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Heaven and Hell

By Ian Urie


This is a concert review,and, no, it's not a new band.
Heaven and Hell might be more familiar to folk as Black Sabbath.
I'm talking about the second incarnation of Sabbath, more commonly referred to as the version of the band with Dio as the singer.
It does get more complicated as Dio returned to Sabbath to record the album  Dehumaniser after Martin left.
Confused yet?
Anyway, Dio, when he first joined Sabbath recorded the albums Heaven and Hell and Mob rules as well as the live compilation Live Evil.
He then left and a variety of singers took over before he returned again for one album.
The concert I went to took place at the SECC in Glasgow November 6th 2007.


pic1

As expected, this tour has been eagerly anticipated by Sabbath fans.
Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, I don't have any decent pictures from the concert.
The concert had two support bands.
First on was Iced Earth.
This is a British band who play a hard rock/ mild thrash type of music.
I would classify them as being in the sort of Iron Maiden type music bracket.
I don't have any pictures of them, I'm afraid.
Support bands tend to suffer from a "cold" audience and a generally inferior sound system.
Iced Earth being bottom of the bill suffered greatly.
The hall was still filling up, and their sound system was abysmal.
Despite this, they put on a good showing and some of the audience had obviously heard their music previously.
I will look out for more of their music as they seem as if they could be quite good.
The singer especially sounded as if he had an impressive vocal range.

pic2  

After the usual moving of gear, the second act came on.
This was my biggest bugbear of the night.
The two pictures above are of them.
They are Lamb of God and are out and out thrash music.
This is not my favourite style of music (to be honest, I dislike it).
This band were no exception.
For a Sabbath concert , I expected hard rock.
Instead I got a barrage of sound from an American band which left me totally cold.
It didn't help that the band all appeared (apart from the singer) to sport very long hair and huge beards.
WTF is that about?
The singer appeared on stage and immediately poured water over his head in an apparent action to cool down.
Contrived or what?
I had watched a couple of their videos on Youtube and they weren't all that bad.
This was the opposite, the singer growled instead of sang and the constant wall of noise got on my nerves.
Apart from a few metalheads down the front, who moshed around,
the rest of the crowd stood looking at their feet wondering how the Hell a band like this had got on the bill.
The singer compounded his error, in my eyes, by announcing that if it wasn't for Butler and Iommi, their music wouldn't exist.
Dunno where he got that from, Iommi and Butler have never played dross like theirs.
After what seemed like an age, they eventually left the stage.
Unless you like thrash, avoid them if you see their name.
On to the main event.

pic3

Sabbath  (sorry, Heaven and Hell) took to the stage in a great show of lights and the usual sound effects and went straight into
their set.
Backdrop, as you can probably make out from the pictures was the church fence with stained glass windows.
The windows were used to replay concert footage close-ups and themes for the songs.
I was surprised when they played as many of of the songs from Mob Rules. I expected most of the set to consist of Heaven and Hell.
Anyway, they played all my personal favourites such as Voodoo, Sign of the Southern Cross, Heaven and Hell just to mention a couple, ok, 3.


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Some of the songs from Dehumaniser also got an airing.
Dio was in great voice. Amazing to see his real age, according to the Internet is 65.
Better mention the band.
Dio -vocals
Iommi - guitar
Butler - bass
Appice - drums
Warren - keyboards

Some more songs replayed were , Falling off the edge of the world, Neon knights, Lady Evil, Children of the sea.
The new material written for the tour also got used such as, After all, shadow of the wind.
I'm afraid that's all I can remember.
I was too busy drinking in the atmosphere.

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I remember reading an interview with Corky Laing  of Mountain about touring nowadays.
He stated that there was no pressure on the band anymore and they simply enjoyed themselves.
This is how the concert appeared to me.
Dio prowled the stage and Iommi actually moved about.... smiling!!
Unheard of.

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Admittedly, Butler didn't really move around, but then, he never did.
The band were enjoying themselves and it showed.
Appice had a drum solo and Iommi did some of his trademark magic.
If the crowd could have, they would have  kept them on until they collapsed with exhaustion.
The band was tight and (I was there with my daughter), it showed what a class act Sabbath had been, and still was.
I count myself fortunate to have caught them live while they can still rock.
Great concert only slightly spoiled by the choice of support bands.





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