TRIUMPH - Pryor, OK 07/12/2008

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TRIUMPH - Pryor, OK 07/12/2008

Postby dabstudio » Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:56 am

July 12, 2008 marked the first Triumph gig in the United States in nearly twenty years. It is a well-documented how Triumph broke up and the ensuing legal battles that took place that left guitarist Rik Emmett estranged from band mates Gil Moore and Mike Levin. The split was so bad that Triumph reuniting seemed as unlikely as the Fab 4 getting back together. The seed that blossomed was Triumph’s induction into the Canadian Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. The trio sat down for the first time in decades to see if they could be together long enough to even accept the award, let alone play music. They discovered there was life beyond Triumph and that a spark of friendship remained despite the ugly scenario that took place in the 1980's. The band went to the ceremony, accepted the award and stayed in touch. Over time they began talking about music. As Emmett himself wrote in the classic song "Hold on" "Music holds the secret. To know it can make you whole." As unlikely as it seemed Triumph has returned, albeit without a new album or even a full tour – just a couple of gigs, the first of which was at the prestigious Sweden Rock Festival. The second gig took place at Rocklahoma in Pryor, Oklahoma, an 80's metal-fest.

They opened with "When the Lights Go Down" and it was clear from the start that Rik Emmett, always the musical heart and soul of the group, was in fine form. Gil Moore and Mike Levine clicked into a solid rhythm and Moore sang the song like he had never left the stage. Next up was a trio of classic Triumph tunes, the first, sung by Emmett was "Lay It on The Line." The band worked up a different intro to the song that built up to the strong chorus. "Allied Forces" came next and it was with this song that Triumph first struck gold in front of the Oklahoma crowd. While not a hit single, the song features heavy metal guitar licks, pounding drums and many rhythmic changes. Emmett was on fire during this song and momentum was going through the sky. This was easily the best performance the band did that night as well as the best performance Rocklahoma had ever seen. "Never Surrender" followed as Emmett once amazed the audience with his skills. Vocally, he can not only hit the high notes, he seems to do it with ease. The band had a second guitarist, Dave Dunlop, on hand so that Triumph could recreate all the harmony guitar parts on their albums. Wisely, Dunlop stayed in the background and performed his role solidly.

Joe Walsh’s "Rocky Mountain Way" was covered by the band – something they used to do back in the early days of the band’s career. While the cover rocked and the band had fun jamming it was clear that all the Triumph fanatics in the audience knew this would eat up time that could be used to play songs that didn’t make the set list including "Say Goodbye," "World of Fantasy," "Tears in the Rain" or "Spellbound."

The band returned to their Canadian debut, self-titled album to perform "The Blinding Light Show." While this was a treat for the diehard Triumph fans, the song is very long and could have been replaced by two of the aforementioned tracks. The Pink Floyd styled epic featured a great light spectacle – duh – and some great guitar playing. When the song ended, Levine and Moore left the stage leaving only Dunlop and Emmett to face the crowd. Emmett went into the opening notes of "Hold On" and the crowd went wild. The duo performed an incredible acoustic version of the song that was one of the highlights of the set.

When Moore and Levine rejoined the two on stage the gloves came off and the rest of the show was a rock n roll powerhouse performance. The band kicked into "I Live for The Weekend" from 1980's Progressions of Power driving the energy, once again to the moon. Following this was the band’s biggest FM radio hit "Magic Power." This proved to be another sing-a-long with the crowd. The band ended the song, took a bow and headed backstage.

The Rocklahoma crowd was not through with Triumph and truth be told the band were not through with them either. Emmett, Moore and Levine came back on, smiling from ear-to-ear, realizing they had came back to America and won over the crowd. The evening ended with "Fight the Good Fight" an anthem that Triumph fans hope the band takes to heart.
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Postby Allied Forces » Thu Aug 07, 2008 1:23 am

Thanks for this! :)
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Postby Moon Beam » Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:03 am

Thank you for posting this dabstudio, I would love to see Magic Power performed live.
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