In 2012, Last In Line was formed by the musicians who made the music from the first three DIO albums; HOLY DIVER, LAST IN LINE and SACRED HEART. Wanting to play the music they were so much a part of, Vivian Campbell (guitar), Jimmy Bain (bass) and Vinnie Appice (drums) teamed up with vocalist Andrew Freeman to perform live and ultimately release their debut album, HEAVY CROWN. Sadly in 2016 Jimmy Pain passed away and brought in was bassist Philip Soussan who would join the band on their latest album II and the current tour they are on in support. And that brings us up to date...
On Saturday night I took a pilgrimage to The Chance Theater in Poughkeepsie, NY to see the Last In Line, meet the guys and see some amazing players I have never seen before live, any of them! What I got for almost 90 minutes was a high energy show, with some amazing music, fantastic playing and four guys who really enjoy what they are doing and making music together.
The band's set was a mix of classic DIO and tracks from the bands two albums and it just flowed perfectly. New songs like Landslide, Year of The Gun and Give Up The Ghost fit in perfectly with the old like Straight Through The Heart, We Rock and Evil Eyes. As brilliant as they played the thing that I took away from their performance was the fun they were having and how they all just enjoyed what they were doing. There were some hysterical moments like this huge build-up to Rainbow In The Dark that ended with Vivian Campbell instead tuning his guitar and there was the emotional intro from Phil Soussan for the song Starmaker dedicated to Jimmy Bain.
Musically you got what you would expect from such talented and well rounded musicians!!! Vinnie Appice plays with such thunder on a very small kit, Soussan is one of the best bass players I have ever seen or heard live and Campbell was able to play the songs he helped create and be the guitar hero!
For me, all eyes and ears were on Andrew Freeman. How would he sound doing the very demanding Dio material and how would he play it on stage? Vocally Freeman has it all, an incredible range for the high notes and is an excellent front man, playing with the zealous crowd and his band mates on stage. It isn't easy singing songs with the legacy of Ronnie James Dio but Freeman not only delivered, but made them his own.
With the band still on the road, I encourage you... no BEG you to check them out then they come to your town. Last In Line are performing this Saturday with Dokken at the MGM Springfield, MA and I will be there along with anyone I can drag to check out... dare I say it... one of the best bands I have ever seen live... and that says a lot because I have seen them all. But, this time i'll remember to get a shirt!!!!
Last In Line - http://www.lastinlineofficial.com/
Also, a big shout out to Shaggy and Vinnie for keeping the ship afloat.
The Power Chords Podcast is a twice-monthly podcast celebrating rock and metal music of the '70s, '80s, '90s and beyond. The show is co-hosted by Matt Herring and Brian LeTendre.