Last in Line breezed back into Belfast on Friday night (29th November 2019), playing to a packed crowd and ‘blessing’ the audience with their hard rock anthems, killer hooks, and arresting stage presence. Featuring local boy and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Vivian Campbell on guitars, the four-piece ripped through a set packed with Dio classics and original material worthy to stand up and shot alongside them.
The band’s fourth appearance in Northern Ireland following their 2017 Mandella Hall show which saw Campbell crowned the ‘Oh Yeah Legend’ as part of the Northern Ireland Music Prize awards, the show was also their biggest, with the club-sized venue packed to bursting.
Kicking off with the heavy-as-rock ‘Landslide’, and following up with iconic ‘Holy Diver’ opener ‘Stand Up and Shout’, the band wasted no time in asserting their credentials, melding the new with the old and very much proving a musical force to be reckoned with.
“Good evening Belfast, what's the craic?”, declared singer Andrew Freeman, greeting the crowd with a well-used local phrase; “That was right, right? I said that right? It's hard to believe I'm not legal... but HE is!”, he continued, pointing to the guitarist stage left.
Going on to talk about their adopted homeland, Andrew continued; “This is like our second home, it really is. Everyone here is so cool, and were so comfortable”.
Going on to rip through ‘Holy Diver’, and the equally punishing ‘Black Out The Sun’, the band’s sheer ferocity was only broken by drummer Vinnie Appice, who took time out to comically consecrate the crowd telling them; “I'm going to bless you guys; In the name of the father, and of the son, and of the holy diver!”
With everyone getting their chance to speak, bassist Phil Soussan stepped up centre stage to say; “It's so nice to be here. It is our home away from home, so thank you very much for making us welcome”, before going on to remember late bassist and original band member Jimmy Bain. “It's my privilege to pay tribute to a dear friend of mine, and of theirs”, he said, before the band launched into an explosive ‘Starmaker’, dedicated to the Scottish musician.
All the while, understated and focusing solely on his instrument – famously, his Gibson Les Paul Serial #72987537 – Vivian peeled off the riffs, licks and solos to the songs the inspired, and continue to inspire a generation. With Campbell getting a chance to exercise “a different muscle” to that which he uses with Def Leppard, it’s clear that Viv is one of the finest guitarists this country has ever produced, along with his heroes Gallagher and Moore.
Wrapping up the evening with ‘Don’t Talk to Strangers’, which brought the house down, and the anthemic ‘We Rock’, the band signed off, with Freeman saying; “We love coming here. We did our first real show right here. You keep coming out and it's very much appreciated.”
Last in Line continue their European winter run in Aschaffenburg, Germany on 9th December. For a full list of dates, visit LastinLineOfficial.com.
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