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Bataclan - Paris, France
January 26 2011

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Ricky Warwick and his Belfast Gibson Les Paul Guitar

When John Sykes announced he was leaving Thin Lizzy in 2010, we all thought this was going to be the (second) end of the band.
We were wrong, as Scott Gorham put together a dream line-up to continue the adventure!
Brian Downey and Darren Warthon were back, Vivian Campbell from Def Leppard took the lead guitar role and Ricky Warwick from The Almighty was given the hard task of being the new frontman.

Scott Gorham on guitar with Thin Lizzy

The 2011 incarnation of Thin Lizzy toured Europe in the beginning of 2011 and surprinsingly, they stopped in Paris.

That was a surprise because the last Thin Lizzy concert in Paris was years and years ago… The only time I saw them nearby was in the town of Montreau back in 2007, roughly 100km away from Paris.

Vivian Campbell and Brian Downey - Thin Lizzy live in Paris France

The guys came on stage one by one and Ricky asked the audience the title of the first song: Are You Ready?!!?

The sound was very clean and clear, this was probably the band with the best sound I’ve seen at the Bataclan. As usual on this venue, lights were not that good, but they were also the best lights I’ve seen there!
That’s because Thin Lizzy brought their own lightshow, a big Thin Lizzy logo with lights all over it.

Marco Mendoza on bass with Thin Lizzy

Thin Lizzy setlist was of course made of classics. They played most of their best known tunes, except perhaps The Rocker and Johnny The Fox meets Jimmy The Weed.
Rosalie was introduced as a special song in France.

Darren Warthon on keyboards with Thin Lizzy live in Paris

Worth to note, there were a lot young folks in the audience, who were born after Phil Lynott died. That demonstrates again that Rock’n’Roll is immortal, and it’s for everybody.

Every few songs, Ricky Warwick introduced the members of the band, starting with the originals, and ending with the spirit of Phill Lynott, introduced as the greatest frontman in Rock’n’Roll.

I think Ricky Warwick did a great job tonight. He sang, but also played guitar for most of the show.
He had a beautiful Gibson Les Paul where you could read “Belfast”, like to remind that Ireland might be politically divided, but it remains musically united!

Brian Downey on drums with Thin Lizzy

He played acoustic guitar on Still In Love With You, Whiskey In The Jar, Wild One and The Cowboy Song.
He also sang without a guitar the songs Don’t Believe a Word, Dancing In The Moonlight and The Boys Are Back In Town.

It would be unfair to compare Ricky Warwick with Phil Lynott, just because none can replace Phil Lynott and anyway no one ever tried to replace him! Every post-Lynott Thin Lizzy incarnation has been a tribute to Phill.

Ricky Warwick siging - Thin Lizzy live in Paris

But comparing Warwick to John Sykes can make sense.
Ricky’s voice is powerful and the songs sound great with him, but Sykes’s voice is warmer, or maybe more melodic.

It also felt strange to see a guy full of tattoos and with such a different style and attitude from the other members… some of them were wearing a white shirt!

Vivian Campbell plays guitar... and sometimes drums!

The other new guy was Vivian Campbell, who played most of the solos tonight.
Once I read an interview with Ronnie James Dio where he said that Vivian wasn’t using all his capacities in Def Leppard.
That’s completely true, Vivian is an amazing lead guitarist and I’m glad I could have seen him performing here.

Vivian Campbell and Scott Gorham on guitars with Thin Lizzy live in Paris John Skykes had a more aggressive guitar sound, while Vivian Campbell has a softer touch.
Maybe I preferred Sykes’ sound and rhythm parts because they were heavier, but both are very talented players with different styles.

Scott Gorham is kind of discrete and doesn’t move much on stage. But he’s the one that has kept alive Thin Lizzy’s legacy over the last few years.
He’s a great player and I hope he carries on with Thin Lizzy as long as possible.
Marco Mendoza on bass - Thin Lizzy Live

Marco Mendoza has been playing live with Thin Lizzy for years. I love his style and his attitude on stage, you can feel that he's having fun!

There were some boys back in town after years of absence, Darren Warthon and Brian Downey.

I saw Darren Warthon fronting his band Dare in 2008.
Now he was on the left side behind a keyboard, but I think this was a great and necessary addition to the band.
Darren did a couple of solos and also sang most of Still In Love With You.

Ricky Warwick, the new Thin Lizzy frontman, on acoustic guitar

Brian Downey is a very technical and talented drummer.
He remains calm while he plays, no matter how complicated his parts are.
He did a short and pleasant drum solo during Sha La La, and Ricky told us to scream loud for Brian because the next day was his birthday.

Darren Wharton, Ricky Warwick and Scott Gorham - Thin Lizzy live in Paris

There were a few special guests attending the show, but sadly they didn’t get on stage for a jam.
Among the audience were Ralph Scheppers from Primal Fear and Nicko McBrain from Iron Maiden.
Nicko has always been a Thin Lizzy fan and at the end of the gig he proudly showed me the pair of drumsticks Brian Downey offered him.
After some 30 years of career, most of them spent with the biggest metal band in the world, Nicko is still happy to meet a guy that influenced him.
That’s a respectful attitude!

Well, the year 2011 started with 3 incredible shows: Helloween, Accept and now Thin Lizzy. That’s almost scary! How’s going to be the rest of the year??

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Setlist Thin Lizzy – Bataclan - Paris, France – January 26 2011

01. Are You Ready
02. Waiting For An Alibi
03. Jailbreak
04. Do Anything You Want
05. Don't Believe A Word
06. Dancing in the Moonlight (It's Caught Me in Its Spotlight)
07. Massacre
08. Angel of Death
09. Still In Love With You
10. Whiskey in the Jar
11. Emerald
12. Wild One
13. Sha La La
14. Cowboy Song
15. The Boys Are Back In Town
16. Rosalie
17. Bad Reputation
18. Black Rose

Thin Lizzy Links:

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Thin Lizzy CDs on Amazon.comThin Lizzy Amazon
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Thin Lizzy iTunes downloads

Thin Lizzy Line-up:

Ricky Warwick – Vocals / Guitars
Scott Gorham – Guitars
Vivian Campbell – Guitars
Marco Mendoza – Bass
Darren Wharton – Keyboards
Brian Downey – Drums
Marco Mendoza live with Thin Lizzy in Paris
Vivian Campbell and Brian Downey live with Thin Lizzy
Brian Downey from Thin Lizzy
We're all music fans: Metal Traveller and Nicko McBrain from Iron Maiden with Brian Downey's drumsticks
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