Thursday, 29 June 2017

Twisted Illusion - Insight to the Mind of a Million Faces


Twisted Illusion was unknown to me until Brian Mear announced them to play at December's Mearfest in Hastings. Now he usually digs deep into the NWOBHM past, but called Twisted Illusion a Progmetal band. Reasons enough to go to the internet and find last year's debut album Temple of Artifice on Bandcamp. Blown away would be an understatement after first spin. This band blends lots of styles I love and I guess progmetal it can be called for that. My first and easy description of their debut would be imagine Motley Crue playing progmetal. So as they were pledging their new album I went for the CD bundle debut album/new album and an acoustic bones. It's almost three weeks now and all three albums have been played omnimous times in an attempt to grasp what is going on.

Insight the Mind of a Million Faces is a double album totalling a few seconds less than 100 minutes. CD one holds the shorter songs and  goes all back and fourth blending the unmixable. Why I like this album so much is that there is a large dosis of accessible melodic hardrock (may I call it hair metal?) in the mix as well. I mean Same old story, same old story in opening song Reflections made me think more than a bit of Kix. But this is definitely not a smooth, slick hair metal album. There is also some sleazy rock side to it, which puts us also back to the eighties. Then there is a Neoprog side and defintely some Classic british hard rock as well. When I kept on trying to box them and thought of The Black Symphony as reference I finally got the point. This band should not be compared and squared into similar styles or bands. They have a very own sound and make just Twisted Illusion music. Some general references might be their massive choruses at times, their instrumental domination, or their urging rhythms. They are not extreme(ly) metal and just play heavy rock music with an attitude.  Arriving at CD two matters go more progmetal by time alone. Holding 42 minutes and two songs makes any progfan hopeful. The title track lasts over 28 minues and is the highlight of the album. Holding 8 parts all their best characteristics come back. A special mention for the crazy guitar solo's in Empathy, Content and Save Me. Now there is another plus on this album in the lyrics. Looking at the title one might fear pretentious dictionary lines that make any non-native English reader like me lost in the plot. Well no such nonsense here, actually the lyrics facilitate the shouting along (Life's Big Questions Aren't For You to Answer). After the rollercoaster title track the album closes with 14 minute Bluesy Progmetal ballad Discovery, which holds another catchy chorus for the masses. The bonus EP Acoustic Prog Bollocks is another gem. Interesting to see how Hatred is a Virtue a heavy rocker from their debut stands proud stripped acoustically and Tribute is a funny cover song.

So I am impressed indeed and wonder what this band sounds like on stage. As I am not sure if the weekend of Mearfest shall be feasible for me, I will start working on getting them to Holland. Such a great album deserves a great cover and that is also above average, with the hand of Molly showing the band being good people as well. Did I mention it is worth checking this out if you like some accesible progmetal with an own sound? Official release date 22 September, or pick up a copy at a show of them.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Anubis - IT - Roger Waters

After some weeks of shows towarsd the heavier end of my spectrum herewith some tips for a calm, moody or sunny summer day. So a Progrock special it is:

Anubis: The Second Hand
Anubis are an Australian Prog Rock band. The biggest names in Prog Rock date from the seventies. The eighties brought my favorites in the genre (Marillion and Pendragon). Anubis is possibly the best prog band starting in this century. The Second Hand is their fourth album and they manage to keep a constant high level.  This album is a concept one again telling a story about a media mogul. Well that is fine, but what counts is that the music is again creative, different and very easy recognizable as Anubis. Some lyrics and musical themes return through the album, but the highlights are the long songs. While Rome Burns comes close to ten minutes and Pages of Stone reaches almost seventeen minutes. Two years ago Anubis made a short European tour. Their stop at de Boerderij was legendary as they played in the cafe stage and did so for full two hours. During that show it became clear that first the epics are best for having the time to build up and display long guitar solo's and second (hand) they fully deserve our sympathy. I have no favorite amongst their four albums and I also do not know if they attract any new fans here. Yet we hope they come back to de Boerderij and make it to the main hall. Maybe a brilliant band for Progdreams festival. Releasing this album they had some pre-order packages that looked good. Unfortunately US and Australian mail tarrifs make it nowadays very unattractive to buy anything directly from the band.

