Black Star Riders scored their first gig on Swedish soil at the Sweden Rock Festival this summer and have now returned to Sweden for four concerts. The band, who previously called themselves Thin Lizzy, took the stage at KB in Malmö on November 7th. A nostalgic evening that will be difficult to forget. Many years of experience means that this band gives an impression of confidence and professionalism which is delivered to the audience in an impressive way. The tour will conclude on November 15th with a performance at the Rock at Sea-boat. Rockbladet also managed to catch the band's bass player, Marco Mendoza and exchanged a few words with him.
Black Star Riders (BSR) was formed in December 2012 by members of the latest edition of the legendary band Thin Lizzy, who has toured the world for many years. They were thinking of releasing a new studio album but out of respect for the deceased original singer Phil Lynott (1949-1986) it was decided that they wouldn’t write material in the band's name anymore. Their debut album "All Hell Breaks Loose" was consequently released in May 2013 and musically it still sounds very much like Thin Lizzy, with the same great melodic guitar loops and solos brilliantly performed by Scott Gorham (which incidentally is the only original member left from Thin Lizzy) and the new addition, Damon Johnson, who earlier in his career played with Alice Cooper among others. The unmistakable sound and classic Celtic tunes are heard throughout their debut album. Gorham insisted that the sound should honor and live up to Thin Lizzy's earlier material and it certainly does, without a doubt.
The evening at KB in Malmö starts with the title track from the new album "All Hell Breaks Loose" closely followed by Lizzy's "Are you Ready". A perfect start to a musical experience consisting of both new material and classic Lizzy tunes. In the audience you see members of both the younger and older generation which makes the evening feel like a success as a whole. It should be added that the atmosphere is perfect and that the audience sings along to both the new and classic songs.
Black Star Riders singer, Ricky Warwick (formerly The Almighty), became a permanent member of Thin Lizzy in 2009 and leads the band with great enthusiasm. His respect for the late Phil Lynott has always seemed strong and is proven to us in the classic song "Rosalie" in which he mentions Lynott in the text with the message that Phil is still among us .. "up there". Warwick, who originates from Northern Ireland, gives the band the authentic touch we expect, as far as keeping in line with the original and traditional Irish sound, with his acoustic guitar and harmonica.
Behind the gigantic drum kit we find another skilled musician, Jimmy DeGrasso, who has previously played with bands like Megadeath, Y & T, Ozzy Osbourne and Suicidal Tendencies. He brings along a heavier sound that surely will contribute to future recordings being of a slighty different character?
Bass player, Marco Mendoza, who played with both Whitesnake and Blue Murder is very prominent on the stage. He possesses an incredible charisma and interacts a lot with the audience. He tells Rockbladet that Black Star Riders will enter the studio again and that they hope to release another album sometime next year. He realizes that many of the band's supporters still expect to hear Lizzy's classics on tour but hopes that BSR will be able to form their own fan base with the help of more material. Mendoza tells us that he has performed at two bass clinics in Malmö that day and emphasizes the importance of trying to show off his skills to the younger generation of musicians. He has renounced drugs and alcohol for many years and I guess this is how he can carry on showing his tremendous commitment and also give him the energy he needs on and off stage. When he's not on the road with BSR he tours with other bands too. The latest being The Dead Daises, an Australian band, where Dizzy Reed and Mendoza's old Lizzy-parter Richard Fortus (both Guns N Roses) participates. They performed as the opening act for Aerosmith on their tour of Australia and Mendoza tells us that he was greatly honored to be able to be a part of it. The Dead Daisies has now been invited to support BSR during their UK tour later this year. Mendoza is now hoping BSR will gain momentum but is also of the opinion that the production of a tour costs far too much, which means that ticket prices become expensive for the audience and that it, as a musician, barely pays to travel the length and width of the world. Mendoza does this because he still enjoys playing and has the ambition to spread the music and hope to do so for many years to come.
Tonight's concert ends with the Thin Lizzy classics "The Boys Are Back in Town" and an encore consisting of "Whiskey in the Jar" and "Rosalie". Black Star Riders leaves Malmö with a promise to return. Yours truly hope this will be soon.
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Reporter: Charlotte Whitehead (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Photographer: Fredrik Olofsson (email@example.com)
Event: Black Star Riders
Venue: KB Malmö Sweden
BAND INFORMATION - BLACK STAR RIDERS
Ricky Warwick - Vocals, rhythm guitar, harmonica
Scott Gorham - Lead and rhythm guitar
Damon Johnson -Lead and rhythm guitar
Marco Mendoza -Bass
Jimmy DeGrasso -Drums
All Hell Breaks Loose
Are You Ready (Thin Lizzy cover)
Bad Reputation (cover)
Before the War
Kingdom of the Lost
Kissin’ the Ground
Valley of the Stones
Bound for Glory
Cowboy Song (cover)
The Boys Are Back in town (cover)
Whiskey in the Jar (cover)