- Ronnie James Dio - Vocals
- Tony Iommi - Guitar
- Geezer Butler - Bass
- Vinny Appice - Drums
- Scott Warren - Keyboards
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FAN SUBMITTED TOUR REVIEWS & REMARKS
from Steve Beach <email@example.com>
date Sun, Nov 18, 2007 at 5:36 AM
subject Heaven and Hell
way back in 1980 I was a spotty sixteen year old who spent all his spare
money on vinyl offerings by The Clash, The Pistols and their ilk. I was
fortunate enough to live in Aylesbury in England, a smallish market
town. Although it was small it boasted Friars, a club which had a
capacity of only about 1,200, yet somehow managed to attract most of the
name bands of the day. There I had seen my first gigs, including the
aforementioned Clash, as well as other such luminaries of the day
including The Police, Siouxsie, The Jam and many more.
One day I was round a friend of a friend’s house. I wouldn’t normally
have associated with this type of person as he wasn’t a punk, he was
into rock. At that time if you didn’t like the same music as someone
else, you just didn’t go near them: you were into punk, you hung with
punks. You liked ska, fine as long as you kept it within your group and
stayed with the Rude Boys. Boundaries were not crossed. So it was
fortunate in the extreme that fate conspired to place me in this house
on this particular day. This friend of a friend had just purchased
‘Heaven and Hell’, the brand new Black Sabbath album, which he insisted
on inflicting upon me. Of course I had heard of Black Sabbath, but being
just too young to have appreciated them in their hey-day I had never
given them any attention at all. And, of course, they weren’t punk, so
there was no way I would waste my time on that crap.
My life was instantaneously and irreversibly changed. How could I have
been missing out on music such as this? It was fast, furious and heavy,
all things I liked in punk, but it was also melodic, musical and subtle.
I found it was infinitely more complex than what I had been listening to
up to that point and I loved it.
My world was in turmoil. How could I admit to my peers and friends my
Paulian conversion? Simple – I didn’t. I kept quiet but covertly
gradually sought out other music of a similar nature. This gradually
over ran my collection. I acquired contemporary material by such groups
as Maiden and Leppard as well as exploring the classics such as Purple
and Sabbath. Whilst I found that I enjoyed the earlier Sabbath material,
nothing surpassed that first experience of listening to Heaven and Hell.
When Mob Rules came out the following year I eagerly devoured that, and
again found that I preferred it to the Ozzy era Sabbath. I started to
see groups of this type as well as punk groups and discovered that they
were musicians, not merely, as was the case with a lot of punk bands,
kids barely older than me standing on a stage shouting
anti-establishment slogans to a backdrop of discordant guitars.
How things have changed since those days. I'm now ‘a suit’ in a major
telecoms company – something I could never have foreseen when I was
sixteen. Much to my colleagues’ and work associates’ amusement, and my
wife’s exasperation however, I still love and follow all things metal. A
few years ago I returned to the same club in Aylesbury and was at the
barrier to see Sabbath (with Ozzy) play an unannounced, un-advertised
gig (you published my review of it on the site, Joe) Last Fall I and
three friends of old went on a four day three city tour of Europe with
the Iron Maiden fan club. I already have my three day ticket for next
year’s Download festival booked.
So this brings me up to date. And two nights ago found me and two
friends in Nottingham, England, to see Sabbath with Dio. At last. I
never had seen them in the ‘80s or ‘90s and so could barely contain
First up was Iced Earth. Fantastic. I have long admired them and they
did not disappoint. Playing a mix of songs from Framing Armageddon and
earlier albums, they were awesome. Schaffer, Owens et al performed
admirably. My only complaint was that they were only on for half an
hour, which was way too short.
Next to take the stage was Lamb of God. I’d never really heard a lot of
their material prior to this. The riffing was awesome and from where we
were, at the barrier in front of centre stage, it was obvious why they
had been included in the line-up. The young kids went mad to them and
the mosh pit just behind us was a frenzy.
Then, the main event. Sabbath came on and rocked. Never having seen the
Dio version before I had high expectations. These were certainly
fulfilled. I sang along with every word to every song. Iommi and Butler
were on fire, tight and note perfect, and Dio had the crowd in the palm
of his hand. At long last I had seen the band that was responsible for
my lifelong love of metal and they had not disappointed. Again, my only
criticism was that they were not on long enough. They didn’t play any of
the new songs, and I'm sure there are other songs on the Heaven and Hell
live album that didn’t make it into the set list. I may be mistaken
because I was having such a ball I didn’t keep track of exactly what
songs they did play.
At the close of the encore – they came back to perform Neon Knights and
that was it, definitely a case of leave the crowd wanting – Iommi threw
out plectrums, and I was lucky enough to catch one. It’s now gone into
my collection of precious things that includes James Hetfield’s
wristband from Wembley last July and Dave Murray’s plectrum from Paris
last year. I'm now nursing knackered vocal chords and can hardly speak,
but it was well worth it.
Just thought I’d share that with you,
from Steve Labram <firstname.lastname@example.org>
date Mon, Nov 19, 2007 at 5:05 PM
subject Review: Nottingham, UK, 15/11/2007
Joe and everyone,
So they finally made it home to the UK. I know, 2 of H&H are American
but you know what I mean - The spiritual home.
First though, lets deal with the support acts. Obviously chosen to
appeal to the younger metalheads, Lamb Of God were quite
frankly...awful. If you wanted to portray a comedy metal band, this
would be it. The only vocal I caught was "Wooooooooaaaaggghhhh, Mother
f*cker !", and that was at the end of every song. The outside of the
arena was littered with the bodies of 30-something rock fans who had
risked a quick glimpse inside and retreated with a knowing smile on
their face. Would these guys be going in 20 years? Doubtful.
Nothing to say about Iced Earth because they didn't turn up (for reasons
I haven't found out yet). Not only was I disappointed, but it meant Lamb
Of God got to play an extended set !!
But onto the main reason for us attending. The return of Ronnie in my
favourite Sabbath line-up. I can't help it - I like singers! The set
design was tremendous, the sound excellent down at the front, and big
Ron grinning like he was really loving it. I was worried for the first
couple of numbers as the voice showed the strain of a gruelling 9 month
tour, enough for a youngster let alone.....well, you know. But come
"Southern Cross", the voice had warmed up nicely and the rest of the set
was excellent. "Voodoo" was extended, I've always loved "Computer God"
and even the dreaded drum solo was fun as Vinnie pummelled his
surround-sound kit. Lost classics and familiar favourites. Geez and Tone
playing beautifully - watching Geezers bass work at close range was
incredible. Unfortunately, the ever shortening set (9 months on the
road, I'll forgive them) meant we had none of the 3 Dio years tracks,
and after Neon Knights, with Dio wearing a Welcome Back Ronnie banner
thrown from the crowd, they were gone.
Lets face it, after seeing them in 81/82, I never thought I'd see them
again. After seeing them in 92, I assumed that was it. So this was a
real bonus, and an excellent night. Now I can buy the Live at Radio City
DVD and wait for another 10 years. Or perhaps not. Thank you Ronnie,
Geezer, Tony and Vinny. What a great band.