The Story of the Guitar Heroes – Live Review – Ilkley King’s Hall

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The Story of the Guitar Heroes – Live Review

Ilkley King’s Hall, April 2019

by Laura Whiteley

As I sat down to watch this show I was completely unaware of what was to come. The title leaves much to the imagination – after all, there have been so many magnificent guitarists over time that it was difficult to predict who would be crowned as a “hero.” However, I was not disappointed by this musical history lesson performed by an incredibly skilled and passionate group of musicians.

Filling the stage with fabulous music from the start, Phil Walker and the rest of the band had me hooked. Not only were the brief video clip documentaries interesting, but the musicians themselves were friendly and entertaining. Jokes and laughs between songs set a wonderfully welcoming and enjoyable tone to the show. By the end of the first half I was bursting with anticipation to find out what was to come in the second half of this brilliant performance.

From the 50s right through to the 80s the catalogue of music was vast and varied. Some country, some pop, some classic and even heavy rock tunes meant that there really was something for everyone. There were hits from Prince, Dire Straits, Pink Floyd, BB King, AC/DC, Steve Vai, Queen and, of course, Jimi Hendrix. Familiar songs and bands came with, for me, some new discoveries – brilliant guitarists I’d never heard of who immediately made me want to find out more about them. What a clever and entertaining way to educate an audience on the history of guitar music.

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“Wonderful skills”

I was surprised to see quite a few teenagers and younger audience members who were really enjoying the show as well. This just proves how remarkable the music of the show is, as it captivate a modern audience of all ages. Even the older stuff from the 50s was received well by all.

Frontman Phil was the main lead guitarist and singer and did an outstanding job. However, there was plenty of opportunity for the other band members to take centre stage and show-off their wonderful skills as musicians and singers. Often someone would return to the stage playing a different instrument. At the start of the second half two new band members appeared. It really was impressive.

The frontman asked the audience if there were any guitarists watching – and I really would recommend this show to anyone who is. Nevertheless, I think that anyone who really enjoys music and appreciates live music at its best would love The Story of the Guitar Heroes. An absolutely phenomenal show that I would definitely go see again.

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