Black Star Riders Perform Live in Seattle for Two Back to Back Shows; Interview With Ricky Warwick – Black Star Riders formed in 2012 as a transition from the iconic rock band Thin Lizzy, who were and to many, still are major pioneers in rock music today. Former Thin Lizzy members Scott Gorham and Ricky Warwick wanted to carry on making new and original music, but not record it under the name Thin Lizzy out of respect for the band and former members.
The original Black Star Riders lineup was Scott Gorham (guitar), Ricky Warwick (vocals, guitar), Damon Johnson (guitar), Marco Medoza (bass) and Jimmy DeGrasso (drums), but has since seen a change with Robert Crane replacing Mendoza on bass in 2014 and most recently, Chad Szeliga replacing DeGrasso on drums in 2017.
Since their inception, the band has released 3 albums, ‘All Hell Breaks Lose’ (2013), ‘The Killer Instinct’ (2015) and ‘Heavy Fire’ (2017). All albums have done relatively well on the rock charts.
Last week the Black Star Riders made their way to Seattle for two live shows. One show on the current Judas Priest Firepower 2018 Tour with Saxon also along for the ride. The second show, a one-off headline show at a smaller venue in Seattle that allowed the band to play a long set and fans to get up close and personal.
Just before the first show I had the chance to sit down and chat with Ricky Warwick about the music of the Black Star Riders as well as his solo work. He also answered some fan questions and we even talked about his gear. You can check that audio interview out below. Now onto the shows!
The first evening the band performed just south of Seattle in Kent, WA at the Accesso Showare Center. For this show, it was a big stage and a sold-out arena. The band tucked away high on stage, away from the up close a personal interaction with their fans. For several audience members, they hadn’t come across the Black Star Riders before, but quickly became interested in the band as each passing song pulled the listeners in and let them familiarize themselves with their music. By the end of their set the fans were cheering loudly and had completely enjoyed their show.
As the second evening arrived, it was clear this show would have an entirely different feeling than the show I’d seen the night before. This was the first ever, Black Star Riders headline show in Seattle. The venue was much smaller, El Corazon, but it allowed fans to stand right against the stage and interact with the band throughout their set.
Unlike the short set the night before, their headline show fell just shy of two hours of Black Star Riders tunes and some of the classic Thin Lizzy tunes too. The band also seemed to be much more relaxed and at home being closer to the fans. Watching both shows, I got to see two different sides to this band. The first being, they are a band that are world-class entertainers who can hold their own on any giant stage. The second, being a band that truly enjoys performing and interacting with their fans. To the point that they were engaging with fans shaking hands, letting fans touch their guitars while they were playing and even at the end of the show, Damon Johnson walked off the stage and into the audience while playing and mingling between the fans. Even after the show, they took time to shake hands with fans, look them in the eyes and thank them for their support. You just don’t get that kind of personal feeling with a giant arena show.
Black Star Riders gained many new fans during their time here in the Emerald City! I can’t recommend them highly enough to anyone considering catching one of their shows or checking out their albums.
If you’ve yet to discover the Black Star Riders, you need to fix that today. You will get legendary musicians performing great rock music. You can’t go wrong with these guys!
Black Star Riders are:
Ricky Warwick – Vocals/Guitar
Scott Gorham – Guitars
Damon Johnson – Guitars
Robert Crane – Bass
Chad Szeliga – Drums
Check out photos from both shows below.