Thin Lizzy Colston Hall 7/10
VETERAN rockers Thin Lizzy visited the Colston Hall as part of their extensive 2012 UK tour. Still featuring founding and long-serving members from their heyday, this reformed line-up remains on the road celebrating the band's musical legacy – 25 years after the death of legendary frontman Phil Lynott.
Opening with the hard-rocking Are You Ready before launching straight into Jailbreak, the set was packed with most of the band's big hits – although dropping the likes of Waiting For An Alibi and Emerald for lesser-known album tracks was a surprising move.
Personal highlights included the thunderous bass playing of Marco Mendoza, Scott Gorham's immensely technical lead guitar work, and the harmonising guitar solos in set-closer Black Rose. Much of the band's musicianship is still vastly superior to the majority of modern groups on the circuit today.
However, the whole show was much too loud – rock gigs need to be fairly cranked, but not to the point of reducing the sound to a wall of distortion and making the music physically painful to listen to. The vocals and drums were frequently lost in the mix, with a third rhythm guitar proving both unnecessary and detrimental to the overall blend.
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Furthermore, having seen the reformed Thin Lizzy perform several times before when fronted by John Sykes, this new line-up (with Ricky Warwick – vocalist for The Almighty) certainly doesn't compare favourably. The performance of Whiskey In The Jar sounded uncannily like Metallica's modernised and heavier cover version – but sadly, so did everything else.
Boasting a far more Americanised metal sound than previous reunion shows, the majority of the set seemed to lack authenticity to the band's timeless style and sounded more like it was being performed by a modern metal covers band rather than by many of the original musicians.
Perhaps this misses the point of the evening though.
Despite now taking on a vastly different sound than the band was ever known for, for everybody just wanting to hear the classic Thin Lizzy songs that we know and love performed in the live arena, this show certainly wouldn't have disappointed.