Saxon celebrated the kick off of their 35th anniversary tour for their long-time fans in New York City with special guests Armored Saint.
Many bands in our lifetime have come and gone over the past 35 years. Only a few have conquered success of epic proportions and remain with a cult following while maintaining the same hunger. The genre of heavy metal music has morphed in many ways, so it’s refreshing to see one of the pioneers of the new wave of British heavy metal keeping real.
California’s Armored Saint opened the night with the brand-new song, “Win Hands Down,” the title track from their new album due in early June this year. Performing the classics “March of the Saint,” “Nervous Man,” and “Madhouse.” Surprisingly, one song from the last album, 2010’s La Raza,Â was performed, “Left Hook From Right Field.” The packed venue included many of their diehard fans who were raising their fists in the air proudly. The crowd enjoyed the bands back catalogue material. However, it was good to hear the maturation of songs like “Mess,” and the audience enjoyed every minute of it.
As the crowd grew in number, the smell of craft beer filled the air. Biff Byford stood center stage in his commanding military jacket and leather boots as if he was going into battle.
Saxon galloped through the nineteen song set opening up with “Motorcycle Man” from 1980 and leading into “Sacrifice“ from 2013 you knew we will have a mix bag of balls to the wall of Heavy Metal bliss.The evening was mostly material from the classic period of 1980 through 1983 with the occasional songs from the 2007 masterpiece ” I’ve Got to Rock ( to stay alive).”
One can hope that musicÂ from the later period of the band will see the light of day. That is not to say the night was not amazing, however, with the musical climate today of bands just being a classic hits tour, one has to ask when will the new material be unleashed. The 2013 album is amazing, and has been slowly becoming a classic and somewhat of a come back record for Saxon. With the documentary “Heavy Metal Thunder,” already three years fans have beenÂ clamoring for new material from these true heavy metal brits.