SAXON / BLACK STAR RIDERS - Night In The Life Of A Tour Opener
March 23, 2018, a month ago
Opening for the mighty Judas Priest, both Saxon and Black Star Riders, while generally contemporaries, face an uphill battle. Given the massive volume of their catalog, restricting Saxon to just a direct support slot is a daunting task, all the more so when Biff Byford and Co. decided to showcase four tracks off the new Thunderbolt album within the limited time. Crickey, when they headline, Saxon usually only adds only a pair of new songs to a two hour set. In addition to numerous historic title cuts: "Denim And Leather", "Power & The Glory" and "Crusader", they opted for faster choices "Motorcycle Man", the current tribute to Motörhead "They Played Rock And Roll" and "Heavy Metal Thunder" closer, as well as more emotive pieces "Princess Of The Night" and "Dallas 1 PM", which relates the impact of JFK's assassination. Honestly, would do away with "Nosferatu" and "The Secret Of Flight" in favor of at least one more vintage selection. Hell, the choices are virtually endless!
Despite a lineage to Thin Lizzy, guitarist Scott Gorham and ex-The Almighty frontman Rick Warwick, as the night's opening act, face a half empty (at best) hall each night. Surely still better than a solo club tour, but given the longevity, must be a bit disappointing. After kicking off with the debut's title track, the Riders pull out Lizzy's most successful American hit, "Jailbreak", before winding up with two songs from each of their trio of Nuclear Blast releases.