On Sunday, I was privileged enough to catch the first show of Heaven and Hell, a union of Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Vinny Appice. Yes, THOSE guys. Playing together again for the first time in fifteen years. These guys can literally be credited with inventing entire genres of metal. We expected much.
Also in the lineup, popular New Orleans band Down (credentials, surprizingly include ex-Pantera and Corrosion of Conformity), and mainstay of thrash metal, Megadeth. Due to ferry issues from our Comox vacation, we only caught the finale of Down. This, incidentally, was the last anyone heard from them for awhile, as their next several dates on the tour were cancelled.
Megadeth didn't really bring any surprizes - they know their music, and they do it well. Sadly, the same couldn't be said of the sound engineers, who had the mixing ridiculously off, and triggered a great deal of feedback. Still, sound quality aside, a solid show, and a welcome introduction to live Megadeth for myself.
Then, Heaven and Hell. Wow. When was the last time you saw sixty-year old men go on stage and kick your ass four a couple of hours? Well let me tell you, their age does not show; neither in their playing nor in their setlist. This stuff was heavy, evil, and played with full energy. Dio still has one hell of a set of lungs, and he lets you know it. Their stage: amazing. They took this classic graveyard scene, and then could adjust based on some minimal adjustments and lighting. The effect was spot on, even way at the back in our seats.
Heaven and Hell will trigger a new Golden Age for Metal. Need proof? Just watch the cellphone recordings. You won't be able to disagree.