Joined: 09 Nov 2004
Location: Lancaster CA. U.S.A.
|Posted: Thu May 03, 2007 3:26 pm Post subject: New Review and Pics of of Heaven and Hell's San Diego gig!
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Black Sabbath (Heaven and Hell) 2007
Review by: David Priest
Photos By: Becky Hoyle and David Priest (MH) © 2007 On Track Magazine.com
I’ve been a fan of anything and everything related to Ronnie James Dio since I was a kid back in 1984. Having missed my opportunity to see the Dio fronted Black Sabbath in 1992 during the Dehumanizer tour for reasons I can’t quite remember I was pretty sure that there would never be another chance to catch them in action again after they last disbanded. The phrase ‘never say never’ comes to mind when I think about the fact that the line up of Dio, Iommi, Butler and Appice are once again bringing their exceptional talent to the masses under the name of Heaven and Hell. Whatever they call themselves it is still Black Sabbath to me as well as the millions of long time fans around the world. I know that there are those morons who try and bash the band calling them the fake Sabbath or fans who try to compare the current line up to the work that they did with Ozzy eons ago but the hard facts are that they are in a totally different league than what was accomplished with Ozzy and when people remember Ozzy it is not the music that he created but how much of an ass he’s made out of himself over the years. The same CANNOT be said for Dio as he has always been remembered for his powerful voice and the music he creates. That and of course his evil eye sign being thrown to the crowd at his shows. Having recently released their new CD titled Black Sabbath: The Dio Years which brings together the best of their past material and includes three brand new cuts the guys have hit the road and begun to sell out arenas all over North America. I myself was truly blessed to be able to see them when they brought their magic to the Coors Amphitheater in sunny San Diego, CA this past week (April 26th). The price of admission for Sabbath alone would have been well worth the investment but throw in support from speed Metal veterans Megadeth and rising stars Machine Head and you are presented with an unbeatable force of massive proportions.
I arrived just in time to catch Machine Head’s opening set and I have to say it was pretty cool being able to see and hear them on such a large scale. They performed like pros and delivered a solid first strike to the crowd gathering for the evening's festivities. While they may not have fit in with some of the older fans in attendance they did bring a youthfulness to the table which made for an unexpected adrenaline rush that started the night off just perfect. The band played a set of tunes that included fan favorites as well as selections from their current album The Blackening which has garnered critical acclaim in recent weeks and is being heralded as one of the best releases of 2007. Frontman Robb Flynn’s parting comment before leaving the stage was that they had the next day off so they were going to drink a lot of vodka after their show; ahh, to be a young Rock Star must be nice.
As always, the masters of speed and precision known as Megadeth performed their block of tunes to sheer perfection. I never grow tired of seeing Dave Mustaine and company kick out the riffs. Song favorites included: “Peace Sells”, “Kick The Chair”, “Hanger 18”, “Symphony Of Destruction” and a new offering called “Washington Is Next” from their forth coming release United Abominations due in stores next month. After Dave gave notice that they were done warming us up for Black Sabbath he said that he was going to run for president and this was his campaign song to which he slammed head first into the riff for “Holy Wars”. The audience seemed to hold quite a few fans in attendance as the response was pretty damned overwhelming from my perception. Megadeth are the epitome of true Metal and I was very glad that they were added to this bill.
After a brief intermission the crucial moment had arrived when the legendary Black Sabbath took to the stage. From the opening line of “After All (The Dead)” I was completely entranced and nearly beside myself. I couldn’t believe what I was bearing witness to. The stage look was intense and very large scale. Brilliant lighting and a set up that was reminiscent of a medieval castle was the decor and had Dio and Sabbath written all over it. Their sound and performance were absolutely flawless in every aspect. The guys played fourteen songs in all and went for nearly two hours. Hearing some of these lost but not forgotten treasures in all their glory was undeniably surreal to say the least. Some of these songs haven’t been played live in fifteen years or more. The passion that ensues between Ronnie and Tony in the face of the crowd is mystical, magical and utterly exhilarating. I was especially entertained and touched by the inclusion of such masterpieces as “Falling Off The Edge Of The World”, “The Sign Of The Southern Cross”, “I”, ”Children Of The Sea”, “Lady Evil” and of Course “Heaven and Hell”. Also of interest was Tony’s solo intro for “Die Young”, I’d forgotten just how good of a guitarist he really is, and Vinny’s drum solo which completely rocked. Following the show I met up back stage with some friends and was able to tell Ronnie personally how much he ministered to me that night. He is and always has been a truly class act.
Despite the San Diego crowd being one of the rowdiest I’ve been subjected to in some time, (there was moshing, I had a beer dumped on my head and one fool even made it on stage and fought with security to stay there), it was an absolutely perfect night in every facet. Black Sabbath or Heaven and Hell, as they are officially being billed, are selling out arenas all over the country and word is, directly from the mouth of Ronnie James Dio, that they will be back in the fall with Queensryche and Rob Zombie as support for the second leg of the tour. I know I’ll be there without question. If you’ve never seen these guys live before and consider yourself a fan of Metal I strongly suggest that you don’t let this one pass you by. This is history in the making and there are no plans for them to continue on with this line up after their year of touring is up due to other commitments. So don’t miss out, you will regret it I promise.
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