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King Diamond

Date: 10/14/14
Venue: Best Buy Theater, NYC
Report By: Rich Catino

Great to see the return of King Diamond to the stage and his unique frightening brand of horror metal after a many year absence (think last live show was in 2006), recuperating from open heart surgery. During this time, King also quit smoking, and boy has this benefitted his voice significantly, its clear, he maintains clarity and tone throughout the show, and hits every single falsetto. Haven’t heard him sound this good ever. Also, during his absence, King’s record label has (finally) given King the proper budget to do the high end theatrical show his music and stories requires to be brought to life.

Joining King is long time lead guitarist Andy LaRocque, Mike Wead (from Mercyful Fate) on second guitar, Matt Thompson on drums (since 2000), and newest addition on bass, Pontus Egberg. This group of players are tight as shit, and with Hammerfall guitarist Pontus Norgren behind the sound board this live mix is to say the least, pristine. The King Diamond band sounded as perfect as Accept has on their last few American runs, you could heart everything, King’s vocals were separated from the instruments, the bottom end rumbled, drums had punch and pop, and guitar riffs and leads were heard not muffled in the mix.

To match the professional sound was a stage production that was second to none, complete with a cemetery fence across front of stage, a giant three sided satanic church back drop including two giant inverted crosses that glowed and a pentagram. Two sets of stairs lead up to the drum riser where King, and band members, and female dancer would often emerge from and walk up and down.

If that is not enough, during the song ‘Welcome Home’ and ‘Tea’, grandma (in a wheel chair), a character from the album/story “Them”, joined King on stage to taunt the crowd. The birth of Abigail (from the album of the same name) was seen during the songs ‘The Family Ghost’ and ‘Black Horsemen’. ‘Puppetmaster’ title track and ‘Never Ending Hill’ from the most recent album (2007), “Give Me Your Soul…Please” complimented the set, but I missed ‘Voodoo’ and ‘Dreams’ (from the albums “Voodoo” and “Spider’s Lullaby”) which were in the European set from 2013. And, obviously the Mercyful Fate classics ‘Evil’ and ‘Come To The Sabbath’ brought down the house, but the icing on the cake was the body (grandma) burning in the coffin illusion for the climax to the “Them”/”Conspiracy” story during ‘Cremation’. This is the kind of Broadway production I’ve been waiting to see King do for years, and deservedly so. Also, glad the epic ‘At The Graves’ has made a return after many many years.

With a clean bill of health, a return to the stage, and a new compilation coming out in November 2014, I really hope some of these shows are being professionally taped for DVD.

Unfortunately, because of demand I was not one of the chosen few who received a photo pass. Hopefully next time. But, please do check out pics from our friends at http://www.piercingmetal.com.

The Candle
Sleepless Nights
Welcome Home
Never Ending Hill
Let It Be Done
The Puppet Master
At the Graves
Tea / Digging Graves / A Visit from the Dead
Evil (Mercyful Fate cover)
Come to the Sabbath (Mercyful Fate cover)
Shapes of Black
Eye of the Witch
The Family Ghost
Black Horsemen

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