In March 1998, Charles, T.J., and I drove to a club in northern Atlanta called The Outer Edge to see Saxon supporting their new album Unleash the Beast, on their first U.S. tour in more than 12 years. It was one of my favorite live music experiences ever.
Saxon formed in 1976. They are true giants of the heavy metal world who never got their due in the United States. They are much bigger in their native Great Britain, and throughout Europe.
They’ve remained prolific, and indeed, they’re doing absolutely outstanding music, even 40 years in. They do a new studio record every couple of years, and their next one Battering Ram is due in October. The advance single is the title cut, and I dig it:
If you like this, then you’ll be a Saxon fan in short order. They’re the real deal, and I couldn’t care less how old they are. Just listen!
I check periodically to see if they’re coming to the United States. They never are, but it’s a habit to look, you know? Except this time, guess what? They’re going to be in Atlanta less than two weeks from now.
It’s a Thursday night. Can I put that together? If I take some time off from work, and get over there early, and…
…nope. Not going to work out. You see, it’s the opening night of a festival, and they’d be the fourth of four bands to go on. Might be after midnight before they even start. I don’t have the budget to do anything but boogie over and boogie back, and that’s not going to work out with that timing. I can’t swing a hotel room right now just to see a band, even if it is Saxon.
Here is where the responsible dad faces off with the 35-years-and-counting metalhead, and wins.