|King Diamond in concert (photo:brooklynvegan.com)|
By Christopher Silva
Upon parking and walking to the PlayStation Theater, a lit up sign acknowledging the show and a line to get in wrapped around the block greeted us. The line we stood in was uniformed in black and leather, as were we. As the line began to move, a man walked up holding a sign and a bible, yelling at us that we must repent and turn away from the darkness.
Repent, All Ye Who Enter Here
This was obviously someone who either did not grasp the fact that this was a show and not meant to be taken seriously or was paid to draw attention to the venue. When we got inside and went down the escalators, we were immediately greeted by a packed house and the sound of music booming through the walls.
It was a little past 8 when we finally got inside, so we witnessed Exodus transition from one song into the next. Along with playing a bunch of classic tracks, they also performed a few new tracks from their new release, “Blood In, Blood Out.” Regardless of the fact that they had not performed with Steve on vocals since 2004, he clearly remembered all the lyrics and timing wise was on point with the band. The band seemed full of energy and genuinely excited to be there, as well as being able to hype up the audience for the main event, King Diamond.
They played for a total of 50 minutes, which for those unfamiliar is almost double the usual amount of time an opening act will get. All in all they sounded great, played well, and the general vibe from their performance was intense and energetic.
Haunting Presence Looms Out of Smoke
After 30 minutes of set up in between the bands, King Diamond and his band emerged from red lights and smoke to the crowd’s applause and cheers. King Diamond, being very much into stage shows, had staircases and a walkway erected on stage as well as lit up inverted crosses and a lit up pentagram.
His set list, along with his promised entire sophomore album, “Abigail” includes a few classic songs. One thing I was certain of by the end of the show was that everything I had heard about him was true. His stage sets were elaborate, his stage presence was haunting and creepy, and his vocal range is unreal. His music touched on themes of evil, possession, and witches, all which worked well with his presence and set design.
Although he has often been labeled as evil or a Satanist, he at least to me is very clearly a stage performer and based on how he talked to us and what he said I would say that this belief is invalid. Even after 30 years, he can still hit all the high and low notes and very clearly has put effort and care towards protecting his vocals. After this show, I can also say it is clear why this event sold out and his legacy is as big as it is. When the band performed, everything sounded clear and crisp even more so than on the studio recordings. Speaking as someone who has seen a number of bands whose albums were great but could not pull it off live, this is a huge achievement and should be acknowledged. Also even after touring for so long, he still seemed excited and happy to be there, with the band not stopping till 11.
The only negatives that I have for this show is being two stories underground there was absolutely no cell phone service. It took longer to get in than I feel it should have, taking around twenty minutes, even though we all had our tickets. Also a number of people were dropped attempting to crowd surf, and even seeing this more people kept attempting it. It got somewhat dangerous for individuals. My uncle and myself ended up getting kicked in the head by someone falling.
However, the positive way outweighs the negatives. After this event I would highly recommend seeing either band to anyone, even if they do not regularly listen to metal. They both put on spectacular performances as well as being true accurate examples of the bond and brotherhood that an interest like music can cause in people. As I always say, never say no to a show, you never know what and whom you will miss out on.
Chistopher Silva is a junior studying Graphic Design at St. Thomas Aquinas College.