Last In Line / Inglorious / The Wild Lies - The Corporation, Sheffield (UK) - 2 December 2016
The first thing to mentioned is that when we turned up at the venue, we heard music already being played. This was by a band called Wild Lies who, as far as I knew, were not advertised. They were just finishing when we got there so I must apologise to them for not being able to include them in the review due to this.
I had already seen Inglorious this year at Download in June and was impressed with their performance on that occasion. Previous to that, I had seen Nathan James with Trans-Siberian Orchestra so I will be truthful and say they were a large part of the draw for me when it came to this evening. The room was practically full by the time Inglorious came on, so I don't think I was alone in this and, as at Download, they were very impressive indeed.
With their self-titled debut album out, it was expected that they would perform quite a bit from that and they didn't disappoint as we got all but three of the songs from that release, almost in album order. As usual there were a couple of covers, namely Rainbow's 'I Surrender' and Whitesnake's 'Fool For Your Loving', both of which were played really well with Andreas Eriksson totally nailing Ritchie Blackmore's lead. It was a pity that there was no room for an encore as the crowd tonight would have been more than happy with one.
You could technically call Last In Line a tribute band to Ronnie James Dio, with the added attraction of two original members of RJD group's in attendance – namely Vivian Campbell (Def Leppard) who was part of Dio, and Vinny Appice who was also with RJD in Black Sabbath and Heaven And Hell. Unsurprisingly, the bulk of the material came from the Dio albums with songs such as 'Stand Up And Shout', 'Straight Through The Heart', 'Don't Talk To Strangers' and 'Invisible' (incorporating Appice's drum solo), alongside classics like 'Holy Diver', 'Last In Line' and 'Rainbow In The Dark.' Vocalist Andrew Freeman acquitted himself very well in RJD's shoes, but he isn't the great man which, while it is always good to hear this stuff, does create an over-riding sadness that he is no longer here to sing them himself.
That sadness was also intensified as bassist Jimmy Bain, who was also with RJD in Rainbow, passed away after completion of the band's album, with respects being paid by the band and audience tonight. His place was very adequately filled by Phil Sousson with the line-up completed by Erik Norlander on keyboards. During the main set, they did three of the new songs from 'Heavy Crown' – 'Devil In Me', 'Martyr' and 'Already Dead' – with 'Starmaker' and 'I Am Revolution' being aired for the encore. The night was brought to an end with another Dio classic in 'We Rock'.
In all it was a good night mixed with tinges of sadness, although I have to add that Campbell seemed happier tonight than I have seen him for a long time in his day job.