Sound — 10
Before I start, I would just like to point out that this album is completely, 100% live. No overdubs or re-recordering/re-mastering, it's pure quality live gig material. Over the last year I have been following all of Gary's work, from his Thin Lizzy days in the '70s, to his metallic efforts in the 80s, right up to his bluesy material from the '90s and '00s. I even went to see him live at the Preston Guildhall on the 13th November this year, and might I add that he was sensational. He has become like a god to me, and my favourite guitarist, singer, songwriter, and overall performer of all time, simply for the reason that anything he does do, he can do much better than anyone else can. Anyway, back to the album. In 2003 Gary opened for Whitesnake at the annual Monsters of Rock Festival (The fact that he opened for a cheesy 80s hair metal act, that cannot stand next to his godlike status beats me). Various shows were staged across the country, and two releases were to be made of Gary's performance. Firstly a CD of the Glasgow gig, and secondly, a DVD of the Sheffield gig (the first of which I am reviewing now). The set list Gary complied for this gig (CD) was very interesting, as it seems to have encompassed his entire career in ten tracks. Another noticeable fact is that this set list is very different from the one he's been plying over the last 15 years or so, as it is much heavier than his usual 'all blues' set list. This was most probably influenced by the fact that he was playing at a major heavy 'Rock' festival, and he wanted a set list to suit the audience he would be playing to. Another factor which will have influenced this heavier set, will be the fact that his latest studio album at the time was a rockier sounding album called 'Scars', for which he had formed a new band comprising of. My view on each individual track: 01. Shapes Of Things - good song that gained a lot of radio play on it's original release in the US. In this version Gary makes up for the missing rhythm guitar with extra volume and amazing technique, the only fault being his tired sounding vocals. Take note of the awesome solo, known to many as one of his best of that era. 02. Wishing Well - originally by free, but I prefer Gary's rocked up version better which has got a harder edge and impressive solos. This is one of the heavier tracks on the album. 03. Rectify - the first new track of the set list, a good rocker for general Moore fans to get their teeth into. 04. Guitar Intro (End Of The World) - Gary's answer to Van Halen's Eruption, this is guitar shredding at it's very best, so bow down now! 05. Stand Up - best rock track of his or over 15 years, truly amazing. The use of the wah effect is very well implemented here. 06. Just Can't Let You Go - not sure about this one, it's another new track from 'Scars', but playing a ballad at 'Monsters Of Rock' just feels wrong to me. Don't get me wrong though, it's a good song, just not right for the gig. 07. Walking By Myself - this blues rock number would have felt out of place, had it not been for the removal of harmonicas etc, and the driven up distortion. This song is a fan favourite, which Gary plays to this day. 08. Don't Believe A Word - originally done by Thin Lizzy earlier in the '70s, but slowed down by Gary for his 'Back on the Streets' album. He states on the CD before he starts playing, that there will be two different versions of this song, leaving you puzzled. That is until halfway through playing the slowed down blues version, he cranks up the gain and rocks straight into Lizzy's. 09. Out In The Fields - highest charting song of Gary's, which reached no 5 in the UK in 1985. One of his most recognisable tracks to date, which originally featured Lizzy's Phil Lynott on vocals and bass, but since Phil's death, Gary has filled in where needed. Another legendry shred solo can be found here, along with one hell of a rock chorus. 10. Parisienne Walkways - another massive hit for Gary in the UK which smashed the Top 10 in 1978. Once again this track featured Phil Lynott on vocals and bass, so Gary fills in his parts. This song is known by all guitarists as a true classic, one word for you sustain (great song for an encore).
Lyrics — 9
Gary has a wide variety of different styles influencing the way he writes lyrics, which I find good. All his music has a good blend of awesome guitar solos and soulful meaningful lyrics which could only come straight from the heart. Some of the songs on this album are covers, but Gary's takes on them are in no way similar, because he has the ability to make a song his own. Gary's voice does sound a little tired on this album, and I have seen many reviews that people have had a go at him for for it. But nowadays, he's a man in his fifties so I mean, what more can you expect (I don't think they're that band anyway).
Overall Impression — 10
Overall this is a really good album for fans of all forms of rock music whether it be metal/shred/classicrock/blues etc. It's a stripped down recording of Gary's awesome guitar, backed by bass and drums. You'll find no bullshit, no editing, no major effects, just 100% pure rock and roll. I will never understand how he creates such a great guitar tone, which is so good that he can emulate two guitarists! If I ever lost this album I would without a doubt replace it as soon as possible, as it means so much to me. So what are you waiting for buy it, whack it in your stereo, crank up the air guitar, and I'll see you in rock n roll heaven!