Review & Photography by Ritchie Birnie for MPM
Tonight was not a gig, this was more a celebration of of an unprecedented career in rock that has permeated through the decades and to a group that have influenced so many individuals, bands and genres alike. Tonight was very, very special.
The show was split into two with an acoustic and full electric live set but lets not jump the gun. As I said this was a celebration and on stage was a huge screen which had videos of thanks and congratulations from the gods of Rock in Brian May, Rob Halford, Alice Cooper, Steve Harris and Paul Stanley to name a few. This was a lovely touch and really gave you the time to see how massive the band’s impact has been.
With that done the boys sit at their stools and take us into an immense version of “Circus” and I have to say the sound was spectacular and Bernie’s vocals were beautiful.
The relaxed mood continued with “Tales”, “Free Me” and an outstanding cover of “Come Away Melinda”. That was followed by a couple of mash ups of “Confession” and “Rain” and the one that got everyone’s juices flowing with “Wizard”, “Paradise” and “Circle of Hands” from Demons and Wizards.
The first set was finished off with “Lady in Black” and that was over all to soon. This was impressive beyond belief and it was in the perfect location as this venue is renowned for amazing acoustics and There was not one thing I could fault about that set.
After a small interlude we are back in the dark and this time the big screen is showing photos from the last 50 years before the screen dropped to the floor and the band dove into “Against the Odds” as the firebombs exploded and the PA kicked into life.
What a contrast to the first set, this was full of fire, lights and a massive amount of adrenaline which got this crowd off their seats and they never returned to them.
Tonight was a huge show, 24 songs in total, 8 acoustic and the rest full on rock your ass off electric numbers. For me there were so many highlights, every acoustic number, the double barrel encore of “Gypsy” and “Easy livin’” the latter a song that has been covered so many times and by so many of my heroes.
The hits and highlights just kept coming, “Free’n’Easy” left me speechless, “Look at Yourself” took me back to listening to that album for the first time in a friends house and falling in love with them. “Wise Man” was outstanding with just Bernie and Phil on stage at the start and it has never sounded better.
I cannot praise this show enough. Make sure you catch it before it is gone forever as I do not think we will see anything like it again. A band who still have it, who can still produce live and who we will probably never see the likes again.