Bands: Heaven And Hell, Megadeth, and Machine Head
Location: Los Angeles Forum, Inglewood, California.
Date: April 25th, 2007.
You better believe that I was going to this one! “Heaven And Hell” and “Mob Rules” were amongst the first albums that I ever bought after discovering Black Sabbath when I was about 12 years old or so. Over the years, I’ve also enjoyed Dio’s first couple of solo albums, but I never got a chance to see the Dio version of Black Sabbath as Dio, alas, left the band immediately after the show at Poplar Creek in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, near where I grew up, at the conclusion of the “Mob Rules” tour. I didn’t go to that show (I was still too young at the time), but I managed to pick up my first black t-shirt, a 1981 tour shirt.
Naturally, I was ecstatic to hear about this reunion tour of sorts, Sharon Osbourne’s paranoid histrionics notwithstanding. So, I eagerly made my way on a Wednesday night to the 20,000-seat L.A. Forum, an arena in Inglewood, California, for the Heaven And Hell tour with openers Megadeth and Machine Head. I headed immediately for the merchandise tables (so did everyone else) and bought two shirts, one with the “Heaven And Hell” album cover, and the second being the “Live Evil” album cover. Afterwards, I found my seat in the lower mezzanine (the general admission floor was well sold out and I had procrastinated) to watch Machine Head. Machine Head has always been a band trying to live up to their monstrous debut, although I do like their last two albums. Unfortunately, their set was exceptionally short, consisting of just four songs with “Davidian” as the closer. I would guess that their whole purpose for being on the bill was to provide samples for the sound engineers for the remainder of the show, as their sound was a bit muddy. Rob Flynn did take a few moments, though, to honor Dimebag Darrell, which was well appreciated by the slowly gathering crowd.
The crowd was pretty much at full strength for Megadeth. Megadeth rewarded the appreciative crowd with a string of classics, mostly covering material from “Peace Sells…” to “Countdown To Extinction” with the inclusion of “The System Has Failed” and their latest opus, “United Abominations” (specifically, “Washington Is Next!”) I’ve never been a huge fan of Megadeth, but their set was excellent with the encore being “Holy Wars…”
Crowd anticipation continued to build for the appearance of Heaven And Hell. Finally, the band appears with a strong, clear sound composed of thundering riffs from Tony Iommi, a loud bass from Geezer Butler, strong vocals from Ronnie James Dio, and an excellent, punishing performance from Vinny Appice. A strong stage show accompanied with moving lighting gantries, backdrop film, and pyrotechnics. Ultimately, over one quarter of the Dio-era discography was played with such notables as “The Sign Of The Southern Cross”, “Children Of The Sea”, “Lady Evil”, “Voodoo”, “Computer God”, “Falling Off The Edge Of The World”, and the main show closer, “Heaven And Hell”. A thundering drum solo from Appice was present, as well as two new songs from the Dio-era compilation that was just released. The encore was “Neon Knights”. Suffice to say, this was a great show with plenty of nostalgia for myself and the other older people in the crowd (at least one half of the audience appeared to be over thirty five).
In closing, this was the first arena level show that I’ve attended since the 2004 Ozzfest, and I’m disappointed to some degree. For some reason, arena level shows seem to bring out the worst in some people, as the crowd contained a sizable contingent of white supremacist/ redneck trailer trash from San Bernardino and Riverside (Homicide, Suicide, Rivercide!) counties that were drunk and picking fights. I saw their ilk at the 2004 Ozzfest and was disappointed to see these scumbags show up for this one. Go back to the trailer from which you crawled out from under! At any rate, I wouldn’t let these assholes ruin a great show.
Here are some crap pictures...
The L.A. Forum
Heaven And Hell
As usual, you can find all of the crap photos on the Slide on the sidebar, or here at my Flickr page. I also shot some crap videos, as well. You can access them through the Widget on the sidebar or here at my YouTube page.
Here's a Heaven And Hell clip...
Next up is Dimmu Borgir!!!