Rehearsals are underway [ UPDATED ]

UPDATE: I have a review of the “rehearsal” that was sent in by Kyle Mann, a Sabbath fan who was lucky enough to attend this event, plus an additional picture that wasn’t here in my initial posting (the picture of Tony Iommi was mistakenly left off)….
Well, the tour machine starts up again shortly. The obvious thing for the band to be doing now is rehearse. Well, last night, there was a rehearsal, but they did something I hadn’t seen before, they had a small invited group of people to watch the rehearsal. It wasn’t a full fledged gig, they only played a handful of songs, but it was pretty cool.

Thanks to Wendy Dio & Gene Kirkland, I was sent some photos taken during the short rehearsal, which according to reports included the following songs played live:

Bible Black
Follow the Tears
Time Machine

The person who reported the set list had to say this about the performance… “The power was raw, everyone was on game and energetic, and Dio was singing like the Rainbow days!”

I’m personally glad Time Machine is back in the set list. It’s one of my favorites, and I haven’t seen it live since 1994 when Sabbath did it with Tony Martin to open the Cross Purposes setlist.

Kyle Mann’s review:

I entered a contest through local So Cal radio station 95.5 KLOS. I won a copy of “TDYK” that is being mailed to me, plus the chance to go to the rehearsal showcase. From the looks of the list, there were probably around 15-20 contest winners, plus each one could bring a guest. Other than that, there were around 20 industry insiders, including a good chunk of people from Rhino, and I heard someone from Roadrunner was there also.

honest, I was pretty unsure of what to expect. They didn’t have any details such as size of the venue or crowd, length of setlist, etc. It was pretty vague, basically “show up here at this time” was the gist of it.

It was relatively short; they only performed 25 minutes or so. It was a full dress rehearsal, including smoke, lights, backdrop, etc. They didn’t have a stage setup however, so we were at eye level, nothing separating us from the band. It was pretty intimate, maybe a few upwards of 50 there. The production was running on all cylinders, though. Dio was energetic, Iommi was his typical smiley self, Geezer hung back as usual, and Vinny was a powerhouse.

Dio started the show by saying he had never done this before, and joked we wouldn’t know when they messed up because these were new songs. It seemed almost like a “send-off” for their tour, maybe a chance to build some buzz and get some pics (like the ones you posted) to use for upcoming tour posters.

Overall, it was an incredible experience. Bible Black works GREAT live. As soon as Dio sang, “At last alone, his fire’s dying…” I knew his voice was in great shape and we were in for a real treat. I have a new appreciation for Follow the Tears, not one of my favorites until now. Fear was really the highlight though. Iommi was on form like nobody’s business, and Geezer was a monster. When Dio belted out “Feeeeeeeeeeeear!” it was even better than on the record (which I know some people didn’t care for). It didn’t sound downtuned at all. To be honest, Time Machine was a little muddy. It may have just been my position in the crowd, front and center isn’t the best spot for sound quality. I also know faster songs are a little tougher live. Each piece worked well, but I was having trouble processing it all as a whole. Anyway, I’m fired up for the tour after this.

Below are the photos from the gig taken by Gene Kirkland.

And the album is out today in Europe and tomorrow. Send in your reviews!