Review by Brian Boyle
All live Photos by Jimmy Little
It didn’t long for this freezing and snow pelted crowd to get warmed up, Scottish rockers The Amorettes doused the Dublin audience with their high octane brand of rock n roll. The all girl trio made up of Gill Montgomery(guitars/vocals), Hannah McKay(drums), Heather McKay(bass) used their 30 minute set to maximum effect, belting out tracks from their debut album Haulin Ass and latest offering Game On including a ear splitting Hot n Heavy. Despite their tender years, they performed with passion, confidence and a exuberant skill that would more than stand up against the most established rock acts today. Do yourself a favour and keep The Amorettes firmly on your rock radar.
Just as they did two years ago, Black Star Riders rode into town snarling like a bunch of trigger happy outlaws fully intent on claiming some scalps. Now touring in support of their second album The Killer Instinct, the Thin Lizzy tribute band tag is slowly but surely edging away. The undeniably Lizzy like Bound For Glory off debut album All Hell Breaks Loose opens the 70 minute set with a grandiose delivery. The durability of his legendary theatre was being tested after rambunctious versions of Jailbreak, Dancing In The Moonlight and the continually epic Emerald had the place rocking, literally.
The first blast of new material comes with Soldierstown, a track greeted like a well chewed classic, then the obligatory Don’t Believe A Word just adds to the already pulsating set. Already BSR live favourites, Bloodshot and Hey Judas serve as perfect hors d,oeuvres before a juicy main of Lizzy classics with Rosalie and The Boys Are Back In Town brings their loyal army of followers to a point of rock delirium. New album title track The Killer Instinct goes down brilliantly before Ricky Warwick and co bring the set to a end with a tumultuous Whiskey In The Jar.
Even if your a disapproving Thin Lizzy nut, you cannot deny this bands live quality. The consistently brilliant rhythm section of bassist Robbie Crane and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso, combined with the unyielding guitar duo of Damon Johnson and the iconic Scott Gorham provide a performance of classic quality. But the real star of the show tonight was vocalist Rick Warwick, if you can find a better front man who can do the justice to the endless list of Lizzy classics, you should be knighted.
Maybe it was the copious amount of hairspray consumed during the 80’s, but Europe main man Joey Tempest had trouble believing the last time the band graced the Emerald Isle was 1989.Despite the brevity of their Irish appearances over the years, time was more than made up for tonight with a near perfect boisterous set.
War Of Kings, the title track of Europe’s recently released new album is a great track, but a slightly underwhelming concert opener. But that’s brutally put to sleep with another newbie Hole In My Pocket, a song of relentless power that probably the harshest of the bands critics thought they were incapable of. But the real vibe of the night got under say with the melodic gluttony of Superstitious,which included a slickly placed teaser of Whitesnake’s Here I Go Again, Two more new songs, The Second Day and the impeccable Praise You are greeted with a muted response,and understandably so, given that the album had only been released to the public a matter of hours prior to this gig. But familiarity is resumed with Sign of the Times, Mic Michaeli’s symphonic keyboards takes the crowd back to 1989.
2012’s Bag Of Bones gets an airing with Riches To Rags and Firebox, before Rock The Night takes the night to a feverish level. At this point Tempest is strutting like a man possessed, clearly relishing his return to pastures green. One of the highlights of the new album, Days Of Rock n Roll bears all the characteristics of a live favourite, and it worked perfect tonight. Love it or hate it, The Final Countdown is by far one of the most famous pieces of music ever written. Looking around the crowd, all i saw was smiling faces hellbent on reliving their youth. But probably the biggest smiles were from the five Swedes up on stage, a band that clearly embraces it’s signature tune with genuine passion. To say it brought the house down might be a cliché, but it’s bloody true, grown men and women bounced to Michaeli’s genius without a hint of inhibition. A fitting end to thoroughly engaging night of rock. Privileged to be there.