Live Photo Essay: Thin Lizzy

Thin Lizzy
Sound Academy
Toronto, Ontario
March 30, 2011

Founded by drummer Brian Downey and charismatic bassist Phil Lynott, Thin Lizzy found itself punctuated by a revolving door of hugely talented and Godly axemen including the likes of Scott Gorham, John Sykes, Brian Robertson and the legendary Gary Moore.

Even though almost every Thin Lizzy song was written and composed by the late Phil Lynott, the band’s never say die attitude has led them beyond the Lynott years into the realm of endless possibilities with the kick ass lineup they’ve molded today.

Original drummer, Brian Downey and guitarist Scott Gorham have found a singer worthy of representing Phil’s coolness and vocal style. Ricky Warwick, “The Almighty”‘s former singer/guitarist, and fellow Irishman, has taken up frontman position for the very band he idolized throughout the 70’s and 80’s.

Long time Keyboardist, off and on since ’81, Darren Wharton joined again for this tour and bassist Marco Mendoza, who’s held the bottom end for Whitesnake and Ted Nugent in the past joined for his 3rd tour of duty.

Newest addition to the band, the infamous Vivian Cambpbell, most noted for his work with Dio’s solo material on such metal classics as “Holy Diver” and “Rainbow in the Dark”, and a fairly recent addition to the rock n roll giants, Def Leppard. Watching the dual Les Paul work of Campbell and Gorham trade solos is more than worth the price of admission. Adding the 3rd Les Paul into the mix with Warwick’s Custom is just a beautiful sight n sound to behold.

The list of classic tunes they rolled out for us was to be expected. Finally hearing some of my favourite 70’s anthems delivered by a band I considered as some of the mainstays of 70’s classic rock almost brought a tear to my eye.

The giant shoes of Lynott were nicely filled by Warwick. You can’t just REPLACE Phil Lynott. He was that kind of dude. There was only one and will never be another. I thought for sure, Warwick would change some of Lynott’s rap style vocals to fit his white mouth, namely “Boys Are Back in Town” but he hit every nuance perfectly and delivered a casual, unpretentious, street cred riddled persona even a black dude would have to admit was pretty fly for a white guy.

There was a decent turnout at the Sound Academy that night but I thought the place should have been packed. It was far too easy to weasel through the crowd, maybe because us old fuckers are getting too lazy to cause shit anymore or maybe cuz there was a little too much elbow room, I dunno.

I can’t say it enough, but our kids need to see bands like this. To show them how longevity works. To show them what rock n roll is all about. We need to set the example of why rock n roll has been around forever and to keep it alive n well, the kids have to grow into it. Appreciate it. What with them being bombarded by the Justin Beibers and now the pathetic bullshit being shoveled at us through Youtube where anyone with a video camera and a 3 chord ditty can garner 17 million hits overnight with the most moronic drivel any has ever heard, I think our kids are doomed musically.

Bands like Thin Lizzy will straighten those fuckers out. Go Lizzy!!

Mike Forbes
Rebel Reviewer Dot Com