Photo by Debi Del Grande (see photo gallery)
When dusk fell on the evening of Friday July 29th at Del Mar Race Track something electrified the air and it wasn’t the shouts that echoed from the grand stands on the final lap of the last race. What electrified this night was a trio of rebels who walked onto Del Mar’s Summer Concert Series Seaside Stage, picked up their instruments and fed the audience the one thing they all craved . . . sweet rock and roll.
For Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, playing the second installment of the Del Mar Summer Concert Series was a first for the Los Angeles-based rock band. Embraced by loyal fans that travelled from all over to see the show, BRMC also won over the likes of some new recruits who moseyed over from the grand stands to have a listen.
Packing a powerful punch to start the set with “Beat the Devil’s Tattoo,” BRMC’s title track from their sixth album, bassist Robert Levon Been, guitarist Peter Hayes and drummer Leah Shapiro quickly set the mood for the night. The song rang out like the cries of a thousand warriors riding out to battle with Been leading the way. Captivatingly he beckoned the crowd to come along for the ride. And they did, eagerly, for the rest of the hour and 45 minute set that included favorites such as “Love Burns,” “Six Barrel Shotgun,” “Whatever Happened To My Rock N’ Roll (Punk Song),” and treats like “U.S Government” and “Spread Your Love.” This was the first full show BRMC had played since their two-night residency at The Cosmopolitan Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas back in February and the band was on fire.
They finished their set with “Shadow’s Keeper,” where the threesome poured out their heart and soul. Feeding on the energy of the crowd, Been played his bass with such fury that when watching him you’d swear the instrument was an extension of his body. With Shapiro commanding the drums with such precision and velocity and Hayes delivering the hard driving guitar arrangements, BRMC left their audience in a perpetual cloud of euphoria.
As the show ended and the crowd dissipated, the cool breeze blew in from Solana Beach and stirred the empty cups and racetrack vouchers on the ground. But from the empty stage electricity remained, like the horse eager to go on without its rider.