to affect him. He takes a brief minute to thank everyone for attending instead of watching the big match, England vs Belgium. No acoustic act is complete without a harmonica and Rick duly supplies causing enthusiastic sways and cheers from the crowd.

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Over the years many of us have seen him on our screens in shows like 24, Designated Survivor and The Lost Boys. Now Kiefer Sutherland is following a list of actors who have branched out into the music industry to various degrees of success. Sporting a cowboy hat he arrives on stage tambourine in hand. Just seeing him onstage you can see how much of a genuine down to earth guy he is despite the status he has acquired, he thanks fans for turning out tonight despite a lot of the songs not having been released yet.

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With a lot of the crowd sporting shirts from last years tour, it is clear to see he has already started to build his fanbase up and many were attending the gig at the Gorilla last time out. Knowing he only has one album in the public domain there are few treats added to to the setlist that many will recognise such as ‘Honey Bee’ (Tom Petty) and ‘Blame It On Your Heart’ (Harlan Howard).

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What is also clear to see is not only has he built up a connection with his fans but with the extensive touring over the US and Europe he has a camaraderie with his own band, as they jam and work their way through the setlist.

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A short encore follows where pays tribute to one of the greats in Bob Dylan with a cover of ‘Knocking’ On Heaven’s Door’ which will certainly be a highlight to many. Many actors use their status to carry their music but that is certainly not the case here. Kiefer has the whole package the voice, the music and the charisma to keep an audience entertained.

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Setlist: Run To Him, Something You Love, Reckless, Going Home, I’ll Do Anything, Faded Pair Of Blue Jeans, Open Road, Can’t Stay Away, Blame It On Your Heart (Harlan Howard cover), The Bottle Let Me Down (Merle Haggard cover), This Is How It’s Done, Honey Bee (Tom Petty cover), All She Wrote, Down in a Hole

Encore: Rebel Wind, Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (Bob Dylan cover), Agave

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See the full photoset from tonight’s gig here.

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