Anaheim, Ca. There is a little place called The City National Grove of Anaheim. This is where we would find ourselves on a generic Friday night to see Saxon. The doors would open just as the Angel game next door began and as the minutes ticked by, the crowd would grow inside. It wasn’t the biggest crowd but it was a decent turn around considering the competition this weekend, Coachella, Los Rageous and the multitude of other shows going on.

There was two local bands who played before the direct support Black Star Riders. Lords Of Illusion that is a hard rock band out of the San Fernando Valley and Lovedrive that is a Scorpions cover band from Los Angeles.


Black Star Riders were the direct support for Saxon. If you are not familiar with BSR, they are basically the most recent incarnation of Thin Lizzy. Even thought Thin Lizzy still does one off shows periodically, they decided to stop the whirlwind touring and according to Scott Gorham, the only original member of Thin Lizzy, when it came to the new material that was being written, they decided “out of respect to the late great Phil Lynott and the legacy he created” they would record new material under a new name, so Black Star Riders was formed. 

I did not know all of this when I saw them on this night and when they played two of the iconic Thin Lizzy songs, Jailbreak and The Boys Are Back In Town, I was impressed at how much they sounded like Thin Lizzy. The did a great set that also included songs off their most recent album, “Who Rides The Tiger”, and they sounded great.

At around 10:30pm, Saxon came out to a pumped crowd that was ready for some Head Banging British Heavy Metal. The guys may look like they have been around since before the 80’s but they still sound like they did back then. When Biff Byford starts to belt out the lyrics of Thunderbolt off their new album of the same name, you can tell why they are still so popular and have been able to continue their popularity after all these years.  

This night they would play songs new and old from all across their extensive discography spanning over 3 decades, songs such as Motorcycle Man, Denim and Leather, Battering Ram, and Predator. Every song sounded even better than the recorded versions and as a Saxon fan, I was definitely not disappointed.

The last time Saxon played Anaheim was just over a year ago with UFO. Saxon is currently touring with Judas Priest on their Firepower 2018 tour though this nights show was not one from the tour. Take it from me, this is show you don’t want to miss. See them now on tour with Judas Priest & BSR.

Black Star Riders Setlist:

1.All Hell Breaks Loose
2.Jailbreak (Thin Lizzy cover)
3.Heavy Fire
5.Who Rides the Tiger
6.Before the War
7.The Killer Instinct
8.When the Night Comes In
9.The Boys Are Back in Town (Thin Lizzy cover)
10.Kingdom of the Lost
11.Bound for Glory

Saxon Setlist:

3.Nosferatu (The Vampires Waltz)
4.Motorcycle Man
5.Strong Arm of the Law
6.Battering Ram
7.Power and the Glory
9.The Secret of Flight
10.Dallas 1 PM
11.Rock ‘n’ Roll Gypsy (dedicated to Nigel’s wife)
12.And the Bands Played On
14.They Played Rock and Roll
15.747 (Strangers in the Night)
16.Sons of Odin
18.Princess of the Night
1.Heavy Metal Thunder
2.Wheels of Steel
Encore 2:
1.Denim and Leather

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