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Thin Lizzy: Remembering through three of their most iconic gigs

Today we examine one of the great Irish bands via three of their most special live gigs.

Thin Lizzy’s legacy on Irish music is beyond the scope of any one article to really reckon with.


The band, which formed in Dublin in 1969, have a considerable discography. A figure totaling 12 studio albums and 2 double-live albums, all released in the span of a 14-year career.


Thin Lizzy was known for their energetic live performances, which often featured mesmerizing guitar solos and dual lead guitar harmonies. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Thin Lizzy concerts and what made them so special.

One of the defining features of a Thin Lizzy concert was the presence of frontman Phil Lynott. Lynott was a charismatic performer who had an undeniable stage presence. He was known for his soulful vocals, powerful bass playing, and dynamic showmanship. Lynott was the heart and soul of Thin Lizzy, and his presence on stage was a major part of what made the band’s concerts so memorable.


For context, Phil Lynott was an Irish rockstar in an era when that concept didn’t exist. This was a pre-Hot Press, pre-U2, pre-record industry Ireland.


Live and Dangerous is a live album by Thin Lizzy that was released in 1978. The album was recorded during the band’s tour of the UK and Ireland in 1977, and it has since become one of the most iconic live albums in rock history.



Live and Dangerous features some of Thin Lizzy’s biggest hits, including ‘Jailbreak’, ‘The Boys Are Back in Town’, and ‘Don’t Believe a Word.’. The album showcases the band’s incredible musicianship, with dual lead guitar harmonies and extended guitar solos that showcase the talents of guitarists Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson. Frontman Phil Lynott is also in top form, delivering powerful vocals and bass playing that anchor the band’s sound.


In addition to its musical merits, Live and Dangerous is also notable for its production. The album was famously “enhanced” in the studio, with overdubs and edits added to improve the sound quality. Some fans have criticized this approach, arguing that it takes away from the raw energy and spontaneity of a live performance. Despite these criticisms, however, Live and Dangerous remains a beloved album that captures the essence of Thin Lizzy at the height of their powers.

002 Thin Lizzy Emerald Live and Dangerous


The exact number of copies sold for Thin Lizzy’s Live and Dangerous album is not entirely clear. However, the album was a commercial success, reaching #2 on the UK album charts and earning a gold certification from the RIAA in the United States. Some estimates suggest that the album has sold over two million copies worldwide. While the album’s production techniques have been the subject of some controversy among fans, there is no denying the impact that Live and Dangerous has had on the world of rock music, and it remains a beloved and influential album to this day.

Thin Lizzy at Slane Castle, 1981

Thin Lizzy’s performance at Slane Castle on August 28, 1981, is one of the most iconic moments in the band’s history. The concert was part of a larger festival that featured acts like U2 and Rory Gallagher, but Thin Lizzy was the undisputed headliner of the event.


The concert was attended by over 70,000 fans, making it one of the largest gigs in Irish history. The band’s setlist was a mix of classic hits and newer material, showcasing their versatility and range as a band. The energy of the crowd was electric, and the band fed off of that energy, delivering a performance that was powerful and memorable.


One of the highlights of the concert was the band’s performance of their hit song ‘Whiskey in the Jar’.  The crowd sang along with every word, creating a moment of unity and celebration that is still remembered fondly by those who were there. Other standout performances included ‘Jailbreak’, ‘The Boys Are Back in Town’, and ‘Don’t Believe a Word’, all of which showcased the band’s incredible musicianship and tight-knit chemistry.

Thin Lizzy at Dalymount Park 1977

Thin Lizzy’s gig at Dalymount Park on July 31, 1977, is another memorable moment in the band’s history. The concert was a homecoming of sorts for frontman Phil Lynott, who was born in Dublin and raised in the city’s Crumlin neighborhood.


The concert was attended by over 20,000 fans, many of whom had grown up with Lynott and the band. The energy of the crowd was electric, and Thin Lizzy delivered a performance that was both powerful and heartfelt. The setlist included classic hits like ‘Jailbreak’, ‘The Boys Are Back in Town’, and ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’, as well as deeper cuts like ‘Soldier of Fortune’, and ‘Emerald’.


One of the most memorable moments of the concert was when Lynott brought his mother on stage and dedicated the song ‘Róisín Dubh’to her.


Overall, Thin Lizzy’s gig at Dalymount Park was a moment of triumph for the band and for Irish rock music in general. The concert remains a beloved memory for those who were there, and it continues to inspire new generations of music fans today.

Author: Luke Sharkey


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