Last In Line / Inglorious / The Wild Lies - The Corporation, Sheffield (UK) - 2 December 2016
I had a dilemma this evening: travel the short distance up to Leeds to see Alter Bridge and Volbeat or go to the HRH-NWOBHM festival in Sheffield or down to The Corporation, also in Sheffield, to see the co-headlining tour featuring Inglorious and Last In Line... and "they" say Rock is dead...
The Wild Lies were already on stage when I arrived at The Corporation to a fourth area, one that I had not previously been to. The Brighton-based band went down well with the large assembled crowd that continued to grow throughout the evening. Although not familiar when any of their material, The Wild Lies had a good sound of punchy Hard Rock which was ideally suited to the co-headlining bands.
Inglorious really have grown as a band, in particular singer Nathan James who seems a lot more confident and relaxed at front and centre of the stage. The whole band were exuberant and their infectious Rock 'n' Roll transmitted itself effortlessly to the audience. The sound was one of the best that I have heard at The Corporation, even the drums sounded good. They opened their set with the first two tracks from their debut album, 'Until I Die' and the raucous 'Breakaway'.
Inglorious always include a couple of covers in their live set, the first of the evening by one of the greatest bands of all time... Rainbow's 'I Surrender'. 'High Flying Gypsy' showed Inglorious to be the natural successors to Bad Company. The second cover was the Whitesnake classic 'Fool For Your Loving'; I bet Coverdale's wishes he could still reach those high notes that seemed to be effortless for James. The new song from their forthcoming sophomore album also had a Whitesnake vibe and bodes well.
The band had just returned from a successful tour with Steel Panther although, by their own admission, they could not remember too much about it! The song 'Warning' (about sex, drugs and Rock 'n' Roll') was played in dedication. 'Holy Water', a track that received heavy rotation on Planet Rock earlier in the year, highlighted how many of Inglorious' songs are so much better in the live arena. It just left 'Unaware' (the first song written by James, Mitchell and Parkinson) to bring the set to a triumphant conclusion.
The first thing that immediately hit home as Last In Line hit the stage was how fit and healthy Vivian Campbell was looking; a great beaming smile rarely left his face the whole time he was on stage. 'Stand Up & Shout' got the crowd up and going from the get-go, not that they required much persuading. 'Straight Through The Heart' illustrated what a fine voice Andrew Freeman possesses, of course no-one will ever replace the legend that was Ronnie James Dio, but Freeman did a fine job in representing the Dio standards.
Arguably, the highlight of the whole evening was the pairing of the Dio classics 'Don't Talk To Strangers' and 'Holy Diver'; the latter of which the audience took over the lead vocals – chill down the spine moment. How do you follow that? Well, quite cleverly, with the fast and furious 'Martyr'.
'Last In Line' provided another platform for Campbell to shred away. A brief drum solo by Vinny Appice (who I last saw live ten years ago in Sheffield with Heaven & Hell) paved the way for my all-time favourite Dio (solo) song 'Rainbow In The Dark'; the only disappointment was that Erik Norlander's keyboards were so low in the mix they were barely audible.
The band left the stage to thunderous applause and returned shortly thereafter for a three song encore. The first, 'Starmaker', was dedicated by bassist Phil Soussan to his friend and original Dio/Last In Line bassist Jimmy Bain who, like so many great musicians, passed away earlier this year. Another track from the excellent debut album (you could imagine the little man singing these songs) preceded 'We Rock' and that we certainly did.
Personally, I think I chose the right show to attend and another that keeps on confirming that Rock ain't dead!