Ash cordially invites you to join them on their current US tour while they promote their new full-length, Meltdown. Doesn’t sound “rock” enough for you? It takes a band like Ash with enough experience and class to pull off a show that delivers a high-energy, seamless block of music without coming off as unapproachable or pretentious. In fact, they’ll just end up charming you in that “sweet God, you’re really damn good” kind of way.
Ireland’s own hit up Chicago’s Metro to a packed house on Friday, delivering a solid set between Alaska! and The Bravery. Coming on the stage with force, frontman Tim Wheeler opened up with the title track “Meltdown” on his Flying V guitar. Two tracks later, the band pumped one of the strongest songs of the album, “Orpheus,” displaying the band’s killer ability at jumping from kick-in-pants riffing to infectious pop hooks. It was also one of the first listens to rhythm guitarist Charlotte Hatherley’s back-up and harmony vocals, which only enhanced Wheeler’s crystal-clear pipes.
They upped the ante with the hardest hitting song off Meltdown. “Clones” is a guitar-heavy semi truck of a song. Mark Hamilton delivered the hardnosed bass line flawlessly, while the lead and rhythm guitars danced back and forth. Not to forget Rick McMurray’s drums leading them all through it effortlessly.
Chicago came out for them and Ash delivered, giving the crowd some hits off their 1996 smash 1977. And in the few words Wheeler said during the set, he gave them what they really wanted - a dedication to Chicago’s much missed son, Wesley Willis. They ran through “Kung Fu” much to die-hard fans’ delights, and somewhere, Wesley wanted to bump heads.
Ash gave a show that was so fine-tuned it was obvious they have been at this a while. The entire set was so energetic and the music so inviting and straightforward that you could only help but wonder, "is this the album that's going to launch Ash to stardom in US?". It should be.