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Iced Earth/ Sons Of Liberty

Date: 9/23/10
Venue: Best Buy(Nokia) Theater, Manhattan, New York
Reviewed by: Rich Catino


Sons Of Liberty is the side project of Iced Earth mainman/guitarist John Schaffer who handles all vocals and instrumentation for the debut "Brush-Fires Of The Mind", which also features guest solos by producer Jim Morris, Iced Earth guitarist Troy Seele and bassist, Ruben Drake.

A excerpt from a press release about the project sums things up...Born from Schaffer’s desire to educate the people about a pattern of global banking corruption that is undermining the independence of people and their countries, Sons Of Liberty aims to spearhead a multi-faceted and peaceful resistance of the tyranny being wrought every day on regular people for the purpose of spreading awareness about the current state of affairs worldwide. Schaffer, in turn, has reverently named his new project after a secret organization comprised of notable United States’ patriots that formed in 1765. These patriots worked fervently to expose and resist the tyranny that the colonists were subjected to, which ultimately led to the American Revolution. Schaffer’s goal for this project is not to sell records, t-shirts or tickets, but rather wake people up and to get them to start researching and talking with each other.

Now to the show...with Sons Of Liberty, Schaffer acts more like a politician speaking at a press conference than a metalhead, talking to the crowd in between songs about all the quote-un quote lies (which are probably not far from the truth) the government feeds us each day.

Minus his guitar, with wireless mic in hand, John struts the stage spreading his well researched word to the crowd with hopes (that is if all he predicts is true), anyone paying attention will begin to educate themselves and then others. Performance wise, Sons Of Liberty may have historical and politically charged lyrics and song titles that inspire revolution, but the crowd didn’t seem all too interested in the message (that is in a live setting). As John threw his fist in the air for the chorus’, some participated while many just seemed to be taking it all in. I even heard a fan yell out "Alright enough of this shit, play ‘Burnt Offerings’!", and it was a bit heavy topically for a metal show, but John’s passion for these issues, and American history in general, is admirable and hopefully in his own way can make a difference.

Iced Earth are currently working on a new album and these 4 exclusive U.S. shows have been appropriately called Escape From The Studio to recharge the batteries. After a heady performance by Sons, after the patriotic intro "1776", Iced Earth hit the stage with a bang opening with the timeless classic ‘Burning Times’ and the crowd as well combusted singing with fists raised in celebration. While John Schaffer commands the stage in Sons of Liberty, he clearly is more accepted by the fans and enjoyable to watch with a guitar strapped to his back (think he should save the motivational speeches for another forum).

It’s been a couple years since Iced Earth played NY, and unlike the setlist in 08, tonight was just the best of the best, not focusing on the current album, and as a bonus included a couple rarely played (‘Last December’ from "Burnt Offerings", instrumental ‘Travel In Stygian’, and ‘Colors’ from the debut). Fast and furious ‘Violate’, ‘Vengeance Is Mine’ (from “The Dark Saga”), ‘Pure Evil’ (from one of my fav albums "Night Of The Stormrider"), ‘My Own Savior’ from "Something Wicked This Way Comes", and ‘Jack’ off "Horror Show", were dispersed accordingly amongst the twin guitar harmonies of gem ‘The Hunter’ and the 'Something Wicked Trilogy'. Although...no ‘Angel’s Holocaust’ or ‘Stormrider’??

The last two more recent albums, "Framing Armageddon (Something Wicked Part 1)" and "The Crucible Of Man (Something Wicked Part 2)", while enjoyable noteworthy bodies of work, were not quite as...say, classic, as the back catalogue. Let’s see what John has up his sleeve this time.

In the mean time, a DVD is on the way, called Festivals Of The Wicked, features full-length concerts from Wacken, 2007 (with Tim "Ripper" Owens on lead vocals), Metal Camp and Rock Hard, 2008 (with Matt Barlow on lead vocals), a rockin’ road movie, a long interview with Jon, and more.


Sons Of Liberty:
The Creature From Jekyll Island
Don't Tread On Me
False Flags
Indentured Servitude
Tree Of Liberty
Feeling Helpless
We The People

Iced Earth:
Intro: 1776
Burning Times
Declaration Day
Vengeance Is Mine
Last December
I Died For You
Travel In Stygian
Pure Evil
The Hunter
The Coming Curse
Birth Of The Wicked
A Question of Heaven
My Own Savior
Iced Earth


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