Yngwie Malmsteen/Lizzy Borden/Tchort
Live in Toronto, April 6, 2001
Reviewed By Waspman
As soon as I heard about this concert rolling through town, I knew I
had to go! I've never seen Yngwie live and I'm a recently converted fan
of Lizzy Borden, thanks to their awesome "comeback" album DEAL
WITH THE DEVIL. I just KNEW that this was going to rule!
After standing in line in the bloody cold we were finally allowed
into the venue, the Docks. For those that don't know, the Docks is truly
in the center of industrial hell. I mean, we're talking buttfuck nowhere
here people. Anyway, after a short wait, local boys Tchort took the
stage, looking kinda…umm….goofy. Well, more specifically, the lead
singer (even though 3 of the 4 band members sang at some point during
the set) looked hilarious in his skin-tight leopard striped pants.
Honestly, I wasn't looking forward to Tchort's set at all because I
remember hearing a song of theirs somewhere in the past and not liking
it. Actually, Tchort was pretty damn good, playing a rousing set that
seemed to wake up the lethargic crowd. I guess I'd describe their music
as a mix of Sabbath with 80's metal, with some cool twin guitar leads
thrown in for good measure. Overall, an excellent set by these up &
Lizzy Borden was next and was salivating at the chance to see these
guys live. After about 15 minutes (this show had amazingly short times
in between sets) the lights went down and "Tubular Bells" came
over the speakers. The band then slammed the stage, starting with
"There Will Be Blood Tonight", the opening song off their new
album. Lizzy actually sang the first verse from behind the stage before
running out as the first chorus began. Goddamn does this guy have a
great set of pipes! He sang each song flawlessly even if he couldn't
sustain the high notes as long as he does on his albums (it seemed he
was slightly assisted by a vocal track but he WAS NOT lip-synching).
Bassist Martin Andersson hit his runs flawlessly, meshing perfectly with
Joey Scott's powerful drumming. Guitarist Alex Nelson was awesome, even
contributing some great backing vocals. All the while Lizzy was in full
"ringmaster" mode, playing to the crowd and running around the
stage like a man possessed. Between every song he would go backstage and
don a new outfit, getting into whatever character was needed for the
next song. Highlights of the set included "Hell is for Heroes"
(complete with crowd call & answer), "Red Rum" and
especially "Me against the World" which really sparked the
crowd. I was disappointed that the band didn't play "American
Metal" which I had heard would be in the set, and REALLY pissed
that they didn't do my personal fave, "Lovin' You is Murder"
from the new album. Still, Lizzy proved that he's still got it and put
on a fantastic show.
After the storm that was Lizzy Borden, the crowd was super-psyched to
see guitar god Yngwie Malmsteen. The time in between sets was peppered
with chants of "Malmsteen" as the anxious crowd awaited his
arrival. Once again, the lights went down, and the crowd just roared as
Yngwie slammed the stage…with only his drummer and bass player in
tow…wtf?!?!? "O.K.", I thought, "he's just going to
please the crowd and solo for awhile before really kicking in with
vocals and keyboards." 10 minutes went by…then 15…then Yngwie
sang "Highway Star". Still no sign of Jorn Lande (vocals) and
Mats Olausson (keyboards). The entire crowd was obviously confused.
Yngwie mentions that the band is just a 3-piece tonight and he'll tell
us why "later". Well, later turned out to be almost an hour,
at which point I was extremely irritated at Malmsteen. As it turns out,
Jorn and Mats were held up at the border and not allowed into the
country. FUCKING BORDER NAZIS. You can read Malmsteen's statement
regarding the show here.
I know that there are a ton of people that were pissed off at Yngwie
for doing the show (me included until I found out the reason for the
absences), but I give the guy credit for still coming and putting on the
best show he could. I mean, I was truly in awe of the guy's talent…all
I can say is that everything you've heard about Malmsteen's playing is
true! The guy is amazing. That being said, I didn't really want to
listen to soloing for 2 hours, although John's drum solo was very cool.
Little did I know that the highlight of my night would occur as I
wandered around the venue during Randy's bass solo. I went into the
lounge area and who was standing there but Martin and Alex from Lizzy
Borden! I immediately went up and introduced myself to them and
explained that I was with Metal-Rules! Imagine my shock when Martin went
"Yeah! I know that site, it's cool!" FUCK YEAH! Naturally I
asked them if they had seen my review of DEAL WITH THE DEVIL - they had
and loved it! * pause in the story as Waspman faints and then wakes up *
Being the cool guys that they are, they chatted with me a bit and then
gave me their manager's email address to set up a band interview! How
cool is that? Thanks guys!
So, while Malmsteen's set was disappointing, the show as a whole was
fantastic, and I strongly urge anyone who lives at or near one of the
tour stops to make a point of going to see this show! Oh yeah, and
hopefully look for an interview with the Lizzy Borden guys here on
Metal-Rules! in the coming months!
Special thanks to Toni for getting me in to see this show, and to
Julia and Ryan for just being cool!