July 3, 2014 Black Star Riders roll into B.B. Kings Club NYC 6-17-14
Continuing their tour across North America super group known as Black Star Riders rode into New York on Tuesday, June 17th to grace the stage of the B.B. King Club right in the heart of midtown Manhattan. The band of all-star musicians consisted of veteran rockers such as Ricky Warwick (Thin Lizzy, The Almighty) on vocals, Scott Gorham (Thin Lizzy, 21 Guns) on guitar, Damon Johnson (Thin Lizzy, Alice Cooper, Brother Cane) on guitar, Marco Mendoza (Thin Lizzy, Ted Nugent, Whitesnake, Blue Murder) on bass, and Jimmy DeGrasso (Alice Cooper, Megadeth, Y&T) on drums. Releasing their debut album All Hell Breaks Loose in 2013, the new year has brought more fan fare and wider awareness to the band on their first headlining tour.
The mood was set for a night of relaxation, with an elegant setup of tables and chairs at the B.B. King Club, when in fact it would be a time for rocking and rolling. Lighting the flame to start, were New York power trio known as Three For All. Consisting of veteran musicians’ drummer Steve BUDGIE Werner, vocalist/ bassist Anthony Fragnito, and guitarist Carl Fragnito. The newly formed project is a soulful mix of hard rock and blues that is receiving a lot of attention. Performing tracks off their debut album Live For Music, they also mixed in two new tracks to the set that received applause and praise from the audience. Owning the stage like seasoned performers all three members showcased no frill, funky sounding rock-n-roll. Concluding their set with a cover of Edgar Winter Group’s “Frankenstein” which topped the cake of a solid performance.
With the room now settled in with hardcore fans of Black Star Riders the universal feeling was of excitement knowing the history behind the band and each member. Don Jameson of “That Metal Show” was even on hand to show support to the band and seemed ready to rock. Kicking off with an original title track “All Hell Breaks Loose” had the audience grooving in their seats and enjoying the catchy nature of the tune. Mixing in Thin Lizzy classics such as “Are You Ready” and “Bad Reputation”, between more new material such as “Bloodshot” and “Before The War”. The tight rhythm of Gorham, Johnson, Mendoza, and DeGrasso was sensational as Warwick sounded off on the microphone with his distinct voice. Inspiring to the band, the audience sang with each word to each track and really broke loss during long-time favorite “Jailbreak”.
Keeping the ball rolling more new songs like “Hey Judas” and “Valley of the Stones” gave the same classic rock tone with thick heavy riffs and ripping duel guitar solos. Feeling the vibes of the music, Warwick said, “Even though there are tables and chairs this is still rock-n-roll,” which immediately prompted the audience to stand for the following tune “Emerald”. Already on their feet and enjoying the show no one returned to their seat for the remainder of the show. Gorham then took to the microphone and informed the audience that Mendoza will be departing from Black Star Riders upon the conclusion of the USA and replacing him will be former Ratt bassist, Robbie Crane. Receptive to the news the audience gave Mendoza warm applauds and the band went into “Cowboy Song” before concluding the set with massive hit “The Boys Are Back in Town”. Chanting for one more song repeatedly, Black Star Riders bounced back out to perform the Lena Bourne Fish song, “Whiskey in the Jar” and Bob Seger’s “Rosalie”.
With plenty of hard hitting rock-n-roll to go around, this audience left the conform of the B.B King Club knowing they got more than their money’s worth from this assembly of classic rock heroes. Now ready to partake in their European run there seems to be nothing that can stop Black Star Riders.