RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Triumph – Live at the Sweden Rock Festival
TML Entertainment


Rating: A

Okay – some see Triumph as the baby brother to Canadian powerhouse Rush, and in some ways, that makes sense. The band rocked as hard (often harder than Rush), were a trio, were featured around an amazing guitar player and had great success…but never quite as much success as Rush. So, okay, fair enough.

Triumph also had one of the biggest hissy fit breakups of all time, with drummer Gil Moore and bass player/Producer Mike Levine on one side of the line, and guitarist Rik Emmett on the other. Things were so bad that friendships, decades long, evaporated and a reunion was something that was not even fathomed by the band’s diehard fans. Triumph died in the 1980’s and that was that.

But oh how life can change. Rik Emmett was faced with a dying wish from a close relative who requested that he talk to the guys, once again.

Something like a million years had gone by since the days of band fighting and back stabbing, so they decided to meet. The trio came together, not to play music, but just to talk. They discovered what they had forgotten all of those years ago…they were not only three great musicians, they were three funny fuckers…okay, goofy funny, Canadian funny…but still funny. And they still liked each other, and over the years, the hard feelings had washed away.

The Sunday dinners turned them into friends again and, just like the first time around, they could not resist playing music together. The band was enjoying jamming and having fun again.

When Triumph was offered a reunion spot at the Sweden Rock Festival in 2008, they thought about it, discussed it and decided to do it. In typical Canadian logic, they decided to hold their reunion halfway around the earth instead of in their homeland. In retrospect, however, this is even more reason for all North Americans to rush out and buy this sucker, so they can see the show they likely missed.

The concert featured the band cranking out ten of their classic tunes. It was an old school show for their diehard fans (most of who were in Canada at the time) and featured early classics “I Live for the Weekend,”, “Rock & Roll Machine,” “Blinding Light Show” and a cover they played back in the beginning days of the band, Joe Walsh’s “Rocky Mountain Way.”

The band’s classic Allied Forces is represented well with the title track and two of Triumph’s biggest hits “Magic Power” and “Fight the Good Fight.” The ten song set is full of extra jamming and the band, considering it is their first live show in eons, is tight and sounds great.

Triumph fans need to buy this CD/DVD package. Seeing the band on DVD is great as it is a feast for both the ears and eyes. The CD alone, however, is damn good too and will find its way back into your player time and time again. Check out Triumph’s website as well, as they have a ton of bundles that fans can purchase.

Let’s hope this release will light that fire once again and maybe, just maybe, in 2013 we can talk these three rockers into a full fledged tour!

Until then, buy Live at the Sweden Rock Festival and be prepared to hold on to your dreams, as you witness Triumph’s triumphant return to the world stage.

By Jeb Wright