September 23rd, 1978 - Uptown Theater, Kansas City, Missouri, USA
Attached find a ticket stub from September 23, 1978 show at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City Missouri. AC/DC warmed up for Thin Lizzy. At this point I'd never heard of Gary Moore and was expecting to see Brian Robertson and Brian Downey. Was very surprised to see two new guys though they were both phenomenal and I went on to become huge fans of both Gary Moore and Mark Nauseef.
This particular eve was a rough night for Thin Lizzy. For starters, ACDC warming up for them was trouble. ACDC was on fire that night. Angus had a couple hundred feet of guitar chord and Bon Scott put him on his shoulders and they not only came off the stage and into the crowd, they made their way up into the balcony section. The place went crazy. They were very good.
Thin Lizzy came out and were having problems with the sound from the get go. Phil's bass was bottoming out in the mix and he was pissed about it. They adjusted for it but it was a problem throughout the show. Not sure if he blew a speaker in his cab or what but they never got it quite right.
To say that Gary had a rough night would be a huge understatement. His playing was jaw droppingly good but not once, but twice the sound cut out on his guitar while he was soloing. The first time one of the roadies got it squared away pretty quickly but you could see in Gary's demeanor he was not a happy camper. The second time it happened Gary was so pissed that he took off the melody maker and literally, not figuratively, threw it at one of the roadies before he stomped offstage. The roadie was standing by Gary's amp/cabs trying to figure out the problem and Gary was at the front of the stage. The throw was maybe only 10-15 feet but it took the roadie, and the crowd, by surprise and I've never forgotten it. Yes, the roadie caught it!
After they finished up the song, I don't recall which tune it was but it was one that featured Gary playing lead, Gary came back out and played out the show but they wrapped things up quickly and did not play any encore. Crowd was bummed. I think it was the first time I ever saw a headliner not do an encore.
I walked away from the show thinking a couple things. 1) Bad night for Lizzy as they totally got smoked by ACDC and 2) I had to figure out who in the world this Gary Moore cat was as he was one of the best guitarists i'd seen. In case your wondering how much stock to put into my assessment, only 1 week before the Lizzy show, i'd seen Van Halen warm up for Black Sabbath. That was the third time I'd seen Van Halen in less than 6 months as they went back and forth across America on the Van Halen I tour. I'd already seen Ritchie Blackmore, Alex Lifeson, Tony Iommi, Michael Schenker, Ronnie Montrose to name a few guitar players by the time I saw the Lizzy show and even though he had a very rough night, Gary Moore went right to the top of the list. I went back to college in Columbia MO (MIZZOU) and started telling everyone about this crazy fast guitar player I'd seen. Immediately combing through the record stores looking for anything w/ Gary Moores name on it. We didn't have the luxury of the internet back then and figuring out who he was and what he'd played on was considerably difficult. Within a couple of weeks I found a copy of Back On The Streets and drove the people in my dormitory crazy playing it at high volume constantly to all the people I'd been raving to about his playing. While Parisienne Walkways may have been played on the radio in Europe, it was never played in Mid America. Nothing on that album ever made it onto the radio. Same for Black Rose when it came out.
I've since gone on to purchase every disc he's every played on from Skid Row to Greg Lake to Cozy Powell to Colosseum.... He was brilliant and he is missed!
Mike Flanigan, 2nd September 2012
Thanks to Mike Flanigan!