On the first day of snowfall in Helsinki, BLACK STAR RIDERS made their way through the cold weather to perform at The Circus. The band has recently released a brand new album named “Another State Of Grace”, and now embarked on a European tour. The support act of the night is no other than the legendary NWOBHM act DIAMOND HEAD, a band that I never had seen before. Two insanely good reasons to keep my Wednesday evening free from anything other than an evening filled with music. Visit our photo gallery here.
The evening started with DIAMOND HEAD. Wednesday’s snowfall and the fact that it was the middle of the week, unfortunately, translated into a sparse crowd, however, you’d be hard-presed to catch even a hint of that from DIAMOND HEAD. It’s guitarist Brian Tatler that is the sole survivor of the original band, but nonetheless, over the years he has been able to gather some great musicians on board, take for example singer Rasmus Bom Andersen, who entertains the crowd with his huge energy. The band recently released a new album “The Coffin Train”, and treated us with a couple of new songs, but the majority of their songs came from the iconic 1980s album “Lightning to the Nations”. After all these years “It’s Electric”, “Helpless”, and “Am I Evil?” are still songs that have immense character and work very well in a live setting. The new songs “Death by Design” and “The Messenger” sounded tight and solid heavy metal songs, and made me realize I should delve more into the history of this band. The show impressed me quite a lot, but at times felt a little bit repetitive for some reason, but this might be due to the fact that I know so little of the band.
- Death by Design
- Set My Soul on Fire
- In the Heat of the Night
- It’s Electric
- The Messenger
- Am I Evil?
An impressive BLACK STAR RIDERS backdrop was displayed in the background, as the crew made the stage ready for the band. Right on time, BLACK STAR RIDERS began their show on a haunting Irish melody, continuing with the title track of their new album “Another State Of Grace”. The folky heavy metal song creates a buzzing atmosphere and makes for an impressive start of the show. The band continued their streak of energy with the title track of “Killer Instinct”, and it’s clear to me that the THIN LIZZY 2.0 formation, not only is absolutely nailing it, they’re having a blast on stage.
The interaction with both each other and the audience is impeccable, and all that why masterfully playing the songs. The band continues song after song, and for “Ticket to Rise” Ricky Warwick loses his guitar and supports the band just by belting out the lyrics, swiftly swinging with his mic stand around on stage. Meanwhile, guitarist Scott Gorham execute his guitar solo with ease, and continues to play in an effortless manner in “Why Do You Love Your Guns?”.
With four albums released, the band has quite the back catalogue to pick their songs from, this means that the setlist was filled with all the highlights from the albums, perhaps my favorite song was the slightly slower “Soldierstown”. The song marked the middle of the show, and the band continued to play even more tracks, which definitely felt like a grande reward for the audience. It’s seldom that I have seen a band play more than fourteen songs.
After eighteen tracks, BLACK STAR RIDERS ended their show with their classic “Bound For Glory”, with the same energy as they had started the show with. The fact that they had been playing for quite some time, didn’t show on their faces. Playing an incredible career-spanning setlist, the band made clear why they are one of the most impressive hard rock acts of current times.
- Another State of Grace
- The Killer Instinct
- All Hell Breaks Loose
- Testify or Say Goodbye
- Tonight the Moonlight Let Me Down
- Ticket to Rise
- Hey Judas
- In the Shadow of the War Machine
- Why Do You Love Your Guns?
- Ain’t the End of the World
- When the Night Comes In
- Underneath the Afterglow
- Dancing With the Wrong GirlP
- Finest Hour
- Kingdom of the Lost
- Bound for Glory
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