JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

May 2, 2014
Queen City Music Hall
Fort Worth, TX USA
Review by Andy Laudano
Photos by Andy Laudano

Black Star Riders

The Riders Have Come!

Following the death of founder Phil Lynott in 1986, fans throughout the world thought they'd seen the end of Thin Lizzy. But in 1996 Thin Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham brought the music back to the fans with a new lineup. The band would go through a few lineup changes before stabilizing in 2011 with singer/guitarist Ricky Warwick (The Almighty), guitarist Damon Johnson (Brother Cane, Alice Cooper) and bassist Marco Mendoza (Whitesnake, Ted Nugent). They had such great chemistry while playing that it wasn't long before the band started to feel the urge to create new music together.

Out of respect for Phil Lynott and the legacy he created, the new material would be recorded under the name Black Star Riders. Their debut album, All Hell Breaks Loose, is a masterpiece. The songs all have that classic Lizzy sound.

Black Star Riders kicked off their first ever U.S. tour in Texas. Their second stop was in Fort Worth at the Queen City Music Hall. The band opened with the title track from their new album, "All Hell Breaks Loose." Immediately you could see just how much fun they were having playing together. Damon Johnson especially seemed to be having the time of his life. The set was a nice mix of nearly the entire BSR debut and Thin Lizzy classics.

Irishman Ricky Warwick is a fantastic frontman and he sounds a lot like his countryman Phil Lynott. He sounded right at home whether singing BSR's "Before The War," "Kingdom of the Lost" and "Hey Judas" or Lizzy classics "Jailbreak" and "Don't Believe A Word." Guitarist Scott Gorham hasn't lost a step and really made a great team with Johnson. The rhythm section of charismatic bassist Marco Mendoza and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso (Y&T, Alice Cooper, Megadeth) were also rock solid. The whole band was tight and had an energy that other band's only wish they had.

Best of all, the new material including "Valley of the Stones" and "Bound For Glory" not only didn't seem out of place mixed in with the big Thin Lizzy hits, they sounded every bit as good! Black Star Riders is much more than a tribute to Thin Lizzy, this is a band with a bright future ahead! But don't worry Lizzy fans, everyone went home happy after the show ended with "Cowboy Song," "The Boys Are Back In Town," "Whiskey In the Jar" and "Rosalie." This was easily one of the year's best concerts!