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Old 05-19-2005, 01:44 PM
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Location: California
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Thumbs up King Diamond -- San Francisco, CA -- May 7th, 2005 (Review & Set List)

TOUR: King Diamond
SUPPORT: Nile, The Black Dahlia Murder, Behemoth
VENUE: The Pound -- San Francisco, CA
DATE: Saturday, May 7th, 2005
ATTENDED W/: Motorhead Jeff, Bouville, Metaldrummer888(met at concert)
GEAR WORN: Megadeth Hoodie Over A Children of Bodom L/S Hatecrew Shirt
REVIEWED: May 8th, 2005

Damn it, Turkey... you’re late.

I know…. My queue is about six reviews from the last month of metal including those for Cryptopsy, 3 Inches Of Blood, Motorhead, and Slipknot. Go ahead. Kick my ass. I fully deserve it. In the future, I’m budgeting time for the write-ups -- as I do for the shows we attend -- and will make best effort to post within 24 hours of the show. Instead of contributing yet another to the pile and in favor of timeliness, I’m writing up King Diamond now. Missing reviews will be inserted into the Permanent Record as they are completed. I have had a very difficult time writing recently but one good concert helped break my writer’sblock. I only mention it because what you will read about King Diamond is the conclusion to the short story of the last few weeks. I know… you don’t what the hell I’m talking about… you will.


Last night, we gathered in San Francisco to lay to rest Abigail LaFey, whom we now know was first born dead on the 7th day of July 1777. So that she never rise and cause evil again, she was nailed to her coffin with seven silver spikes, one through each arm, hand and knee, and the last through her mouth. We stood at the iron gates of the mansion to witness the evil of King Diamond.

Midnight blue lighting brought the night sky beneath the canopy protecting the stage from the haunted mural hovering over the city. A gargoyle perched on the walls of the mansion, ever gazing over the crowd collectively suffering the night’s frigid air and increasingly frequent drops of rain. Shadows eerily move about the stage.

Bouville dreamt of this night in the industrial slums on the shores of San Francisco for months. Having never seen King Diamond perform, he now stood on and against the center rail barrier. Motorhead Jeff lurked about back in the cold, wet darkness. I stood in the heart of the asphalt-covered pit with a young woman, having just made her acquaintance moments before. The King emerged into the lights from one of the shadows and all hell broke loose in the pit. I blocked and escorted my new acquaintance by her hand through the mayhem to within one row of human mash behind Bouville to share one of the most amazing shows I’ve seen to date.

Motorhead Jeff arrived the night before, and Lokia very graciously arranged dinner for all of us at one of San Jose’s best kept local secrets in Italian, Giorgio’s. The entire menu was a cardiac nightmare.

The next morning, we were on our way to SBC Park, the home of our San Francisco Giants. It’s just minutes away from the Pound, so I arranged for tickets with my own private DoublePlay window for the afternoon outing against the newly minted Washington Nationals.

During the ride to the city, I played a very doomy acoustic song on the car stereo for Bouville, which he endorsed by agreeing with my assessment that a depressed person could wallow in bed while playing it on repeat. He liked it…the track in question? Vermillion, Pt 2 by Slipknot.

The game was a total pigfuck with my Giants losing 11-8, having given up multi-runs lead twice. I know what the Mickster would say about it. “That’s what happens when you buy your bullpen at Walmart.” TatttoGirl of IMBB fame joined us in the fourth inning, which anesthetized me against the debacle on the field; I stopped keeping score as we chatted about almost everything but baseball.

After the game, I finally discovered a route to the Pound that does not endanger my life. All you need to know about the time between the end of the game and doors is that Bouville and I were able to walk up to the stage and choose our spot; how we accomplished that is highly classified. MetalDrummer888 found us on the rail shortly thereafter, and I surrendered my spot to him to have a beer with MJ. Bouville informed me post-concert that they spent the entire gig on the rail together. Attaboy, MD888.

Typically, Pound concerts are held inside but they build a stage for larger events outside on the property. Inside holds a few hundred; outside accommodates a couple of thousand, not including wildlife. Before Behemoth took the stage, MJ and I saw a large rat (think small cat i.e. Morris The Rat) scurry across the asphalt and into the soundboard tent.

The weather was cold and wet the entire night. It didn’t downpour but large raindrops frequently splattered the crowd most of the night. The roadies worked throughout the nigh to protect the stage.

Behemoth opened as the remaining sunlight bled into darkness in front of maybe two hundred people; entry into the Pound is always slow and they were experiencing problem with their cash registers. Like many black metalers, the band wore corpse paint and put forth their leather evil best. Their music is often described a blend of death and black metal influence -- black death metal. Their latest album, Demigod, has some appealing rhythms but I was largely disappointed by what I heard from them. Unfortunately, I can’t put my finger on it but something just sounded wrong. The sound on their album is massive but their live performance of the material sounded really thin.