IT: We're All in this Together
IT is a band I heard of in the past, but disappeared from my radar. They once played a festival I was looking at attending (but did not). Now they release this new album and I think they have a potential breakthrough album. Peter if you are reading along, this is again one of those tips of mine that should attract both Prog Rock fans and fans of more indie/alternative rock or even hard rock in this case. The music is upbeat and rocking. Not showing off their skills it is all aout the songs. Most of them rocking and clocking around five minutes with one epic. Putting some references here they remind me of Dream The Electric Sleap for their crossover of prog rock and alternativeness and their Neo-Prog does bring the last album of Final Conflict to mind. This band should go down well on a summer festival that goes from guitar rock to metal (let's call it Schollenpop to make things easy) I guess that they are not annoying anyone and might win over many fans on such a day amongst general music lovers. This one is a huge surprise for me and definitely recommended to well music lovers.

Roger Waters: Is This the Life  We Really Want?
The Reason I bought this album is more basic than one might suspect. In The Hague the best CD shops closed down and basically not even a general store with a good metal or prog department is left. So I do not go to the centre buying CD's anymore. Friday 2 July I was meeting a friend in the city for a drink and on my way back home passed the small Velvet store in Paagman. So I could buy an actual CD from an old hero in the city, an offer I could not refuse. Roger Waters is an old hero indeed, but he is still angry and disappointed in the world. This whole album is full of cynical and critical comments and the best of him are his lyrics. Singing is more telling us and the music goes by calmly in general. Result is that if playing on the background no songs stays in your head really. It basically is a repetition of his past. So you hear Radio KAOS, Amused to Death and The Final Cut passing by with new lyrics. While the above reviewed albums can be called essential for prog lovers this one is not. For completists like me it is not a bad album either, so not a risky purchase really. I believe currently he is touring the USA, criticizing Trump during his live shows. I hope he comes to Europe next year and gives Erdogan and Putin a similar treatment here. The world is mad and we are closed in by idiots dictating our neighbours. Somehow I think that blaming Trump only is his easier way out.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Exhumed - Paard Den Haag 18 June 2017

Het Paard is puting on some metal shows again after hardly any over the past years. This means that we have to go even if not knowing the bands. I checked out Exhumed on the net and found them to be at least interesting. So while outside the birds were suffering from the heat het Paard offered good airconditioned metal on a late afternoon. Being sunny meant I missed Warborn Waste, but they play often. Procreation was on stage when I arrived. This turned out to be a band blending calmer parts with their Death metal and by doing so managed to keep our interest throughout. Next on where Rectal Smegma (what's in a name?) If Rene asks me I wonder what you make of that in your review, it is a sign they play out of my comfort zone. So I could make little of it indeed. Brutal, very brutal grindcore. A vocalist in reflecting yellow shorts only, short and furious songs. Not a word to be understood and energy. Yes lots of energy on the stage bouncing back in the hall and mainly the younger visitors seemd to love it. Interesting and different it was, for me not to be played at home though.

Exhumed are American and ended their European tour in The Hague.  Luckily at the begin of the evening some people had arrived as this was a clear headliner again. This Death Metal was improved by great guitar work with lots of solo's. While this band is still pretty heavy their great musicianship made it all the more accesible. Some months ago Blood Incantation blew me away live and this band reminded me of that a bit. And then when halfway the set a masked man with a chainsaw comes on stage and dives into the audience starting a circle pit the term friendly violent fun popped up again. Exhumed proved again that you do not need to know a band at all in order to have a great evening when a good show is presented. As later on even Chezy flew by in the circle pit I guess I was not the only one impressed with this band. So with the alternatives being the beach or a BBQ it turned out that a Dark and cold Horse was the right choice. Coming home early I could even have an outside beer to close the day and a metal weekend.


