Sound: Thin Lizzy fans looking to celebrate the classic rock band's 40th anniversary this year had a little extra help from a few different sources. It started back in March, when the live album Still Dangerous (considered to be a raw and untouched of 1977's Live And Dangerous) was released. As this year draws to a close, fans now get another dose of Thin Lizzy with Are You Ready?, which features roughly two hours of live performance footage that originally aired back in 1981 on the German TV show Rockpalast. While there isn't much in the way of extras, Are You Ready? is still a testament to the legendary Irish rockers' skills as musicians.
Led by incomparable singer/bassist Phil Lynott, Thin Lizzy didn't necessarily explode with energy when it first hit the stage in Loreley, Germany. Lynott and the crew obviously weren't relying on over-the-top stage introductions or even jumping around onstage, but rather this is a band that immediately lets the music do the talking. Of course, when you have a guitar team like that of Snowy White and Scott Gorham, you'll automatically have a solid show on your hands. Lynott was highly competent at the bass, but he did have a dry manner about him that seemed almost subdued in the first moments. As the show progresses, Lynott unveils his humorous side and you can see the growing connection between him and the almost all-male audience.
While the staple hit songs like The Boys Are Back In Town and Jailbreak are among the 19 songs featured on Are You Ready?, they aren't the primary standouts. Memory Pain features an incredibly dark, bluesy groove and an emotional solo that makes it a perfect contrast to the traditional rock tracks heard. Cowboy Song does evoke a Western vibe, but it builds into what is one of the most climactic jam sessions in the set. It's hard not to mention Got To Give It Up, particularly the first moments when Lynott describes the song as being about excessive living. With Lynott passing about five years later from alcohol-related complications, that's a song that certainly takes on a whole new meaning. // 9
Content: Thin Lizzy fans should be pleased with the concert on the whole, and you'll hear the likes of Genocide, Waiting For An Alibi, and Chinatown on the setlist. The main issue is that there are absolutely no extras. It would have been a great asset to the DVD to have behind-the-scenes footage or even current interviews discussing the impression Thin Lizzy has made upon the music world. That being said, the concert is a fantastic one particularly if you're someone who appreciates an amazing guitar team because there are solos galore. // 6
Production Quality: Are You Ready? was filmed in 1981, but it's a surprisingly well-edited, thorough look at Thin Lizzy's live show. The director of photography knew exactly where to shoot at the right time, a talent that you don't always get with DVDs in 2009. You'll get a variety of camera angles from close-ups of Snowy White and Scott Gorham's fingers during their solos to an over-the-shoulder look at the drum kit. Yes, it does look like a vintage piece of film from the early 80's, but that never distracts from the performance. // 8
Overall Impression: Thin Lizzy was a group of musicians first and foremost, which is both good and bad in the Are You Ready? DVD. While at times Lynott doesn't always deliver the stereotypical charisma of a frontman, the music more than makes up for it. White and Gorham deliver solo after solo (not to mention amazing harmonies in pretty much every song), and those are shining moments in the DVD. The makers of Are You Ready? probably could have dug up some interesting/informative interviews or created a documentary to supplement the DVD, but musically it creates a big impression. // 8