GIG REVIEW: KING DIAMOND Live at the Fillmore Auditorium, Denver, CO
The evil king of heavy metal, King Diamond himself, has hit the road in North America for a massive tour with bay-area thrash giants Exodus. The Fillmore Auditorium in Denver, CO was the kick-off date for the Abigail Tour, where King Diamond promised to play the 1987 album in its entirety, plus a selection of popular tracks from his discography (as well as a few treats from the Mercyful Fate era).
Opening act Exodus has always been known for their ferocious stage presence and relentless energy despite being active as a band since the early 1980’s. The experienced thrashers blew the crowd away playing songs from all across their discography including classics like “Bonded by Blood”, “Strike of the Beast”, and fan favorite “The Toxic Waltz”. The Fillmore turned into a heavy metal dance hall when the waltz began, and fans went crazy. The energy stayed high after Exodus left the stage, and within a matter of minutes, the stage had been turned into an eerie, haunted mansion complete with lanterns, gargoyles, and of course, inverted crosses.
The opening “Out from the Asylum” ripped from a tape kicked off the first act of the Abigail show. After a woman dressed as the ever infamous “GRANDMAAAA” was wheeled out on stage, the crowd knew they were in for a true show. The King himself hit the stage in a flash as the rest of the band stepped down from the set’s staircases and made their presence known in chaotic lighting. “Welcome Home” was the perfect way to kick off the show, as the King and grandma danced around the stage, playing off of one another in such an entertaining way. During the song, the King went from helping her out of her chair to attempting to kill her with his mic stand. Other notable songs played were “The Spider’s Lullabye” which hasn’t seen a live set list since 1998, and three Mercyful Fate covers, “Evil”, “Melissa”, and “Come to the Sabbath”.
“Funeral” (also seemingly ripped from a tape) kicked off the whole reason for the tour – 1987’s Abigail which to this day remains a fan favorite (really, this album has a 97% rating on Metal Archives, a site infamous for terribly hateful and bias reviews). The King continued to play the over forty-minute album in order, with a full and impressive stage presence, interacting with both fans and other musicians on stage, and bringing out fabulous props; although I won’t spoil any more of the secrets of the show for you. Not only that, but the crowd can expect to experience more songs that haven’t been experienced in decades; “Omen” and “The Possession” which haven’t been performed live since 1987.
Joining the likes of metal touring veterans such as Alice Cooper or Iron Maiden, who both despite their age put on a killer show every time, King Diamond will not disappoint any fan with this show. Get out there and find a ticket (if it hasn’t sold out in your city) and experience ‘Abigail’ live again. Who knows when this opportunity will come around again! So call in sick to work, find a sitter for the kids, beg random strangers for money, sell your kidney; I don’t care how you do it… just get out there and do it! King Diamond’s Abigail Tour was hands down one of my favorite performances of the year, and it has been on hell of a year for touring. Don’t miss it!