Sunday, 18 June 2017

Psychotic Waltz & Poverty's No Crime - Fluor Amersfoort 17 June 2017

Psychotic Waltz back in The Netherlands for a full headline  show after almost twenty years. Before giving my review of the evening, let me set the fanboy ballpark here. A Social Grace has been the best progmetal debut album ever released. That LP became album of the month in Aardschok and also gave Psychotic Waltz the opening slot of Dynamo Open Air 1991. I remember (!) very well how they begged to play more after their short set, but this was not going to happen. Hans and I loved A Social Grace and when we saw a few songs live we knew this was metal history in the making. Shortly hereafter they played the old Scum in Katwijk. At the time the most famous metal club in Holland after Dynamo. While having only one album they played very long that night and it was just amazing. Summer holidays that year were my last interrailing one. On my way to Spain I decided to a two-day-detour via a hard rock club near Heidelberg to undergo this once again. In those pre mobile phone days you would just disappear from the map for a month, but Hans was pleased to receive a postcard signed by the band. From that year on we knew they were the best touring live band in the nineties. Every new album made them come back for two tours in Europe and we would be there. Next to that they gave us The Strange Mind of Buddy Lackey and Dan Rock released with Dark Star one of the most interesting instrumental albums ever to grace the earth. In 1996 they released Bleeding their last album. Moving early 97 to Brazil one of the lows was that I missed the Bleeding tour. Then it all imploded and Psychotic Waltz were no more. Coming back from Brazil in 2000 soon Devon Graves started Dead Soul Tribe. I remember calling P60 asking if they still had tickets left on the day of the show. My question was answered by a laugh and some 50 people showed up. It was time to start from scratch. When DST ended we suddenly saw Psychotic Waltz on a Power of Metal tour with Nevermore and Symphony X. This teaser tasted like more, but their 40 minute slot was just too short for old fans. And now they are back for a full headline show. Many ProgPower faces in the crowd and luckily a good turnout of people. My ProgPower companions are this weekend at Graspop and therefore Hans could tell me already they were the best band of the Friday in Belgium. Only more to look out to it was.

Fluor in Amersfoort it was and a new venue and city to me. Arriving some twenty minutes early gave me just enough time to see what a nice centre Amersfoort has. Inside it turned out Fluor is bigger than I expected, with some concrete making it look half finished, but holding a large stage. The by now old fan bloke in me dressed up in style with one nineties Tee of the band. Turned out that at least half the audience were old fan blokes and lasses in Psychotic Waltz outfit. To Poverty's No Crime the ungrateful task to warm us up. Not that they are a bad band, they just could not overcome the atmosphere of nervous anticipation hanging in the hall. Musically well, a little too light and rather anonymous their set flew by. Even Pieter made it to Fluor by now, so pick our place and let loose the Sleeping Dogs.

Well that was not the opener as Dancing in the Ashes was. Faded to follow and we could be at ease. Psychotic Waltz were the best live band in the nineties and when they release their long awaited new album in a few years, they shall probably be the best live band of the twenties as well. The full set was a mix of nostalgia, banging and just plain awesomeness. This band holds all the ingredients needed for a spectacle of progmetal. I would say to all bands who are not at ease on stage to go and see them and watch and learn. Ward is the base on bass and Norm more than once led us into the next song with pounding drums. The twin and solo guitar parts by Dan and Brian do not stop to amaze us and Devon is a frontan in the true sense of the word. Walking the edge of the stage with his mimic, powerfull expressions and great voice. Most of the time we just rocked on no time was wasted on small talk. This as if it was a short festival set, while in reality we returned to a 100 minute plus gig. With all members in top form the songs of course made the show. All four of their albums are Classic progmetal albums, but A Social Grace being the first just a bit more. That album was most present in the set therefore. And yes was it great to see songs like Halo of Thorns, ..And the Devil Cried, Another Prophet Song or I Remember live on stage again. Devon was right stating I would not expect A Psychotic Waltz. I do not recall seeing that dark ballad being played live a lot.  A ballad indeed and this next to fast thrashing parts and uptempo metal makes this band so good. If you than add up the lyrical poetry there is nothing (!) that sets us back. Talking poetry, shouting along How Morbid was a highlight of the evening as well. Actually the whole evening was brilliant and I was catapulted back into the nineties with a smile on my face. And not just me it was. Looking around many were singing, shouting along and old school PW tees were all around. I do hope they find their rhythm back and return yearly for one night not so calm through The Netherlands. The advantage of four classic albums is that they can chnage the set next time maintaining the quality way up. My requests on that respect for next tour are one per album: Spiral Tower, Tiny Streams, Lovestone Blind and My Grave. If this is not possible, than just return and I'll be happy.

And then it was over and soon the band could wonder where are all the people now, where is all the screaming crowd? Because screaming we did also when it was over. The lights went on, the music started playing and some hundred at least just did not want this to be over and for minutes tried to shout over the music asking,begging for more. This did not happen and right so, leave us hungry for more. I can't make it next Saturday to Essen, but those with an option to see them his week, please do go. Closing with a comment from Jonathan: The problem is that it is now mid June and we all know we saw the best gig of the year already. Possibly true I have hopes on many more good coming our way. My second favorite touring band from the nineties The Riverdogs are releasing a new album in two weeks with Vivian Campbell back on guitars. Life is great. 

