Piledriver: ‘Live In Europe – The Rockwall Tour’

Released on April 28, 2023 (Fastball Music)

The Kings of “Boogie Rock” are back with a live three CD/DVD collection titled Live In Europe – The Rockwall Tour. I have to admit that as much as I enjoyed Piledriver‘s studio album Brothers In Boogie, which I reviewed back in mid-December 2016, I quickly lost track of them until I saw an e-mail advertising their latest release Live in Europe – The Rockwall Tour. As it turns out, Piledriver have released a number of albums consisting of Piledriver (1997), the Hi! EP (2000), Piles of Rock (2003), Brothers In Boogie (2016), The Boogie Brothers Live In Concert (2017), Rockwall (2018) and of course Live In Europe – The Rockwall Tour (2023).

If you’re not familiar with Piledriver, they started off as a Status Quo tribute band, which if course explains their Piledriver band name since Status Quo released an album titled Piledriver way back in 1972. I do find it a little odd that Piledriver elected to release another live CD/DVD after only one studio album (2018’s Rockwall) since their first live CD/DVD The Boogie Brothers Live In Concert but the Live In Europe – The Rockwall Tour is a special release for the band members since it serves as a tribute to their bandmate and keyboardist Rudi Peeters who sadly passed away at the age of 42 on August 29th, 2020. Live In Europe – The Rockwall Tour is quite different in some ways from The Boogie Brothers Live In Concert since the former is a collection of three different and shorter concerts while the latter consists of seemingly one very long set.

What I really like about Live In Europe – The Rockwall Tour is that although it showcases three different sets recorded and filmed at three different locations (the UK, the Netherlands and Germany), the setlist for each show (or at least the songs that are available for each set for this release) is quite different from the other ones. You can just imagine if Mötley Crüe, Dokken or Ratt released three sets from three different shows, you would likely have almost all of the same songs from one set to another. Piledriver on the other hand offer three quite different setlists, which is quite commendable. In fact, only the songs “Whatever You Want” and “Caroline” are featured in all three shows. Only a couple of tracks (“Down Down”, “Rockin’ All Over The World”, “Hold You Back” and “Roll Over Law Down”) appear on two of the three setlists. What that means is that you get 21 different songs played in a live setting and I am not even counting the six other songs represented in the “mystery medley” featured during the UK show. As far as The Boogie Brothers Live In Concert is concerned, 14 of 19 live tracks on that release appear on Live In Europe – The Rockwall Tour. Accordingly, from my perspective, it’s worth picking up Piledriver‘s latest live CD/DVD release since you are getting quite a bit of different material compared to what can be found on 2017’s The Boogie Brothers Live In Concert.

The downside of course with a lot of different songs on one release is that oftentimes, not all of the songs are at the same quality level. Unfortunately, that is the case for Piledriver and I find that their UK set is quite difficult to get through. The songs are a little bit slower and don’t seem to have the drive and zest compared to the tracks played during the Germany and Netherlands shows. While I find myself singing along and boogeying to the live tracks from the Germany show, I find myself thinking of skipping quite a few of the songs from the UK concert and particularly once the third track “Hold You Back” is done. Although I have only heard one studio album (Brothers In Boogie) from Piledriver, I now have a much clearer idea of which studio album that I would get next from the band. Five out of 12 songs featured in the Germany show came from the 2018 album Rockwall while four of the five songs featured on the Hi! EP (2000) appear in the UK set. Clearly, Piledriver have gotten a lot better with their most recent studio releases.

Overall, Live In Europe – The Rockwall Tour is a great introduction to anyone not familiar with Piledriver and it also has something for their die-hard and long-time fans since the band members really do a great job of covering all of their various releases on their latest live CD/DVD.

CD1 – Herne, Germany – Kulturzentrum – Mar. 17, 2019:
01. Top of The Hill
02. Draw The Line
03. Good Times
04. Rockwall
05. Stomp
06. Agitators
07. One For The Rock
08. Rock In A Crossfire Hurricane
09. Fat Rat Boogie
10. Down Down
11. Whatever You Want
12. Caroline

CD2 – Minehead, United Kingdom – Butlin’s Minehead – Sept. 29, 2019:
01. Whatever You Want
02. Rockin’ All Over The World
03. Hold You Back
04. Hi!
05. Joint Forces
06. Blue Eyed Lady
07. Roll Over Lay Down
08. What You’re Proposing
09. Mystery Medley
A. Mystery Song
B. Railroad
C. Wild Side of Life
D. Rolling Home
E. Again And Again
F. Slow Train
10. Caroline

CD3 – Zwolle, Netherlands – IJsselhallen – Jan. 25, 2020:
01. Caroline
02. Roll Over Lay Down
03. The Wanderer
04. Backwater
05. Hold You Back
06. Rain
07. Don’t Waste My Time
08. Whatever You Want
09. Rockin’ All Over The World
10. Down Down
11. Bye-Bye, Johnny

Band Members:
Michael Sommerhoff – rhythm and additional lead guitars, lead and harmony vocals
Peter Wagner – lead and rhythm guitars, lead and harmony vocals
Marc Herrmann – bass and harmony vocals
Tim Demuth – drums, harmony vocals
Rudi Peeters – keyboards, harmony vocals

Additional Musician:
Andreas Döbbe – keyboards (at concert in Herne, Germany)

Mixed and mastered by Siggi Bemm

Band Websites:
Official Website

Reviewed by Olivier for Sleaze Roxx, June 2023

Piledriver‘s Live In Europe – The Rockwall Tour (Promotional Medley Herne) video: