Live: Kiefer Sutherland / Rick Brantley

Thalia Hall in Chicago, IL was a must visit destination for music lovers, big screen, television buffs and pop culture lovers in general last weekend. Iconic film and television star Kiefer Sutherland is using his time away from the silver screen to follow another passion of his… music.  Sutherland is touring in support of  his current release, “Down In A Hole” with a string of live dates. Common knowledge is that Kiefer Sutherland has been an actor for over thirty years, starring in movies like ‘Stand By Me’, ‘The Lost Boys’, ‘Young Guns’, Flatliners’, ‘A Few Good Men’ and TV series 24’. What may not be so common knowledge is that along with being an avid music fan, in 2002, Sutherland, along with his music partner and best friend Jude Cole, began a small record label called Ironworks.  That said; it might not as big of a surprise to some as it is to others that Mr. Sutherland has released an album and hit the road. As anyone who lives within an hour of Chicago is well aware of the suffering that comes along with heading into the windy city and unfortunately I was a casualty of this war which only enabled me to hear a few songs from opener, Rick Brantley. From the small portion of his set that I was able to hear there is a slight Steve Earl resonance to his voice. That said, Brantley, who was named to Rolling Stone’s  “ 10 New Country Artists You Need to Know” in 2016  is on my radar as a must see next time he graces a Chicago stage. As Sutherlands crew readied the stage there was electricity in the air. The crowd although not visibly tense, was full of anticipation for the headliner to hit the stage.  From several conversations that I had, there was an underlying sense of uncertainty of what to expect from tonight’s performance. Which, if judging by the string of actors who’ve given music a go (i.e. Russell Crowe, Kevin Bacon and Eddie Murphy) that attitude was somewhat justified. As 9 o’clock struck, The Kiefer Sutherland Band took the stage to thunderous applause from a ravenous crowd (that were full of libations, I might add).  Without a word, the band hit the ground running with “Can’t Stay Away” and ran right into “I’ll Do Anything”.  After the first two songs, there wasn’t a doubt in anyone’s mind that Kiefer Sutherland was a damn fine songwriter and musician.  As Sutherland gulped a healthy shot of whiskey he wore the grin of a Cheshire cat that seemed to say “there won’t be anyone here that’ll enjoy this performance more than me!” Of the  set list, the lion’s share of songs were from  Down In A Hole but managed to mix in  a handful of cover songs like Gordon Lightfoot’s “Sundown” and Bob Dylan’s classic, “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”.  Sutherland interacted with the crowd and gave an interesting peek inside his personal life with several stories. For years the world has been well aware of Kiefer Sutherland’s talents in front of the camera but with this endeavor, he is proving that he’s not a one trick pony. Setlist
  • Can\’t Stay Away
  • I\’ll Do Anything
  • Truth In Your Eyes
  • Not Enough Whiskey
  • Going Home
  • Shirley Jean
  • The Bottle Let Me Down (Merle Haggard cover)
  • Ways To Be Wicked
  • Saskatchewan
  • Calling Out Your Name
  • My Best Friend
  • Honey Bee (Tom Petty cover)
  • Goodbye
  • All She Wrote
  • Down In A Hole
  • Gonna Die
  • Rebel Wind
  • Sundown (Gordon Lightfoot cover)
  • Knockin\’ on Heaven\’s Door (Bob Dylan cover)
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