Roxy Theater
Los Angeles

It's been six solid years since Rory Gallagher has toured the States and he's only had a couple of independently released LPs available during that time. With a new deal (IRS) and a new album (Fresh Evidence), he decided to hit the road. The line in front of the Roxy waiting to get in ran almost all the way down to the Whiskey causing many to say that it was the strongest queue in recent memory, completely sold out to the gills!!  A measure of Rory Gallagher's contemporary influence is that Slash of Guns 'n' Roses was to jam with him on stage later.

Rory is showing his years a bit, he doesn't look like the fresh young guitar star he was in the early days with Taste, but his skill as a performer, guitarist and blues-rock storyteller has not diminished at all. The set was full of songs first made famous in the all-time great "Live in Europe' album and I didn't hear anybody complaining. For the intro to 'Messin' with the Kid', he cleverly jammed up a new opening before bursting out with the classic riff and bringing a roar out of the crowd. It seemed as if Rory wanted to have a little more fun with songs he's been playing for twenty years and freshen 'em up a bit. It was a great tease that he used, to disguise then unveil tunes in his repertoire.

Rory has always been unique and so is his most famous instrument. The '62 Stratocaster, the unpainted wonder of the world was his main choice for most of the evening. For "A Million Miles Away" he broke out a sparkling Fender Telecaster, but both guitars were miked into a couple of vintage amplifiers, on of which looked like a Forties-style big radio speaker that was made of wood and looked very well aged.

This time instead of bringing along a keyboard player, Gallagher supplemented his three -piece band, that includes Gerry McAvoy, with harmonica player, Mark Feltham, who was exceptional. On several occasions, Mark and Rory traded solos and during the spirited driving guitar workout in ‘Bad Penny’, they played the solo section together note for note. It was an inspiring moment that drew Mark a rousing ovation when Rory saluted him during the applause.

 For vintage Gallagher fans, there was hardly a standard that he missed this evening, roaring  through “Tattoo’d Lady’ ‘Laundromat’, and ‘Shadow Play’ and including  only a couple of numbers from  his new album. He held the stage to himself for an acoustic segment that included “Pistol Slapper Blues’ and a couple of verses that were complete ad libs. He gave the standing room only audience two hours and twenty minutes of what they wanted.. When Rory came out for the first encore, he was wearing his trademark plaid flannel shirt and shed his leather jacket that was soaked with blues-rock sweat. I think even his shirt got a hand from the audience.

Not to steal that thunder, but more to acknowledge his appreciation of Rory Gallagher, Slash came out on the final number. On 'Bullfrog Blues' the pair traded solos, and Slash was hanging pretty tough on the  blues licks, even prompting Rory to signal his band stretch it out a couple more bars. This was not the kind of crowd that would go ga-ga over a hot young gunslinger like Slash, they were there to see Rory and it was his night. Rory finished the night with a big grin that reached everybody in the room, and admitted that he would be back soon.

I just hope we don't ever have to wait this long again to see him.
John Sutherland

This one comes from a 1991 issue of Metal Hammer
Thanks again to John Wainwright for passing it along
reformatted by roryfan
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