Iced Earth -- Saskatoon, Saskatchewan -- February 10th, 2012
I got to the venue just as Warbringer were finishing up their last song, so I didn't get to see them. I didn't mind though, as I've seen them twice already and am not a huge fan anyway.
Symphony X was up first. Other than a couple of songs I've never really listened to them much, and although I'm not a huge fan of their particular style of metal I have to say they did a terrific job. Great, solid performance, and everybody was really into them. Can't give a setlist as I'm not familiar with their songs, but I'm pretty sure it was the same set they've done for all the other shows on the tour so far. They played for just over an hour at first, then came back and played four more songs (I think) for the encore.
Finally, Iced Earth came on. This was my second time seeing them (I had seen them in '08 with Matt Barlow) and it was fantastic. Stu Block, although originally from Vancouver, played in Into Eternity as everybody knows (who are from Regina, the capital city of the province, two hours south of Saskatoon), and said he considers it his home here. His Into Eternity bandmates were here, as well as his wife and in-laws, and the whole crowd was really excited to have a musician in the local scene in such a well known band, with people chanting "Stu! Stu! Stu!" a few times during the show.
They played the same standard set they've been doing so far, which was great. The highlights for me were Slave To The Dark, Anthem, and of course the almighty Dante's Inferno! This had been one of my favorite songs for the last 8 years or so and to finally here it played tonight was incredible. They then played Iced Earth, which was supposed to be the last song, but after it was over, as they were about to do their final bows, everybody was chanting "one more song" and they asked the venue people if there was a curfew, and when it turned out they could play a bit longer, they grabbed their gear and finished off their set with Burning Times, which I certainly wasn't expecting. Another highlight for sure!
This was a fantastic show all around. Stu is a great replacement for Matt Barlow, he has a terrific vocal range that fits the band, he handled the stuff from all different eras perfectly and definitely brings a youthful energy to the band. And, again, it's great to have somebody from the Saskatchewan music scene in a band like this, and I hope they'll be back. They had a great crowd response as well last time around, so with two great shows under their belts here I think Iced Earth now know that people love them here!
Slave To The Dark
When The Night Falls
Days of Rage
Watching Over Me