Review: Black Star Riders / Europe, The Olympia, Dublin, March 2nd

Posted on by Oran

In terms of gig highlights of the year, last night’s display of Hard Rock in Dublin’s Olympia, was second to none. With a double headlining bill that consisted of The Black Star Riders and Europe, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind, that this would be nothing short of epic! Overdrive were there to catch every drop of goodness that poured from the stage!


A double headlining combo that consisted of Black Star Riders and Europe’s first show on Irish soil in 25 years, this was a no brainer when it came to gigs this year. With a capacity crowd filing through the brass handled doors of the iconic Olympia theater on this cold and snowy Monday night, we knew that this was going to be special.

Fuck you Gene Simmons, Rock is most definitely alive and well!

Fist up tonight is three piece Hard Rocking ladies, The Amorettes, who hammered out a belter of a set that would give Airbourne a run for their money any day of the week! High energy, fast paced shit-kicking raucous anthems, that are infectious from the instant they penetrate your ear drums, would would be the best description of The Amorettes.


A minor hiccup with drummer Hannah’s snare, was skillfully taken care of by lead vocalist / guitarist Gill, before smashing through the remainder of their set. Tracks such as “Fire At Will, Son Of A Gun” and “Hot and Heavy“, come at us fast and furious and while bassists Heather, rips out thunderous bass lines from the lip of the stage, it’s literally impossible to not loose your shit to The Amorettes. The girls will be releasing their new album “Game On” on March 23rd via Off Yer Rocka Recordings. 4/5

For more information on The Amorettes click here.

The Black Star Riders are something special indeed. Most Thin Lizzy elitists have had their say about the new incarnation of ‘Lizzy’ and have been banging on about it relentlessly to tired ears for what seems like eons. Bearing that in mind, as soon as Scott Gorham and the rest of the band walked out on stage, the deafening roars that thunder around the Olympia tonight dissolves any skeptics who might be there to whinge and whine. Opening with “Bound For Glory” and “Jailbreak“, has the crowd in a frenzy from the get go. With a crystal clear mix and the duo guitar action from Gorham and Damon Johnson, The Black Star Riders are putting to rest any negativity that may exist with each crushing anthem.


Ricky Warwick is on fire tonight, as he commands center stage with tremendous passion and power. More treats come in the form of “Dancing In The Moonlight” and the almost show stopping “Emerald“. There is an undeniable chemistry between Warwick, Johnson and Gorham, that is evident throughout the show and lifts the overall performance to great heights.


The live debut of “Soldierstown” makes an appearance and is simply epic live. This is a staple track of where the old Thin Lizzy meets the Black Star Riders, almost like handing over the gavel if you like. Each song is delivered with pin point precision and loaded with rich swagger, thanks to the presence of such legends as Gorham, Johnson, Warwick, bassist Robbie Crane (Ratt) and Jimmy DeGrasso (Megadeth).

As they drop classics such as “Don’t Believe A Word, Rosalie, Whiskey In The Jar” and “The Boys Are Back In Town” amongst new material, such as “The Killer Instinct” and “Through The Motions“, it’s blatantly apparent that The Black Star Riders are coming into their own and doing a fine job of it to boot!


Black Star Riders are here to stay and will continue to strive in keeping legacy of Thin Lizzy alive, as well as preserve the true meaning of Hard Rock. A fantastic performance from a truly great band. 5/5

At this point of the show, anything else is just a bonus. Europe stride out on the black lit stage and rip straight into the title track from their new album “War Of Kings“. Joey Tempest is as vigorous as ever and seems to have not aged a day in the last 20 years. Dressed head to toe in black, with his custom snow white mic stand, he prances about the stage every bit the rock star that he is.


Europe sound amazing tonight and with classics such as “Scream Of Anger, Superstitious, Sign Of The Times” and “Rags to Riches“, the band are focused, determined and dead set on making up for their 25 year absence from performing in Ireland. At one point, Joey scales the house PA and steps into the crowd where he helps himself to a few gulps of larger, courtesy of an adoring fan before returning to the spot light and nailing his vocals during “Firebox“.

With little stage banter from the band, Europe focus on just hammering out song after song of pure quality, before reaching a very climatic “Rock The Night“, which see’s the house lights on full throughout, due to the mass sing along to every word.


When the band reaches the end of their set, we all know what is coming next and as the stage lights plunge into darkness and the opening chords to “The Final Countdown” ring in the air, it’s almost impossible to hear, due to the ecstatic crowd. As the hairs on everyone’s neck stands to attention it’s impossible to not totally loose yourself in the cheesy chorus of this classic and before you know what’s hit you, it’s all over. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait 25 years for Europe to grace a stage in Ireland. A fantastic return from the hard rocking Sweds that was long overdue. 4/5

Words – Oran O’Beirne

Photography – Steve Dempsey: Down The Barrel Photography © 2015

Get the full gallery of the show below.