Thursday, 15 June 2017

The Dead Daisies & Order of the Emperor - de Boerderij Zoetermeer, 14 June 2017

The Dead Daisies coming to a town nearby is a good reason for a night out. They play Classic hard rock and members been all over the place with great names like Whitesnake, Lizzy, Dio, Crue, Ozzy to name just not the least few. On their way to Graspop in Belgium they stopped at de boerderij. As 12 friends of mine are going to Graspop this long weekend, I ended up going alone to Zoetermeer. Openers were Order of the Emperor. This band plays in the same style and knows how to play. When comparing with the headliner it was clear where the difference was, a certain mr Doug Aldrich. OotE also have solo's in their songs, but never as loud, fast and spicy as The Dead Daisies. The band won some competitions, so let us see where they end up.

The Dead Daisies on stage is a colorful experience, the shirts, hair, guitars and lightshow make this a stage to watch. Bassist Marco Mendoza played the home gig as he has been here many times before and spoke the basic dutch words as a result. I have only their Revolucion album and Mexico came by early in the set. The opening actually was very strong. The experience of the band was clear to see and while some of them might be rockstars the presentation was extremely sympathetic.  Actually they mentioned this as well, we're not stars but just like you fans of this Classic Rock. That was also the reason I had some doubts further on in the set. The number of covers of Classic Rock songs was that big at the end, that it looked like a cover band on stage at times. OK obviously they play above average but for me Rockin' In The Free World, Helter Skelter, We're an American Band could have been switched for own songs. One cover that was a blast was Midnight Moses. It also is on their Revolucion album and I did not even know it was a cover (Alex Harvey). This evening for me was also the first night I saw John Corabi sing live. What a stage animal and while very American in the talks also great in getting the mood going. Highlight was his continuous mistake of thinking he was in Rotterdam. When they first stated spending a few days in the city and loving it eyebrows raised. Zoetermeer is for living or working, but definitely not for tourists. Later he asked if he could tell his friends in the USA that Rotterdam were his frends. This until someone took a box and wrote in big letters This is not Rotterdam!. The box ended on stage and John was happy he was at least right being in Holland. Another humoreus intermezzo for beer drinkers was with Doug. Asked what he liked in Holland it was the beer. So he got from the crew a sponsor beer Bavaria. I saw the WTF look in his eyes when he took a sip. Explaining to foreigneres here. If in Holland you want cheap beer with a hangover guerantee you take supermarket brand beer. If you want a tiny bit better you take Bavaria. Then there is a huge gap to the normal beers. Putting it differently: If a friend asks you over for a beer and he offers you a Bavaria at home he stops being your friend there and then. At least Solitary are enjoying their Hertog Jan now at the Mill. But returning to the show, we got almost two hours of high class Classic Hard Rock with some brilliant performances. Anyone going home without a plectrum (me) was a minority and the first 100 visitors were invited for a meet and greet. Majority of shows I attend don't make 100 people and the band walks around freely, so nothing special there. With Aerosmith, Purple and the likes saying goodbye there might be a gap to fill for The Dead Daisies. Tonight already resulted in a fulll Boerderij, so maybe next time a larger venue is needed. Many covers it might have been, but Highway Star kicked ass in the encore.


Monday, 12 June 2017

Solitary & Infantry - Musicon The Hague, 10 June 2017

Solitary playing Musicon organized by THHMA was announced long ago. As things go, with time other shows were put around this or at the same date. At one point in time I also considered going to the Raven/Hirax package in nearby Baroeg the same evening. Yet my decision where to go was based upon some simple principles being: In case of doubt always support your local show as you want more of those; Bands you never saw go over bands that stop over more often and I saw recently; Internet search proved to me that Solitary sounded very good indeed. So when bumping into Arian and speaking about this gig later on I even learned there was a possiblity to re-open my HM B&B for the night. Knowing all this I even ordered the last album together with their book (!) I Promise to Thrash Forever. So I knew what I was in for.

Arriving June 10 it's a lovely summer Saturday The Hague was recovering from a rather overwhelming I Am Morbid show and Solitary arrived from a succesful gig at Backstage in Nijmegen. At Musicon the guys from Infantry arrived together and preparations could start. A very good looking merch table, great banners at the stage, A free CD for visitors, so let the crowds come in. I short-cut here a bit and mention only the word disappointing. This did not stop Infantry from giving us a very tight set again. I saw these guys before opening for Anihilated and learned that this was a reason they were asked to open tonight as well. Their Death/Thrash metal fitted well with Solitary and in this genre they must be one of the better bands around in Holland. What gives a nice break is the intersong chat being rather dry humored and calm, followed by the next heavy assault to the body and ears with a grunt to match it. I guess they shalll be back more often, hopefully on a busier day.

