Thin Lizzy: Are You Ready?

Thin Lizzy: Are You Ready? (2009)
Eagle Rock Entertainment
Cast: Phil Lynott, Scott Gorham, Snowy white, Brian Downey, Darren Wharton

Funny how one world-famous radio classic gives a certain universal impression about a band versus that which is their authentic identity. Dig it or not, Thin Lizzy will go down in the general scope of rock history mostly for their breezy rock jam "The Boys Are Back in Town." Always a cool spin, no matter how often you hear it. However, isn't the riff-a-riffic "Jailbreak" much cooler? How about "Trouble Boys" or "Waiting for an Alibi?" Heck, even the ragtag poke-a-long "Cowboy Song" sticks like glue in your mind after the first sampling.

Fact of the matter is, Thin Lizzy has lost a large percentage of their street value over the years. This of course comes with time and age, plus the fact their charismatic frontman Phil Lynott hasn't been with us for some time now. Hence the opportunity to record new material and raise band awareness just isn't there. What would you miss more if Thin Lizzy were to do the unthinkable and hit the road again with a replacement for Phil? His lollygagging bass plucks, his angelic, occasionally vulnerable eyes which still betray a bit of bad boy in them? His shaggy afro which was still somehow heavy metal roughneck instead of Disco Dan chic? Most definitely his sometimes silky but always forward voice, which grooves out "Genocide," "Don't Believe a Word," "Hollywood," "Baby Drives Me Crazy," "Rosalie" and of course the electrifying "Jailbreak."

Lizzy awareness is up this year, however, as the remnants of the band have authorized some live documents to be unearthed for their fans. Earlier this year they ushered in the live CD "Still Dangerous: Live at Tower Theatre, Philadelphia, 1977", then there was Gary Moore's wonderful tribute "One Night In Dublin," and now comes their "Are You Ready?" DVD, a snazzy video document of the band well up to the limit in a nearly-flawless performance.

Reportedly this 1981 concert was once filtered around as a bootleg. Both the unauthorized copy and now this legit release of Thin Lizzy at their prime touts a boatload of cuts including "Memory Pain," a song Thin Lizzy never actually recorded on a studio album.

Thin Lizzy in the late seventies and early eighties were considered one of the world's most elite rock bands and certainly they were Ireland's most successful music export before a little band known as U2 came along in Thin Lizzy's wake.

"Are You Ready?" is a near two-hour concert originally staged for the German live music show Rockpalast. Eagle Vision has apparently struck some sort of deal with the originators of the Rockpalast series as you will continue to see more releases in the upcoming future including ZZ Top on their latest DVD, Double Down Live, 1980 * 2008.

This Rockpalast set mounts the band atop a wide stage featuring a tier of stone steps which flings the audience considerably away from the band. Of course, the members of Thin Lizzy stroll down from time-to-time during the show to chum it up with the fans and to tease them with the necks of their instruments.

All the while onstage, their band logo flashes immense red behind their backs while Scott Gorham and Snowy White peel the paint off the partitions surrounding them in Rockpalast's expansive amphitheatre. Gorham and White make intense and professional guitar solos seem like six string Skip-To-My-Lous while Phil Lynott shambles about and occasionally strikes rock god poses in proximity to his guitarists. Drummer Brian Downey and keyboardist Darren Wharton fill their spots with like-minded ease. In fact, Downey's drum solo is so fluid you hardly see all the heads being hit.

Taking a pair of curtain calls in this performance, Thin Lizzy smacks a home run with this slinking, jiving and rocking gig. Vintage heavy metal, rock and blues, all at the press of your DVD remote. Are You Ready, indeed?