Confused yet? The title of the article has a reason for being, honest! First, I'm talking about a point in time last week that comes before the wedding. Second, I'm talking about an event that kinda takes me back in time...at least in my mind anyway.
"What the f**k am yammering on about now?" you're wondering at this point right? Well ok fine, I'm talking about the Heaven and Hell concert on March 14th. The what? Yeah, that's exactly what I thought when I heard about it too. Well apparently due to some conflict with Ozzy Osbourne's control freak wife Sharon, the rest of the band Black Sabbath isn't allowed to use that name Black Sabbath unless Ozzy's performing too. Or something, I don't know all the details. Anyway, the concert featured the Sabbath line-up from the Dio years: Tony, Geezer, Vince and of course Dio. I have to admit I wasn't all that interested in seeing Dio, but figured it'd probably be the only time I'd be able to say I'd seen Black Sabbath in concert. I thought it'd be pretty cool to see them plus the openers Down and Megadeth all in one shot!
When my friend and I got to the 'dome we saw a little piece of paper taped to the main doors saying that Down would not be performing, and that Down fans could get a refund. I don't know what was wrong with the singer from Down, but I was pretty disappointed that they weren't playing. I guess if it was serious enough that he couldn't sing there's not much a guy can do about that. The other two bands played longer, which made up for it a bit I suppose.
I was solidly impressed with Megadeth. They performed really well and you'd never know Mustaine's fronting an entirely new lineup, and has been at his game for something like two decades. It'd been a while since I had listened to any Megadeth CDs, so I had actually forgotten how damned FAST some of those riffs are! From a strictly technical point of view they were very impressive, and ended up being far more entertaining than the headliner.
As I pointed out earlier, I'm not a big fan of Dio. After seeing the real thing in person, I'm even less of one. The rest of the band was in fine form and played really well. In truth I can't even really fault Dio for his performance, because it was good too. The this is that he's just BORING on stage. He doesn't really talk much to the audience except to say "Thank you" in a funny way, and introduce the next song, complete with the album it came off of. I'd have been far more interested in hearing a little snippet from Tony or Geezer once or twice during the show.
Like most Sabbath fans I'm far more familiar with the Ozzy material and find Dio's fantasy lyrics rather um...stupid. I was actually waiting for them to finish rather than wishing they'd play another song, and that's not a good thing. The new songs mixed in with the old really didn't scream out originality or make me jump up and pump my fist along to the beat either. I just couldn't get into the swing of it while holding back the chuckles at the goofy lyrics being belted out with such sincerity up there.
Dio aside, the mix was good, the stage show and stage itself were great and I am very happy to have seen two of the most (if not the most) influential hard rock / metal musicians playing live in Butler and Iommi. That's something I'll never regret paying money for. With Megadeth's knock-out opening act and I'm a happy concert-goer. If Down had showed up I wouldn't have had a complaint in the world. :)