A nice moody opening track announced the start of Solitary. I did get a look at the setlist afterwards, but noticed they did not follow that fully, so I have to talk from memories here. I believe they opened with Trigger Point Atrocity. I could not hear anything from the so-called throat issues of Rich and one could see that this band is around for a long time. We got one fast thrasher after the other fired at us. With most songs being fast one song that did not make it in the end to the set was my favorite of the album Anthem of Regret, a heavy grooving monster. With this being their first tour abroad Solitary included some covers in the set as well. Earlier on we got Into The Pit a song also recorded on their Requiem album. In the encore they shortly returned to the time they played some big four sets in the UK. So we got songs from Megadeth, Slayer and Metallica. For those in doubt on their talent, these covers showed what an amazing good band they are. All four nailing it completely and even Rich covering a range from Peace Sells... to Damage Inc seemingly effortless. In the end the conclusion could only be that those who were present got blown away by a great metal band. Solitary proved to me again that nowadays it is much more interesting to follow some underground thrash metal bands, than remaining focussed on the big four. I am sure this was the start of something growing bigger as word of mouth should in the end result in more and bigger. What I could read so far, those in Nijmegen also were more than a bit impressed, so we hope for a return to Holland. Hosting the guys I got to see the other side of touring as well, filling up the trailer after the house is empty, needing a late drink to relax and driving on the right side of the road. The Sunday was calm and relaxed and I could through a small city tour maybe convince them that The Hague is worth returning to. Thanks to THHMA and Musicon for the evening and most of all to Rich, Andy, Roy and Pete for an interesting weekend.


Saturday, 10 June 2017

I Am Morbid, Necrophagia, De Profundis, Helsott, The Heretic Order - Paard Den Haag, 9 June 2017

I Am Morbid plays music from Morbid Angel having two ex members of that band. They are completed by two guitarists with a background in Heavy Metal bands like Metal Church, Lizzy Borden, Circle II Circle. Adding that this was one of the few metal evenings in het Paard and no excuse to stay home really. The line-up was filled with no less than four supports so of for an early start. For that I missed most of openers The Heretic Order and saw one song only. Horror metal it seemed and what struck was the drummer in a bloody apron. Next band was Helsott from Southern California as they kept reminding us.  Their music had lots of folk in it and reminded me of Finntrol. Somewhat disturbing many instruments came from tape and sounded louder than the guitars. For me this took the interest away really and the bar was tempting.

The third band was possibly the best of the evening to me. De Profundis played a more technical version of Death Metal and did so very well. A bassist coming on stage with 6 strings already made me hope for some string wizzardness and there was plenty of that. Also the songs were strong and when they ended  with two from their last album Kingdom of the Blind they managed to convince me to get that album. Funniest comment of the evening came when the vocalist called Paard the best venue in Europe and us a great audience. This at a time when a rather empty hall seemed to stand still for the mannequin competition and all present probably prefer Musicon, Baroeg and Nobel over het Paard. Following this high was up to first headliners Necrophagist. Their horror death metal not only sounded good, it was brought with some good humor as well. The female head with twisting tongue or the leg for a cannibal act were both hilarious. All this over some good music made this the second  great show of the evening. Also some more people had arrived by now.

When I Am Morbid started one could see this is a great band at work. Sheer professionalism coming from the stage and a light show to match it. So I am not only not morbid, neither am I the biggest fan of Morbid Angel. I saw them once at Dynamo 1991 I believe and at that time I still thought that all metal vocalists should sound like Dio or Geoff Tate. Later on I appreciated grunts and now I could see this is a great band. Actually the music was not that brutal as the guitars gave it a clear Heavy Metal touch as well. The show went down well with the audience and now the question is if het Paard shall put more metal on the agenda. Next week there is a new chance with Exhumed. Those who stay home can later on not complain about the lack of metal in Troje.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Kaderock - Musicon The Hague 3 June 2017

Waking up on Saturday it was pissing down and I thought my Kaderock would be reduced to a visit to Musicon in the evening for Neoceasar and The Howl Ensemble. But it turned out that the weather gods like Kaderock as well and the sun broke through in the afternoon for a beautiful day. So I arrived  at the festival when Gerorge Baker hit the stage. I do no recall ever seeing so many people on the square and streets during Kaderock. So in spite of doubts in advance this was a success. Next band on the main stage outside would be Fleddy Melculy. This Belgium band plays hardcore/metal and links dutch lyrics with some heavy short songs. I knew them only from YouTube, but could easily sing along with their songs like Brood, Geen vlees wel vis or their closing hit T-shirt van Metallica. This last one is recommended to search for by those who read dutch. Let's face it we all raise our eyebrows when hollywood stars or people who shop at H&M or Primark suddenly wear T-shirts of bands they do not know. This band was the perfect band for creating an atmosphere and play a general rock festival. Not that I need to get their album for playing at home, but a great live band.

What followed was beers in the sun, some decent Irish music from a Dutch band and at 20:00 hours Neoceasar to metal up the festival. This band of former Sinister members gave us a good banging up wth their Death Metal.  Last year I saw them in Baroeg and again they were tight, fast and heavy. Good band. The Howl Ensemble followed them up, but I thought their instrumental music a bit slow after the Neoceasar blast. Even a brass section joined them at some songs, but I was through. Helped by the weather this was again one great edition of Kaderock, probably the best summer festival in The Hague area (if Schollenpop does not put up a metal stage that is).

Friday, 2 June 2017

Black Star Riders & Tricklebolt - Gebr. de Nobel Leiden, 1 June 2017

It is June and Holland has no major metal festival. That is sad and good news at the same time. Many bands playing festivals in Belgium and Germany stop over for a show in Holland, meaning a longer set and full show. Black Star Riders is one of them, later this month to be seen at Rock Hard and Graspop. Tonight it was Leiden though on route to Germany. I can't make it to these festivals and enjoy the shows nearby. There is a flipside a well to this. Those who go and see them at a festival might not be inclined to spend their money on a clubshow. So a rather empty Nobel was the result.
Black Star Riders is the follow-up of Thin Lizzy. With only Scott Gorham as original member, they rightfully decided to change their name when releasing new music. Three CD's down the line they are currently touring Heavy Fire. First we had Dutch openers Tricklebolt. I never heard of them before, but it turned out they played Classic Rock and did so well. Good sound, playing and voice, yet I missed something. Wen they came to semi-ballad When (I think?) it became clear to me. When they moved to a break, the song was screaming for a crying guitar solo and the Hammond once again took over. Turned out that there basically were two rhythm guitarists at work and I think that if they spice their songs up with some guitar wizzardry they become much better. Now the heroes of the band were sitting at the back behind Hammond and Drums. Keep an eye on them though with their Purple-ish sound.

Black Star Riders came on after the break and opened with All Hell Breaks Loose and Heavy Fire. A few things stood out immediately. Even at a half full house, they gave it all; Those coming for a Thin Lizzy set went to the wrong place and Ricky Warwick has a great voice with some Lynott alike soul in it. Starting with the last first this came as a surprise to me. OK on CD he was good, but years ago we were not his biggest fans. In the late eighties he sang with The Almighty and we got the impression their music was plugged as he was dating a blond girl from TV (either Amanda Reddington from Sky or the blonde bimboo from MTV Headbanger's Ball) I even saw them at Monsters of Rock Donnington and wondered how that band got that exposure. Well that is long gone now as his presentation was sympathetic, his voice very Lizzy and his ego not the least annoying. While I mentioned Ricky and Scott the secret leader of the band turned out to be Damon Johnson. He played the majority of the solo's, kicked off some songs with the riffs and told us through his guitar in the end that there was no Whiskey in the Jar. That was the only Lizzy cover next to the alltime classic The Boys are Back in Town. And yes these were two highs of the evening, but not that outstanding that there own work seemed flat. Actually they followed ther biggest hit smartly by fast rocker Who Rides the Tiger and  atmospheres stayed up. Ok the audience never really go loud or wild, but it seemed to me all were enjoying the show more than a bit. I do agree that they play own songs, with three abums to choose from. Maybe if they release no new album, they can one day consider a Thin Lizzy set. For now I might see if I go get their second album The Killer Instinct as well. It is their only one I donot have and it turned out that the title track and Soldiertown were among the best songs of the night. This was one evening of classic hard rock played as if it was 1979. Strong recommendation for those who go to Graspop to not miss them. And if the drum solo stays in the set, there is always a bar or toilet you need to visit.