Rockin’ The River
North Tonawanda, NY
Friday July 1, 2016
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto
Gratwick Park hosted their second of three concerts in their Rockin’ On The River concert series of 2016 Friday evening. Who better to perform on Canada Day than Rik Emmett. Emmett was a regular with the Lockport Concert Series, this occasion marked his first appearance at Gratwick Park. The turnout was very good despite the rain earlier in the afternoon as well as the chilly temperatures in the evening.
These days the only place to hear songs from Emmett’s old band Triumph, is to see one of his shows. The downside to that is the focus is more on Triumph and less on his solo songs. Sometimes it would work out to have the best of both worlds.
Emmett started his set off with the classic “Lay It On The Line” which was from Triumph’s 1979 release Just A Game. The band’s lone top-40 hits “Somebody’s Out There” and “Hold On” followed. The latter was the band’s first hit and Emmett mentioned that it reached number one in St. Louis. Emmett went on to say it was in St. Louis that AC/DC singer Bon Scott wanted to beat him up but that was for another story someday.
The set seemed very short clocking in at around seventy minutes. Before you knew it Emmett thanked the fans for helping his dream come true. He mentioned some of the places where Triumph had first played at in western NY. Places like McVan’s, The After Dark in Lockport, Kleinhan’s and of course The Aud. This helped set up the closing song to the set the classic rock radio smash “Magic Power”.
Emmett left his guitar strapped to his shoulder and skipped leaving the stage for an encore. The band broke into Triumph’s “Fight The Good Fight” to end the night.
It seems Emmett is set in his ways when it comes to a set list. He sang a good majority of the Triumph songs. It would be nice change of pace to hear such lost songs as “A World Of Fantasy”, “Say Goodbye” and perhaps the epic “Just A Game” thrown in for good measure occasionally. Not to mention perhaps a selection of songs from his solo albums.
While the guys that play with Emmett are very capable musicians, it is a Triumph reunion that many fans crave for. The band last reconvened in 2008 to play Rocklahoma and the Sweden Rock Festival. Mike Levine revealed to our correspondent Thom Jennings recently that he doubted the band would play together again. The Buffalo area has always had a love affair with Triumph. To this day Rik Emmett probably hasn’t played any area outside his native country more than here. If a Triumph reunion ever does happen you can bet they will play Buffalo, there isn’t a doubt in my mind. Till the we can dream, can’t we?
Lay It On The Line
Somebody’s Out There
Rocky Mountain Way (including Led Zeppelin short medley)
The Clouds Across The Moon
Fight The Good Fight
Special thanks to the fine folks at Rockin The River check them out at www.ntrockinontheriver.com