Behemoth played seven or eight songs, opening with Sculpting The Throne Ov Seth. The third or fourth song was Conquer All. I don’t have the rest but I did find a partial out-of-order set list from earlier in the year at BB Kings in NY that will give you an idea of what to expect from the band:

Sculpting the Throne ov Seth
Conquer All
Decade of Therion
As Above So Below
Christians to the Lions
Chant for Eschaton 2000

Both Motorhead Jeff and I were anticipating The Black Dahlia Murder primarily because they landed second stage Ozzfest this year. The band has received a lot of airplay from the fake Headbanger’s Ball on MTV2 recently, helping propel sales to something like 40,000 units plus. They will be releasing their sophomore album, Miasma, on July 12th this summer.

Putting their music aside for a moment, Motorhead Jeff quickly sized up them: “They don’t look like a metal band... more like a bunch of geeks.” He didn’t think their music was that bad but didn’t appreciate the vocals very much, and I tend to agree with him. It all reminded me of 3 Inches Of Blood, just with one guy covering the vocals instead of two except that this one guy annoys me at times, like in the few seconds of Closed Casket Requiem. His voice becomes a human dog whistle and it just hurts my ears. Here’s a band I would love to like but I just can’t; MJ and I bailed on them for the warmth of the bar inside. We exited just in time for the last song and I’ve got just one thing to say to the lead singer: “LEAVE YOUR SHIRT ON.”

The Black Dahlia Murder previewed new Miasma material in their set but unfortunately I did not catch song names. I did recognize some tracks from Unhallowed, Closed Casket Requiem and When The Last Grave Was Emptied but that was all.

Nile took a small eternity to hit the stage next because they had to swap out drum kits and deal with monitor troubles. That was fine by me because someone dumped Judas Fucking Priest’s Angel Of Retribution on the PA. Eventually, the band worked it all out and did their thing, which did not easily sync up with my thing. Sure, parts were interesting but overall I was more interesting in staying dry and warm. I basically skipped them and have no notes on what they played.

Nile wasn’t a total loss because it provided me an opportunity to make an attitude adjustment. With little sleep the night before, an early start to the day, the baseball game, and a metal concert now going on its fourth hour, I was feeling it. Unlike recent past concerts, this time, I decided “God damn it…suck it up…get your ass in the pit…you will enjoy this concert.”

All hell broke in the pit when King Diamond took the stage, and I used the chaos to my advantage to insert myself and the aforementioned young lady into front row sardine, close enough to stand on floor grill of the barricade. Despite our proximity to the front, it was difficult at times to see all the stage happenings because of the normal jostling and jumping around. Instead of fighting against the ebbs and flows of the pit and rail, I was very much a buoy in a stormy sea that minds the currents but remains in place nonetheless. Very few crowd surfers passed overhead, but those within reach were pummeled and doubtfully returned our way.

My primary study guide for this concert was Abigail, and I feared that the King would not pull off live what he did so long ago in the studio. That bastard can really sing and I was very impressed with his voice. Longtime Diamond aficionados may have noticed differences but I did not.

Not only can the man sing, King Diamond can act and his theatrics greatly contribute to the success of his show. Go ahead and laugh at his makeup; you’ll do it until you actually see with your own eyes what the man does. His facial expressions are beautifully horrific. I easily bought what the King was selling in his performance.

Bouville will have to help me in explaining the King’s props (his favorite prop being the sexy siren of a brunette that works with him on several songs -- mine too.) I don’t know enough about his music to bring it all together for you. I’ll attach a summation on this post to his credit if he would write one.

The pit was generally well behaved until the very end when two assholes tried to blast through packed crush over me and my ward. I deflected their charge away from us and repelled them to the side. I was duly rewarded and received a very sincere “Thank you for watching out for me” after the last encore.

Bouville confirmed King Diamond played their standard tour set list:

Mansion in Darkness
Family Ghost
Black Horsemen
Intro - Spirits
Sorry Dear
Come To The Sabbath
The Eye
Sleepless Nights
Blood To Walk
So Sad
Living Dead (PA)
Welcome Home

King Diamond automatically receives 9 Eddies for a host of reasons: massive post-concert euphoria foremost; stage theatrics; excellent music to name a few. I really didn’t get anything out of the support acts, so the King was solely responsible delivering the goods. When a band scores higher than nine, I really start to examine past ratings. In applying the standards used with Edguy (another 9 Eddie band), I have to make an adjustment for the King’s theatrics and my favorite prop, the brunette. The King gets a bump. 9.25 Eddies.
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