UFO lands in Times Square with Saxon

Alex Lloyd Gross- Photo- Delaware Valley News.com Vinnie Moore and Rob DeLuca, from UFO, both are from Delaware.

By Alex Lloyd Gross

Was there ever a rock show you wanted to see no matter what?  This was one not to be missed. UFO with Saxon.The fact is , this tour is not coming anywhere near  the Philly area. That is the only thing that sucked about this tour.  One of the last shows is at  Penns Peak, which will close out the US portion of shows.  It is about a two hour ride  from Philly and not everyone can do that or has transportation. The  option for seeing this show is in NYC at BB Kings  and that , for many is the best option. Located on 42nd Street, right where the red light district used to be in Times Square. It’s a surprisingly small club that can fit in  quite a few people.

Alex Lloyd Gross- Photo- Delaware valley News.com Audience participation is a must at a Saxon show.
Alex Lloyd Gross Photo- Delaware Valley News.com Biff from Saxon, live

The show started right on time, as Saxon, took the stage.  This band, along with UFO have a plethora of material to choose from. It was a waste of time for both bands to make up set lists, as neither band kept to them. “What song do you want to hear,?”  Called out the lead singer Biff Byford.  The crowd answered back with classics such as “20,000” Feet,”  “747,”  “Denim and Leather.”  The band played most of them, including  “Denim”. They broke out “Crusader’ and  “Dallas 1:00 PM, ” “That song is about your history,” Biff said.”

They were on fire and delivered the goods. However, they should have gone on earlier and played longer. Saxon were that good. Prior to the show, Biff saw some fans in the lobby and stepped out to say hello. Class act.

Alex Lloyd Gross- Photo Delaware Valley News.com Paul Raymond UFO

When UFO took the stage, they tossed the set list as well  and opened with a song not on the  set list, “Mother Mary” . They did play “Long Gone” but dropped “Wonderland/Makin Moves” from the set. Singer  Phil Mogg likes to interact and joke with the crowd. When fans called out for those songs, he said “Sorry, they’re not on the set list,”, as he bent down and saw they were. They were not played. As fans shouted requests for obscure songs like ” Gone In the Night”, or “Pack It Up and Go”,  Phil pointed to the crowd and said promised to play them all, and they never did.

Bass player Rob DeLuca, a local guy from Delaware said “We ( Saxon and UFO) have the same booking agent, Dan Devita, and he set up the tour,”  The crowd has been responding well to both bands and you would think that Saxon fans are also UFO fans. “I don’t know if that’s so”,  said DeLuca,. “We get new fans all the time, I am not sure of the cross over of the same fans,”  he said.  Maybe, but the fans in the crowd that night were mostly there to support both bands. Of course, if you are more of a Saxon fan, you will be more impressed with them over UFO, and visa versa.

As for UFO, look for a yet untitled album to be released and a tour of festivals in Europe.  Deluca  has been with the band for about nine years. Is he a UFO fan?  “Yes, i know a bunch of songs we don’t play”, but  there are still some songs the band recorded back in the day he does not know. ” They have so many records, as for spontaneous jams on stage, “I don’t think anyone would  feel comfortable  playing those songs live without rehearsing them at least once”.  Even drummer Andy Parker had to go online and purchase a copy of  The Wild The Willing and the Innocent, to relearn songs. When asked about the lack of a Philly date, Deluca  said.” I’m originally from the area, from Wilmington Delaware, we will get there, I promise you”.

UFO should breakout a few obscure songs  like “Letting Go” or even “Rock and A Hard Place” to treat their loyal fans. They slammed out all of their hits and did a beautiful version of “Love To Love”.  “Burn Your House Down” was hauntingly eerie and translated great when played live.  BB Kings offers fans the opportunity to stand and rock or sit down and eat dinner.  A show like this is best observed standing, close to the stage.  Those that were on the floor paid attention to the bands and not their cellphones. The way a concert was experienced back in 1980. Special guest on this show was Jared James Nichols.  That trio was well received and sounds like a good blues based rock band should. The show tonight is sold out but you may be able to scarf a ticket if you go early.