LIVE (Retro): Gary Moore @ Saratoga Winners, 8/30/1987

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33 years ago tonight, Aug. 30, 1987: a packed gig: Irish guitarist Gary Moore at Saratoga Winners in Latham, NY. This was the only solo gig he ever played in the Albany area – he did play a gig as part of GREG LAKE’s band at the Palace Theater in Albany circa 1981, but other than that and this gig, that was it for Gary’s visits to the Nippertown region.

Photo by Mark Kurtzner

Gary – formerly of Thin Lizzy – was promoting his excellent celtic-tinged ‘Wild Frontier’ record in ’87, definitely his most Thin Lizzy-esque release. And his band at the time was flawless:  ex-UFO guitarist / keyboardist / vocalist Neil Carter, ex-Black Sabbath/future Alice Cooper / Badlands / KISS  drummer Eric Singer, and ex-Ozzy / Uriah Heep / Rainbow bassist Bob Daisley. A killer band.

Bob Daisley
Photo by Mark Kurtzner

This show, amazingly, was FREE. It was a free show promotion by radio station PYX-106. The single “Over The Hills and Far Away” was being played on that station at the time.  The place was packed, and the parking lot was full of people listening to the show who couldn’t get in.

Moore opened with “Over The Hills”, followed by “Thunder Rising”, and played a foolproof best-of set of his solo stuff. I remember during the ballad “Empty Rooms” – a huge hit in Europe but kind of an obscure album track here in the States – a guy in the crowd who totally didn’t look like a rocker in the least, passionately and emotively singing along at the top of his lungs and hitting every note – and he promptly left when the song was over. Walked straight out the door. He was there for “Empty Rooms” only. Weird the stuff you remember. I also remember Gary teasing the people in the back, many of whom had clearly just shown up for free and had no real interest in the band – that they could get a full refund at the door if they weren’t enjoying the show. Heads were blown off by an ultra-heavy version of “Murder In the Skies”, and Gary conquering all during set-closer guitar spotlight “The Loner”.  He’s no longer of this world, having passed away in 2011, but few finer guitarists ever walked the planet.

Setlist

  • Over The Hills And Far Away
  • Thunder Rising
  • Shapes Of Things
  • Military Man
  • So Far Away/Empty Rooms
  • Out In The Fields
  • Rockin’ Every Night
  • All Messed Up (Encore 1)
  • Murder In The Skies (Encore 2)
  • The Loner (Encore 3)

All hail the mighty GARY MOORE.

Photos by Mark Kurtzner

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