(Sound Board, MCC, Detroit, MI - March 31st, 2011)
If you've lived under a rock for the past 30 years, Thin Lizzy are an Irish hard rock band formed in Dublin way back in 1969. And sure, some 30 years on the band has lost two influential members - guitarist Gary Moore and vocalist Phil Lynott - but tonight we had one founding member (drummer Brian Downey) and two long time members, keyboard player Darren Wharton and guitarist Scott Gorham.
Rounding out the new Thin Lizzy (Band) were Vivian Campbell (Def Leppard), Marco Mendoza (Whitesnake), and Ricky Warwick (The Almighty) on vocals.
Seated front row, the pre-set dry ice wafting off the stage directly at our seats, suddenly the lights go down, the famous Thin Lizzy logo sign becomes lit, and the boys come back to town. 'Are You Ready' and 'Waiting For An Alibi' are first out the cannon, and it is immediate to notice just how similar Warwick's vocal tone is to that of the late, great Lynott.
"All right, Detroit," Warwick asks, before heading into a blistering 'Jailbreak.' With the four guitarists front and center, the keyboards and drums set back, it constantly looks like an army invading! "Good evening, Detroit." Warwick continues, "Thin Lizzy is back in your town and ready to kick out the jams," and with that 'Do Anything You Want' bleeds seamlessly into 'Don't Believe A Word.'
Warwick then introduces Marco Mendoza, before they head into a beautiful 'Dancing In The Moonlight (It's Caught Me In It's Spotlight),' from which they emerge to rapturous applause. Showing off heavy guitar work in 'Massacre,' the stage becomes bathed in green for 'Angel Of Death.' Warwick then introduces keyboardist Wharton ("He's born and bred in Manchester, England. He is Darren 'Dazza' Wharton") and they both share vocals on the always-heartfelt (albeit this time, overly drawn out), 'Still In Love With You.'
A cracking 'Whiskey In The Jar' storms through town next, before Warwick addresses the audience once again, "What I love about Detroit is all the real music that comes out of Motown." He then intoduces guitarist Goram as the "bad ass of rock 'n roll" before the band head into 'Emerald.' With the logo now in green, the songs mid-section direct from the Glen, they match the power of that with "a song that Phil wrote about running away and chasing your dreams", 'Wild One.'
Warwick then introduces drummer Downey who opens the song 'Sha La La,' and complete with strobes ablaze, we roll into the obligatory drum solo. With the other band members off stage, unfortunately Downey's solo seemed like it was going in slow motion. Perhaps age, perhaps a lack of energy come this late stage of the show, he ain't no Tommy Lee - but then again, who is?! Back on stage, we then get the harmonica-opened 'Cowboy Song,' before the (main) set is finished off with, of course, 'The Boys Are Back In Town.'
"Thin Lizzy thank you very, very much," gushes Warwick, "Goodnight," as they leave the stage, but some three minutes later they are back, this time with Goram introducing the hard working Warwick. "He is the Celtic warrior, the glue that keeps us all together." And then they power into one of the best songs performed tonight, a rousing, high octane version of 'Killer On The Loose.'
Bringing the first encore to a close with a by-the-numbers 'Rosalie' (a song dedicated tonight to "... the king of rock 'n roll himself, Mr Phil Lynott"), they quickly leave the stage, and soon thereafter return with a song this time dedicated to Gary Moore, the always-layered 'Róisín Dubh (Black Rose): A Rock Legend.'
Review & Photos by: Russell A. Trunk