Sin City Presents Magazine July 2015 Volume 2 Issue 7 - Page 36



Saxon @Vinyl 5/27/15

By: Leah Burlington

For a metal band that was formed in 1976, Saxon is still alive and kicking and putting on one of the best live performances even to this day! This is a band that releases an album just about every year or so, and the albums are always excellent. I loved them when the album “Denim and Leather”came out in 1981 but lost touch with their music for many years. I rekindled my love for them again with the album “Metalhead” in 1999. I got every album since then and the entire back catalogue throughout the years. I swore to see them at Wacken Open Air in Germany, because seeing them live in front of 80,000 people was my dream. I made that dream a reality in 2007. Only my first time seeing them was at a surprise free warm up gig in Germany a few days before the festival to about 300 people. That was insane! Then I got to see them in front of 80K a few days after! They just blew my mind. It was the same show, same energy, only with the mighty Eagle behind them at the festival. That was a few years ago, and who knew that I would get to see them a few more times here in Vegas over the last few years.

Saxon is one of the hardest working metal bands in the world and they are finally getting the much deserved respect that was lacking for a long time in the USA. In fact I used to go on and on about them and people would say to me, Saxon? They are still around?? It was disheartening to me. For a band from the original NWOBHM explosion of the early 80’s, who has been creating amazing music since then, yes they are defiantly still around! They are at this moment working on their 20th studio album, called “Battering Ram” which will be out in the fall of 2015 after their world tour.

I saw them at Vinyl inside the Hard Rock Hotel on this night on the “Warriors of the Road” tour. I was very excited because Saxon is one of my top three fave bands in league with Priest and Maiden. This is my third time seeing them in Vegas and this show was highly anticipated on my part. It was the homecoming of drummer Nigel Glockler on this tour after suffering a horrific brain aneurysm that landed him in the hospital for a good month last winter. Luckily he came out with no permanent damage and got back to work behind the kit as soon as he was able. These are some die-hard musicians, hence the tour being dubbed “Warriors of the Road”, which is fitting, because these guys never surrender! I love them for their perseverance and their commitment to the music and the fans.

Saxon came onstage in front of a pretty big crowd, that I found out later were from all over. The stage was all lit up in purple light as they tore into “Motorcycle Man.” Right off the bat the band was in high gear and ready to annihilate this crowd of hungry metal heads! Biff Byford completely commanded that stage like a captain of a ship, and sang his heart out, as he always does, looking regal in his captain coat and his long white hair. Biff is a legend and to see him sing up close and personal is a treat not many get to experience at festivals in Europe. Here we get that intimacy because they play the smaller venues. Vinyl isn’t very big but it makes up for that with excellent sound and a vivid lightshow.

These guys pulled out one of the best set lists you could ever want from a Saxon show. Everyone went wild for every song played. Guitarists Doug Scarrat and Paul Quinn lit up the stage with their virtuosity and amazing guitar solos. Bassist Tim “Nibbs”” Carter bounded around his small space, which he isn’t used too. The guy has boundless energy and can’t stand still for a single second. They played one song off their latest album which was “Sacrifice” and went straight into the set list from heavy metal heaven.

It doesn’t get any better than this at a Saxon show. “Power and the Glory”, “Bands Played On”, To Hell and Back”, my fave, “Solid Ball of Rock”, “This Town Rocks”, “Dallas 1pm”, “20,000 Feet”, “The Eagle Has Landed”, “Princess of the Night”, “747”, “Crusader”, and “Heavy Metal Thunder.” They ended this spectacular show with “Wheels of Steel”, “Strong Arm of the Law”, and they brought the house down with all the metal heads up front head banging to “Denim and Leather!” This was a very nostalgic moment to finish the night!

It was so good to see Nigel Glockler smiling and tearing up that drum kit, happy as a clam. These guys put on one hell of a show. This is why they are one of my fave bands. Not only because of the live shows but because their music is second to none. The songwriting and skills it has to take to write 20 amazing albums is astounding and they keep doing it with no sign of letting up.

Saxon will be headlining the kick off show on Thursday September 10th at the Prog-Power USA Festival in Atlanta with Armored Saint, Dragonland and Almah. “Battering Ram” their 20th album will be out around that time. This is a very exciting time for Saxon and it’s about time!