It’s not every day when I go to a show that I feel like the opener got just as big of a welcome than the headlining act. For a Friday night in Cleveland, people come out to shows early, ready to get their drink on when work lets out at 5 p.m. So when I got to the House of Blues around 7:45 p.m., it was no surprise that the venue was pretty packed with concertgoers ready to have a good time.

What I didn’t realize was that the people who packed it in on the general admission floor were not only showing up for a few overpriced beers and an infamously amped up performance by headliners The Struts, but they were there for The Glorious Sons from Canada. Truth be told I didn’t know much about The Glorious Sons. Sure I had heard about them, and I knew of their hit “Everything is Alright”.

But what I wasn’t expecting was the massive amount of support the crowd would give these guys. Besides, they were just openers, right?

Brett Emmons’ stage presence commanded.

Being up close in the photo pit, Emmons looks like just a regular dude. Wearing a ratty hoodie with a photo of Cassius Clay vs. Sonny Liston printed on the front, Emmons mimicked boxing moves, punching and blocking the air as the rest of the band warmed up their guitars. But with the first words of the song “Godless, Graceless and Young”, he was ready to rock, thrashing his head, letting his hair fly wild to the wind. He prowled around to each of his bandmates, leaning on them or singing into their faces as a sort of support system to get him through each song. 

The audience was in love.

From the first song, to favorites like “My Poor Heart” and “Everything is Alright”, to an electric cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter”, the crowd sang along, cheered and soaked it all up. They were captivated and devoted, and ready for more.

The rest of the band was pretty great, too.

Chris Koster, who is a solo artist of his own accord rocked it out on guitar, balancing himself on the monitors. Chris Huot on bass was very much in his own world, but you could tell that he was putting his heart and soul into every note that he played alongside Koster. Jay Emmons, brother of the lead singer not only played guitar, but sang backup for his brother, where Brett would run over a lot to share a mic. And I can’t forget Adam Paquette who kept the energy alive and drummed like a machine through the 9 song set.

The Glorious Sons are ready for their close-up.

If an opening band could always grab the attention of the audience like The Glorious Sons could do, I would be surprised. Oftentimes during an opener, people feel like it’s the best time to chitchat and look away. But with these guys from Canada, all eyes and ears were directed to the stage. As the last notes of the last song, “Kill the Lights” played, I knew the lights weren’t going out on these guys.

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