Tuesday, November 17, 2015
King Diamond's A Night of Abigail @the Tabernacle.
The third time King Diamond has come through in a just over a year's time. The catch this time was tonight he would play Abigail in it's entirety. Something many bands have been doing over the past few years. Abigail being my favorite King Diamond album made this have more appeal than if he chose " the Puppet Master" or even "the Eye". The concert was being held at the Tabernacle, an old church that was turned into a House of Blues venue. Metal shows were once held there with a little more frequencies right around 911. I've seen Slayer, Dimmu Borgir, Pantera, and Morbid Angel there. Tonight the show started pretty promptly with Exodus opening. Having been plagued with line up changes , this one which included "Pleasures of the Flesh " singer Steve Souza back in the band was solid enough, the only problems is aside from "Body Harvest" when they strayed from the first three albums the songs became stiff and one dimensional.
King Diamond did a variation of what I expected. Going into it you know he is going to play soe other stuff aside from "Abigail" , but the when of that equation, I let be a surprise and resisted hunting down the set list online. He opened up with "Welcome Home", after first rolling Grandma onstage. They followed it up with "Sleepless Nights". Then he stopped and said despite it being a few days late every day for him was Halloween and thus they kicked into to the song from "Fatal Portrait" might have been the first time I have heard him play that live. This is my seventh time seeing King, granted one of those was the mid 90s Mercyful Fate reunion so some of those blur together. He kept going churning out "Eye of the Witch" a good choice , and surprised he stayed clear of some of his hit or miss 90s stuff like" Abigail 2 " or " the Puppet Master" , where the lyrics to the latter remind me of a child molester half the time. Then the Mercyful Fate covers happened , " Evil" as expected and "Come to the Sabbath" was replaced by "Melissa" another one I don't recall hearing before, even on the Fate reunion.
Then the lights dimmed and the coffin was rolled out for "Abigail" . The opening played over the p/a before the cranked up into "Arrival'. King's voice was in fine form, the only moment it ever faltered over the course of the evening was the slight flatness to the bridge earlier on "Sleepless Nights", but it could be that he couldn't hear himself. We were on the floor and by the time "Mansion in the Darkness" was busted out the procession of drunk redneck trying to weave their way to the front so they could hold their drinks in the air to songs they didn't know began. The actress / dancer who plays Grandma under a mask did an excellent job of acting the story out. The best moment for me was "Possession" which is my favorite song from the album, though the classic riff to "Abigail" never fails. "Abigail" like a few of the others I heave heard before though it was not played to two times previous to this one, so was a welcomed return back into the set.
The pressure was really on drummer Mike Thompson , who had to keep up with was original drummer Mikkey Dee's pinnacle performance. Thompson pulled this off as well as "Welcome Home" which has to have now become part of his wheelhouse. Mike Wead was also impressive in his ability to hang with LaRoque. Their new bassist has been on the road with the band to have comfortably settled into his role as well. There was no surprises on the "Black Horsemen" which is now the third time they have closed with this . Overall only King Diamond could keep me as into a performance the 3rd time in the span of the year and shelling out the fifty bucks for it with no qualms. Long time fans will find this show a must when it rolls through your town and if you have yet to catch him now is the time, while King is showing little sign of slowing down and just announced a new album in the works for 2016, we can only hope it's as good as "Give Me Your Soul Please".