So, 10 years after first touring the bands magnum opus, The Crimson Idol, in it’s entirety, Blackie Lawless and his merry band return to celebrate the albums 25th anniversary. As with the 15th anniversary show, the album is being played in full, complete with the accompanying film footage shot at the time for the aborted Crimson Idol movie, (a significant chunk of this footage found it’s way into some of the music videos that accompanied the singles released at the time). I, and 1500 other souls, braved the near torrential rain to attend this show. A little bit of water doesn’t stop us.
So, what did we get? Well, the stage was adorned by 3 large screens, onto which the footage was projected, and an impressive looking drum kit. a couple of banner were hung at the back of the stage, but that was it. Simple, yet effective. The band took to the stage, as the introduction to the Crimson Idol was played over the p.a., and launched straight into the albums opening track, “The Titanic Overture”. From here on in, it was a full throttle run through the album, with no between song banter from Blackie, as the space between the songs was often taken up with narration linked to the video and progressing the storyline.
Right from the off, the 1500 strong crowd was deeply into the set. Each song was met with a deafening roar of approval, and the crowd were often allowed to carry the songs choruses by Blackie. It truly was special to see that many supposedly “tough” metalheads singing along passionately to “The Idol” and “Hold On To My Heart”. Even Blackie looked suitably impressed.
After the culmination of the main set, there was a 5 or so minute break, before the band came back out to do the 4 song encore. Blackie spoke to the crowd a bit, but still chose tho let the music do the talking. Again, the screens used video footage, this time of the videos made to accompany the songs.
The entire band were on tip top form. Blackie is still an imposing stage presence, even at 61 years of age, and his voice held up admirably. Mike Duda has been holding down the fort on bass now for 21 years, and as usual was assured and energetic. Doug Blair once more proved why he is one of the most underrated lead guitarists in the business, and new drummer Aguiles Priester was an absolute monster. He is easily the best drummer I’ve ever seen with the band.
I should also note that the support band, The Cruel Knives, were actually pretty damned good, with their own take on contemporary hard rock. A brief 30 minute set was theirs, and they owned it. Well done lads. I was suitably impressed. And kudos for not only selling merch inside the venue, but getting outside in the rain to sell your CDs to the departing crowd. That is a sign of real determination.
THE TITANIC OVERTURE
THE INVISIBLE BOY
ARENA OF PLEASURE
CHAINSAW CHARLIE (MURDERS IN THE NEW MORGUE)
THE GYPSY MEETS THE BOY
I AM ONE
HOLD ON TO MY HEART
THE GREAT MISCONCEPTIONS OF ME
The Real Me
I Wanna Be Somebody
5/5 Fiends. Amazing.