Lizzy Borden Concert Review


Show Date: August 26, 2010
Location: Berlin, Germany
Venue: Blackland Metal Club
Reviewer: Dirk Ballerstadt
Band Website:

Prologue: August 4, 1892 – Fall River, Massachusetts: a woman named Lizzie Borden has been arrested for killing her father and stepmother with an axe. That story has been told nationwide for years, as has reporting of the murder trial that followed. But, there’s one more Lizzy Borden

It was a horrible situation: a rainy August night and poor advertising (I actually read about the show 24 hours before) made me rushed and racing into the sparsely crowded club for this gig. The band, Lizzy Borden, had two days-off in town and played a show while being on a successful European tour which included gigs in smaller clubs and bigger festivals at Germany’s Wacken, Sweden’s Rock Out and Spain’s Leyendas del Rock. The band has toured Europe very often over the last few years and usually do very well.

So… in a small club with a smaller audience, what can you expect? Nothing but fun — having a metal band in a living room type atmosphere, with a standing face-to-face situation, and the die-hard fans. Before Californian outfit Lizzy Borden came on stage it was the German band Rising Storm who had the assignment to perform in front of very reserved metal-heads, but after their short program they got lots of positive feedback because of their old-school power metal — which reminded me a bit of US bands such as Helstar, Exxplorer and Savage Grace.

There was a short break (and another beer) before the intro played and Lizzy Borden jumped on stage with double opening songs “Tomorrow Never Comes” and”Under Your Skin”, both from the band’s latest release Appointment With Death… and a little storm broke loose. Lizzy Borden had never played in Berlin, and from the very beginning the roughly 100 fans in attendance moved and pushed toward the stage — heartily welcoming good ol’Lizzy Borden, the man with the axe who formed the band with his brother Joey Scott way back in 1983. While the band played these two songs it became very clear to me how much the musicians enjoyed performing in a smaller venue as they won the people’s respect in about five minutes. Frontman Lizzy Borden grinned like a little devil towards the crowd and the fans ate out of his hands, especially with the group taking the best material from their half-dozen albums like Love You To Pieces, Menace To Society, Visual Lies, Master Of Disguise, Deal With The Devil and Appointment With Death.

Musically Lizzy Borden is straight-ahead, in-your-face melodic metal with a theatrical show that lets the fans freak out… or inother words; while Lizzy‘s playing your neurotransmitter, dopamine rushes through your brain and crashes your mesolimbic system, leaving you feeling just… happy. As for the five musicians — charismatic singer Lizzy Borden, hard hitting drummer Joey Scott, groovingbass player Marten Andersson and blitzkrieg guitar slingers Dario Lorina and A.C. Alexander — they fought a 70-minute battle and finally won everyone over by performing such Lizzy Borden classics as “Visions”, “Me Against The World”, “Red Rum”, “American Metal” (where all fists are raised in theair and you go ‘oh YEAH!’), “Terror In Town”, the epic “Master Of Disguise”, “We’ve Got The Power” and the first encore “Give ‘Em The Axe” which had the dozen fans in front of the stage playing air-guitar and shaking their heads like a helicopter’s rotor.

Believe me or not, but as the hair metal veteran that I am I’ve seen many shows, from New York’s MSG to festivals to Hollywood clubs like The Whiskey, The Roxy and Gazzarri’s. and I can’t remember seeing such an authentic and honest performance. Lizzy Borden has played the rock ‘n’ roll circus for about 27 years and they’re still in their second prime with their latest CD releases from 2000-2007, but unfortunately they’re in that Anvil territory — meaning they have some classic albums out, play festivals and exciting and thrilling shows, but have never made it to stardom.

Even if Lizzy Borden is about theatrical show elements in the tradition of Alice Cooper, this night in Berlin showed that the musicwins over theater when the song structures work well in company with emotional, high, clear and harmonizing lead vocals… and Lizzy is a great singer and performer.

“Long Live Rock And Roll”, a Ronnie James Dio tribute, ended the very energetic concert and after all the sweat (that club was a sauna!),blood (it looked like cherry marmalade), two sexy dancers and the different masks Lizzy put on, all I can say is that this performance made me shiver in a good way and finally left me impressed to be at a private show that I’ll never forget.

All work done, Lizzy had a meet-and-greet with the fans (some had bags full of LPs, CDs, etc. to get signed ) and then did an interview with meand I was honoured to meet a Los Angeles rocker who is passionate to both the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle and the fans. If you ever have the chance to see the man with the axe… go for it!

Epilogue: On June 20, 1893 Lizzie Borden was acquitted of murder and lived out her life in her hometown until her death. When she walked the streets of Fall River people looked the other way. If you want to judge Lizzy Borden the band for something… it is real rock ‘n’ metal!