First up on the bill was London Rockers the Wild Lies, formed of Dylan Smith on Bass, Luke Wilson on Drums, Matt Polley on Vocals, Andre Ruffell on Guitar and Zak Muller on the Lead Guitar.
These guys have been on the rock map for a few years having toured with the likes of Gun, Nekrogoblin, The Dead Daisies and a spot at the world famous Download Festival. Following the release of several singles such as Cant Carry on, The Animal, Asteroid Central and Jacks Out The Box, a tour with such rich rock music was bound to be calling for them and the winter tour with Inglorious and Last In Line was another great achievement for the upcoming rock band.
While the Wild Lies was the first band to be on the bill for the night, the Bristol Bierkeller was pretty much well filled for the opening band, which can be very rare. It was pretty much apparent that the many fans that had turned up early, was indeed to support the Wild Lies. Throughout their set they provide all the rock goods, the catchy riffs, fist pumping tunes and great fan interaction. All the members of Wild Lies soaked up the energy from the well received Bristol crowd, from all the moments that Matt Polley encourage the crowd for input during their set.
If you have the opportunity to see Wild Lies at a local venue or if they are on the bill for a festival, don’t hesitate, from the time the band hit the stage to the moment they give a farewell bow, you will know that it won’t be the last time you will see or hear them.
After a short break and a gear change, another relative new band was up, Inglorious. Having not long released their self titled debut album Inglorious, the band needed no further introduction. Since the formation of Inglorious in 2014 the band have gone from strength to strength, having released songs here and there.
With the songs being well received, it was not long till they was played and supported heavily by Planet Rock Radio, the band was able to reach a far bigger audience. With the eager fans in attendance Inglorious hit the stage, led by Nathan James on Vocals, Andreas Eriksson on Lead Guitar, Wil Taylor on Guitar, Colin Parkinson on Bassist and Phil Beaver on the Drums.
With the opening intro song for their set Wont Get Fooled Again made famous by the Who, the band continued to jam out the song to wet the rock appetite for the Bristol fans. This was not to be the only old school rock hits the band would play, they included into their set, two really top notched covers of I Surrender by Rainbow and Fool for Your Loving by Whitesnake. Inglorious played some of their recent material and some of their old hits such as Holy Water, Girl Got Gun, Warning, Until I Die and High Flying Gypsy which was very nicely followed by a very top notch bass and drum solo. Throughout the set each band member took their place, centre stage to show that even being a relative new band that they are very talented musicians. From Nathan’s rock and soul vocals, to Andreas and Wil guitar skill, Colins and Phil deep sounding bass thuds proved that these guys are on the verge of hitting the big time. The band closed their set to the song Unaware and with a bow the band called it a night and left the stage, to a huge applause.
After Inglorious finished their top notch set, the road crew was on the stage getting the stage ready for the legendary musicians of Last In Line.
As the lights partially dimmed, each of the band members of Last In Line took to the stage; Vivian Campbell (Guitars), Vinny Appice (Drums), Phil Soussan (Bass), Andrew Freeman (Vocals) and Erik Norlander (Keyboardist).
While I was very surprised by the Wild Lies and fellow co-headliners Inglorious, the excitement and anticipation that I had for the guys in Last in Line was second to none. I have always been a massive fan of Vivian Campbell from his time playing with Thin Lizzy to Whitesnake to Dio then Def Leppard the list goes on, being able to see Vivian take centre stage during the set and being unleashed on the guitar and showing off his guitar solo’s was most defiantly a highlight of the night and my gigging life.
Watching the mighty Vinny Appice hit the drums with his unique style of play was absolutely a joy, having seen Vinny play before with Heaven and Hell and his various recorded studio albums, it was a dream come true to see him again live and a highlight of the night was when the fans in attendance started a Vinny chant to which he soaked up with a impromt drum beat and the band members having a little jazz jam.
While alot of people will claim that Last In Line is a tribute band and even when it was first announced that they was forming and playing the songs from Dio albums that Vivian and Vinny was apart of, I was in the same mind, but after releasing a debut album with new material keeping the DNA of the previous albums that Vivian and Vinny worked together on, it certainly proves that this is not a tribute but a continuation of the musically talent of both of them and the other band members.
As stated moments ago Last In Line perform several tracks from the Dio albums Holy Diver and Last In Line, songs which made it into the setlist was Stand up and Shot, Don’t Talk to Strangers, Rainbow in The Dark, Holy Diver and We Rock. As the band debut a new record of new material, they included songs Devil In Me and Already Dead into the setlist, which as the old ones was greatly received as much as the old stuff.
With the opening song Stand Up and Shout, it was clear that the vocal talents of Andrew Freeman was spot on and he did not let up on the energy he came on stage with and received from the crowd.
With the set coming to a close bassist Phil Soussan took the time to pay homage to former bass player Jimmy Bain who sadly passed away at the beginning of the year with the performance of the new song Starmaker.
Highlights of the set was Holy Diver, as it is played on the album with the long keyboard intro which was perfectly done by Erik on the keyboards, then the various times that Vivian Campbell did solos was just mesmerising to see him play with such passion and love for the riffs and solos he crafted so many years ago.
With the band closing with We Rock, myself and the fans in the Bierkeller had probably just been treated to a early Christmas present and if not the surprise gig of the year..
Wild Lies 4/5
Last In Line 5/5
Review By Rob Knight