Monday, September 10, 2007

Concert Recap: Queensryche, Alice Cooper, and Heaven and Hell (aka Black Sabbath, the Ronnie James Dio years)

Saturday evening I attended my first concert at Jones Beach. The triple bill consisted of Queensrÿche, Alice Cooper, and Heaven and Hell. Heaven and Hell may be an unfamiliar band name, but it is in fact, Black Sabbath, version 3 I believe, with original members Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Vinny Appice, and Ronnie James Dio.

Initially, I was under the impression that Alice was the first act, followed by Queensrÿche, but we were running late and we could hear Queensrÿche in the parking lot. Initially I was bummed that I had missed the opening, but soon realized it was a blessing. They performed maybe five songs and despite lead singer Geoff Tate's impressive pipes, the fact that they played nothing off of their groundbreaking 1983 EP Queensrÿche or other "big" songs off of their triple-platinum album Empire like "Silent Lucidity" or "Jet City Woman," was incredibly disappointing. Their rendering of "Take Hold of the Flame," was the only recognizable song to the non-diehard fan. Their set seemed to last maybe 30 or 40 minutes, tops. I'd give a setlist, but I can't access the band's forum page without joining their fan club, to the tune of $30. I hope you'll forgive me.

A Queensrÿche slide show from the show over on Flickr here.

I attended the show with pals Jonathan, Sephora (my Ozzfest companion) and Tom. We were all sitting in the VIP area drinking some beer between sets, and we headed for the seats as Alice Cooper's set started. I must be a spoiled Pearl Jam fan, as I am used to readily accessible post-show set lists. Not able to locate one for Alice, but I'll do my best.

Mr. Cooper did not disappoint and produced a raucous hit-laced set, complete with a campy disturbing act (misogyny, straitjackets, baby-killing and hanging from a rolling gallows - hey it was all in good fun!) and a sick drum solo by Eric Singer.

Here's my footage of "Under My Wheels":

Mr. Cooper holding up a bloody doll that he mock-murdered on stage:

For his crime against the baby, he was theatrically executed:

After resurrecting, I snagged one of my better shots of Alice in top hat and tails:

Another attendee's Alice Cooper Flickr slideshow here.

A big Alice Cooper fan:

For the record, Alice Cooper's set list seems to be MIA, but he also performed "Welcome to My Nightmare," "I'm Eighteen," "School's Out," "Billion Dollar Babies," "Halo of Flies," "No More Mr. Nice Guy," and ended with "Poison".

This is the best I can do of the Heaven and Hell stage:

However, I snagged this shot, not necessarily from the Jones Beach show, from the Black Sabbath site:

Two young metalheads in front of us, sporting Sabbath/Heaven and Hell garb, utilizing the latest technology to capture their childhood memories.

The setlist:

1. "E5150"
2. "The Mob Rules"

At this point, I was very proud of myself, as I had predicted this to be the opener. Without having done research. This is a perfect one-two combo as a show open.) Both songs are from Mob Rules, the album on which the Heaven and Hell line-up all worked together for the first time.

3. "Children of the Sea"

From the album Heaven and Hell. It was at this point that I realized I was in adolescent metal heaven. I had seen Ozzy in concert before, but not Black Sabbath. The Heaven and Hell album, I had nearly forgotten, is a great disc, and the band just destroyed with this song. Dio's vocals were crisp and clear, Iommi's guitar was brutally heavy, and Geezer Butler gained a new fan.

A while back, there was discussion somewhere around here about great bass players. Butler was incredible. Check out another fan's video of the song performed earlier this year:

It was during this song that I realized how much I was enjoying the show, and how much I appreciated getting to see this line-up perform these tunes. The sentiment revisited me repeatedly throughout the show.

4. "I" from 1992's Dehumanizer. I was not familiar with this song but dug it. Dio reunited with the band on this album.

5. "The Sign of the Southern Cross". Also from Mob Rules. This is vintage Dio-era Sabbath, with some of the heaviest riffs around. Iommi just calmly torched the stage with his guitar work. Another highlight of the show for me.

6. "Voodoo". More Mob Rules music. In conjunction with a stellar, although not really necessary Vinny Appice drum solo.

7. "Computer God". Another Dehumanizer track. I was not familiar with this one.

8. "Falling off the Edge of the World". Back to Mob Rules. Video below.

9. "Die Young". Ah Heaven and Hell again. And irony, considering these guys are rocking way into their '60s. A great performance!

10. "Heaven and Hell". Well, this just brought down the house and closed the set. My battery was running low so I only managed two minutes of footage:

11. Encore: "Neon Knights."

They play a one-song encore, cutting off at 10:45 PM. It's a great ending, once I came to terms that Heaven and Hell would be doing only Dio-era Sabbath, and none of Dio's solo work, or his early Rainbow songs.

Nonetheless, the whole show was a treat. Message boards have indicated that they played longer sets in the Spring, but the 10-11 song set has been typical of their Summer/Fall tour.

See my side project Tattoosday for pictures of tattoos I saw at the show.

1 comment:

KK said...