TRIUMPH – Live At Sweden Rock Festival (2012 CD/DVD, Universal)
In 2008, after over 20 years apart, Rik Emmett joined Mike Levine and Gil Moore on stage. The original Triumph was back, as if time stood still. All that animosity, gone, poof! and in its place is a stellar live album.
They only played that one gig, but at least it was smokin’. What’s incredible is that Rik Emmett retains most of his range, even if Gil Moore’s is more limited. It was always Rik that sang the high parts, and most singers just can’t do it 20 years later. Rik can! And of course I don’t need to tell you anything about his guitar playing. Some consider him to the be the greatest that Canada ever produced, and his playful but solid axework here helps to show why.
He even throws a bit of the “Hocus Pocus” (by Focus!) riff in the middle of “Rock & Roll Machine”! Rik hasn’t forgotten to rock, and as usual Triumph is backed up by a second guitar player (Dave Dunlop) for some extra heaviness to the riffs.
But Rik also plays a lot of licks that are more along the lines of the jazz stuff he does today, a great mixture of his old style and his modern style. Gil and Mike are still Gil and Mike, they’ve barely changed at all. Their playing is as good as they’ve ever been. I wonder how much the band rehearsed for this show? They sound as tight as they did on Stages. (Mike says they practiced a lot!)
Setlist is below. Let me point out two things: No ballads! The closest you get is “Magic Power”. Second…”Blinding Light Show”! ‘Nuff said!
|1. When The Lights Go Down|
|2. Lay It On The Line|
|3. Allied Forces|
|4. Never Surrender|
|5. I Live For The Weekend|
|6. Blinding Light Show / Moon Child|
|7. Rocky Mountain Way|
|8. Magic Power|
|9. Rock & Roll Machine|
|10. Fight The Good Fight|
The included DVD duplicates the show, but for your eyes and ears! There’s also some cool behind the scenes footage (fans, soundchecks, etc.) and a press conference. Basically, everything you’d want out of a package like this.
I don’t want to understate how much I like this album. Prior to this, my favourite Triumph album was always Stages, their first live album from 1985. Live At Sweden Rock is now my #2 Triumph album. No overdubs, no fixes, this is just pure live Triumph, all killer no filler (or ballads), and they are as good as they ever were, I swear to God.