By Eric Mackinnon
Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown
Download Festival 2017
Zippo Encore Stage
Sunday, June 11
Axl Rose has 'the biggest pair' in rock n' roll says Tyler Bryant who saw the enigmatic frontman at close quarters as the support act for Rose's début show fronting AC/DC last year.
Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown have enjoyed a stellar 18-months. A period in which they burst into the musical consciousness of rock fans around the globe. Stints supporting AC/DC – with Rose stepping in as frontman for Brian Johnson, supporting the reunited Guns N' Roses and with a place on the same bill as Tom Petty yet to come have helped propel the bluesy rockers to the mainstream and onto playlists of fans around the world.
“It's been an unbelievable adventure to say the least,” he said. “What an honour it is to support and have supported so many of our heroes. We've been continuously humbled and have tried our best to take it all in and learn as much as we can.”
Reflecting particularly on the first live appearance of Rose with AC/DC, Tyler looks back with fond memories. The eyes of the global media were trained on Lisbon for the first show, dozens of TV cameras were in attendance but Tyler Bryant won't need the video to recall the occasion. Lisbon 2016 has been burned into his memory, never to be deleted.
“That first show in Lisbon, Portugal was definitely a highlight for me,” he recalled.
“We'd played 20,00-30,000 seat arenas, but we'd never played to 70,000+ people at one time! It had been raining all day and it was freezing cold out. The doors opened early that day and people were soaked and anticipating Axl's first appearance with AC/DC.
“The energy was thick and we'd already been warned that there was a good chance people would throw things at us or "boo" us. It kept raining and people were getting tired of waiting. A few minutes before our set began we started to hear a chant... "Fu*%+ng play, F$&@ing" play!"”
He continued: “We went out with guns blazing and the rain stopped our first song. I felt like we connected with that crowd better than we'd ever connected with a crowd before and it really set the pace for that leg of the tour.
“After the first song of AC/DC's set the crowd started chanting, "Axl, Axl..." Axl was quick to stop them by saying, "You're saying it wrong. It's Angus, Angus." I thought he stepped into that roll with great respect and proved that he's got the biggest pair in rock and roll.”
Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown will open the Zippo Encore Stage on Sunday, June 11, when they kick off a star-studded final day at the Download Festival which will include Aerosmith, Steel Panther, Fozzy, Alter Bridge, Clutch and Slayer.
“We plan to show up, rock as hard as we can, hear as much music as we can, and leave with new friends!,” insisted Tyler warmly as he looked ahead to Donington Park.
“People have options at festivals. You've got to win them so they don't walk over to the next band. “There's always a different energy at festival shows. I love them.
“The lineup is sick. I wish we could be there for the whole festival but we are definitely going to catch our buds from the Cadillac Three as well as Slayer, Clutch, and Aerosmith.”