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Rival Sons at Music Tastes Good 2016, September 23rd. Photo by Derrick K. Lee, Esq. (@Methodman13) for www.BlurredCulture.com.

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RECAP: Having spent the better part of the past year traveling the world opening for Black Sabbath, earning fans left and right, Rival Sons came back to their home town close the first night of Music Tastes Good, and they … shut … it … down.

Rival Sons at Music Tastes Good 2016, September 23rd. Setlist.Simply put, Rival Sons rock. Of all of the modern bands trying to hone in the classic rock sound, Rival Sons are one of, if not the, best rock bands out there. With Todd Ögren Brooks rocking out on keys, Dave Beste steadily strumming the bass and  Michael Miley pounding out the rocking pulses of their tunes, Rival Sons’ sonics are polished to the tenth degree. And with Scott Holiday, and his impeccably stoic ‘stache taking the lead on electric guitar and the piercingly clear and emotive voice of their front-man, Jay Buchanan, wailing away, you get a unique sound that is genuinely modern yet rooted in the classics of rock and roll.

Jay made sure that the audience knew how stoked the band was to be playing to a home crowd, and then the band proceeded to play their hearts out with a setlist that seemed tailor made for their die-hard fans which consisted of songs from four of their five studio albums. Prior to getting into “Face of Light” (which happens to be my favorite Rival Son’s song), Jay took off his shoes, a sign that he was about dig deep to connect with the emotional lyrics he was about to sing.

But you and your face of light.
It’s a brilliant roman candle that separates the day from the night.
It’s that clean, clear truth that sorts our the wrong from the right.
You and your face of light.

It was a moment that was almost too perfect; those lyrics, being sung in their home town to their home grown fans. Every face in that audience lit up, smiling and singing along. If a song can ever achieve a new meaning by virtue of it being performed in the right place at the right time, this was it. It truly felt like Jay was singing those lyrics to us. As cliche as it may sound, that concert moment was something truly special, and “you had to be there” to know and to feel what was in the air when that song was being sung.

They rocked the rest of their set and gave their fans what they had been waiting for all night, rekindling the local bond with those that have been supporting them since the beginning, and solidifying that which the city of Long Beach already knew. The Rival Sons are badass, and you’d be a fool not to jump on their train now before it pulls out of the station.

Follow Rival Sons on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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CLICK HERE to check out the rest of our coverage of Music Tastes Good 2016