November 15, 2022
The anticipation was high for a band that hasn’t toured the US in close to 20 years. Adding to the hype was the selection of a unique NYC venue which provided a mystique and perfect setting for the Autumn show. The Kings Theater, located in the heart of the metal capital of NYC, Brooklyn, is an ornate and well-preserved theater built in 1929 and a building that rarely hosts a metal show. If you closed your eyes, you could almost imagine King Diamond in full stage costume taking the place of Phantom from Phantom of The Opera walking down the majestic staircases or sitting alongside the historic pipe organ on display in the lobby. The concert was fully sold out (3,000 capacity) and the metalheads did their best to add to the buzz. Battle jackets, leather, tattoos and piercings were all the rage on this night! It almost felt like every patron from the legendary Brooklyn metal bar, St. Vitus Bar was in attendance.
Cleveland's MIDNIGHT are perfect openers for this tour both musically and aesthetically. Their matching black, face-hiding masks up the evil factor even more. Far from newcomers at this point, their set covered at least five different albums. Midnight opened with a short but energetic set, reminiscent of the punk/ thrash musical style of Venom. They played about 5 songs filling a powerful 30 minute set.
photo by P Squared photo by P Squared
German thrashers KREATOR followed and were a welcomed surprised to the evening of music. It was evident that they have history in the area and are fond of Brooklyn, mentioning their US origins date back to 1987 when they first played at the legendary L’Amour club.
The music itself was fast and in a sense very Slayer-esque at times and the mosh pit was in full force throughout their set. Adding to the lure was the stage backdrop which contained many figures that appeared to be hanging from the ceilings and provided the perfect setting to go along with classic thrash songs such as Hate Uber Alles and Satan Is Real. Near the end, Singer Mille Petrozza dropped a hint that the band will be back in the US in 2023 for a headlining tour.
During the set change, a massive Mercyful Fate curtain was draped over the front of the stage. When the house lights went off, loud and haunting introduction music blared over the venue PA, and the band slowly worked their way onto a stage reminiscent of a Vincent Price era vintage horror movie, including the gates to hell & illuminated upside down cross.
Mainstays, lead guitarist Hank Shermann and drummer Bjarne T. Holm were joined by Mike Wead on guitar & newcomer Becky Baldwin on bass, in addition to the legend himself.
King was in fine form all night, singing to near perfection in both of his unique low & high vocal ranges and of course the visual of King cannot be understated (red and black robes, a horned mask, several demonic crowns and face makeup).
The band mainly covered early era band classics in their set, including opener The Oath and stellar songs such as Curse Of The Pharaohs, A Dangerous Meeting, and the well-known Melissa & Come To The Sabbath. The 80 minute set also include the epic new track, The Jackal Of Salzburg, and the show highlight and encore Satan’s Fall.
The band was honored to have played to such an enthusiastic audience, as evident in Kings’ lengthy stay on stage post-show. He even took it as far to signing an autograph to a fan in the front, something he stated he normally doesn’t do (adding to the humor he remarked “No Presents For Christmas” to the recipient) & thanked the crowd from the bottom of his BLACK heart). Horns Up!
Kenny Kessel From The Metal Voice , Jon 'The Vernomatic 'Verno and "Metal Walt"
from Metal Mayhem ROC.
Anne Shanders (L), Vernomatic, Steve Shanders (R).
Friends from Rochester NY took a 6 hour derive to take in the show.
Jimmy Neff-AKA " JIMMY FROM THE BRONX and Vernomatic.
Jimmy is a long time supporter of both the Metal Mayhem ROC podcast AND LIVE Radio show. As a native NEW YORKER , Jimmy was here to celebrate the historic night.
Vernomatic and Metal Walt having a blast in the Big Apple !!
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