Saxon at The Academy Dublin (Review and Photos)
Saxon at the Academy, Dublin, Wednesday 1 May
Wheels of Steel Roar into Dublin
This was Saxons first show in Dublin for many a year and what a night they provided! Anyone expecting a bunch of old men living off past glories was in for a rude awakening. Saxon have had their ups and down over the years and they seemed to become the forgotten men of the ‘New Wave of British Heavy Metal’. On the strength of this performance you would have to wonder why. Witnessing a performance like this makes you wonder how Saxon aren’t playing to larger crowds like their NWOBHM peers, Iron Maiden and Def Leppard. The opening number ‘Sacrifice’ is from their latest release of the same name, and from there on it was a non-stop rollercoaster ride of classics such as ‘And the Bands Played On’, ‘Wheels of Steel’, ‘Heavy Metal Thunder’, mixed with newer material like ‘Ive Got to Rock’ and songs from the current album. The pace barely dipped for the ninety minutes (maybe we could have done without ‘Ride Like the Wind’, but, then again, the crowd seemed to enjoy it). Lead singer, Biff Byford, really knows how to work the crowd and the musicianship is of the highest order, with Paul Quinn surely being one of the most underrated guitarists on the metal scene. The audience was a good mix of ages and very enthusiastic and the band noticeably thrived on this. Saxon have been releasing consistently good albums for the last few years and anyone who fell off the radar with Saxon after their late eighties hair metal phase should really give them a second chance.
This is classic rock the way it should be played, loud and proud, sending punters home (or to a late bar!) with a smile on their faces.
Review by Tony Martin
Photos by Chris Charousset