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Venue: BB King Blues Club, NYC
Date: 5/19/09
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Battalions of Steel
Heavy Metal Thunder
Demon Sweeney Todd
Strong Arm of the law
Power and the Glory
The Letter
Valley of the Kings
The Eagle Has landed
And the Bands Played On
Dallas 1PM
20,000 Feet
Wheels of Steel

Encore 1:

Live to Rock
Motorcycle Man

Encore 2:

Never Surrender
747 (Strangers in the Night)
Denim and leather
Princess of the Night

Celebrating 30 years of recording, performing, and their latest release “Into The Labyrinth”, Saxon return to the US (if I recall last they were here was sometime in the late 90s early 2000s for a festival appearance in New Jersey) to a packed house in New York City. Disregarding the tentatively planned setlist, the boys treated the people to several not written down with the encores, and played for about two hours. Biff Byford on vocals and Paul Quinn on guitar are the lone survivors from the original lineup, joined by Doug Scarratt (guitars), Nibbs Carter on bass, and Nigel Glockner on the drums.

The set included six from 2009’s “Labyrinth”; anthems ‘Battalions of Steel’ and ‘Live To Rock’, headbangers ‘Demon Sweeney Todd’ and ‘Hellcat’, ‘The Letter’ and ‘Valley of the Kings’ with the rest being one New Wave of British Heavy Metal classic after another. ‘747 (Strangers in the Night)’, ‘Denim and leather’, ‘Princess of the Night’, ‘Crusader’, Wheels of Steel’, ‘The Band Played On’, ‘The Power and the Glory’…and the list goes on reintroducing the American audience to their much loved early years (and the years the States are most familiar with). The unfortunate downside (but not a major one) to that, nothing was played from 2001’s “Killing Ground” or 04’s “Lionheart”, nor from the middle period of the band and albums like “Innocence Is No Excuse” or “Solid Ball of Rock’, or from “Unleash The Beast” and “Metalhead” from the late 90s.

Judging by the response and turnout hopefully Saxon will return again sooner than later.


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