British heavy metal legends Saxon have been back on the road supporting their new album, “Thunderbolt”. The tour started in London and has now made it’s way over to North America. On the North American leg of their tour the band has teamed up with fellow NWOBHM legends Judas Priest and Black Star Riders. Black Star Riders is the full time band that consists of the remaining members of Thin Lizzy. What a tour package! This beast rolled though our area a few nights ago and what a night it was to be a metal fan. From the opening note to the final Judas Priest song, this tour had something for every fan in the house.
There was a big buzz in the Budweiser Events Center after Black Star Riders left the stage. Saxon has been back to the U.S. multiple times in the last few years but here in Northern Colorado, we were ready for our turn. When Saxon finished the opening song, “Thunderbolt”, the title track off the new album, the crowd went crazy. The reaction from this new song played by the non-headliner was above and beyond, proving that our area needed Saxon back.
The first 5 songs alternated from the new album to old classics. In just two songs the band spanned almost forty years of material. The reaction and love from the crowd was intense, no matter if they heard “Wheels of Steel” or “The Secret of Flight”. Lead singer Biff Byford has in no way, shape or form slipped on his game at all. Here is a man that is nearing the age of 70 and can still hit all of the notes. I even ran it by a friend who has caught them live several times, starting in the early eighties, and he confirmed that he hasn’t lost a single step. The same can be said for the whole band. Saxon boasts a great showman and excellent musicians. Drummer Nigel Glockler is just as potent as ever in his live set. As metal bands move on in years it can be especially tough for the drummer to keep up since it’s such a physical job. Nigel never got that memo, I guess.
The fans in Loveland, CO did get to hear “They Played Rock and Roll” which is, as you might have guessed, an homage to Motörhead. Saxon did their first tour with the guys back in ’79 and felt compelled to write them a song on the new album. This was a fan-favorite of the new songs that night. It’s great to see legends honoring legends. Saxon shows no sign of slowing down. If you are an old school Saxon fan we say this: the riff for “Wheels of Steel” is just as strong live in 2018 as it was in 1980. If you are late to the Saxon brotherhood, grab a copy of the newest release, “Thunderbolt”, and work your way back. Either way, look at the dates below and make sure you get to the show before this tour wraps up. Metal fans young and old will appreciate this band and this tour package.
4-17-18 in Portland, OR at Veterans Memorial Coliseum
4-18-18 in Berkeley, CA at Cornerstone ***
4-19-18 in San Francisco, CA at The Warfield
4-20-18 in Anaheim, CA at The Grove ***
4-21-18 in Las Vegas, NV at Las Rageous 2018
4-22-18 in Los Angeles, CA at Microsoft Theater
4-24-18 in Phoenix, AZ at Comerica Theater
4-26-18 in Tulsa, OK at Bok Center
4-28-18 in Dallas, TX at Bomb Factory
4-29-18 in Sugar Land,TX at Smart Financial Center
5-01-18 in San Antonio, TX at Freeman Coliseum