I’m used to passing a tour bus when driving by The Palace Theatre on my way to the parking ramp but was a little shocked as I passed a semi where there are usually just buses. I was intrigued. I knew that King Diamond was a thing and a big thing at that but could that semi be for him? Other than the imagery used in his merchandising, his signature corpse paint look (yes, corpse paint– facepaint made to resemble that of a corpse) and the fact that every metalhead on my friends list on social media seemed to be at this show, I really knew nothing about King Diamond. I love going into shows blind but I really don’t think I was ready for what was about to happen.
Idle Hands got the night started but left me less than impressed. With no energy and really no personality on stage to speak of, all I can really say that would be positive about this band is that their guitar work was clean. There was definitely something lacking in their performance that quickly had me second guessing my choice to be at this show over the Gatecreeper show going on closer to home at The 7th Street Entry. Their snoozefest of a set lasted a bit longer than I would have preferred but as soon as the other opening act Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats took the stage, I knew the show had been saved.
Back in September of 2015, I stumbled into an Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats show and was less than impressed. I wasn’t into the music and didn’t quite get it but the times have changed and last night I found myself completely captivated by this band. Think a sludge metal version of The Black Keys (okay, maybe that’s a terrible description but that’s all I could think), Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats definitely have a unique sound that may be intimated by some but will never be perfected the way these guys have. There’s a psychedelic aspect to their music and live performance that had me drifting into another world with a sense of ease. The video playing above the bandmembers showed random and trippy images that didn’t go with the music perfectly but somehow was the perfect addition to the show.
As mentioned, I wasn’t a fan of this band the first time I saw them but definitely understood them a bit more as I stood there during their set last night. There’s an artistry in their music that I must have ignored or just been blind to the first time. The styles and influences that can be heard throughout this band’s discography are vast making every song feel like a whole new world while still keeping within the vein of being an Uncle Acid song. It seriously takes talent and creativity to pull something like this off and I spent the entire eight song set just taking it all in. I was a bit bummed when the music stopped and the band left the stage but I could feel there were big things in my future.
I’ve seen many shows at The Palace Theatre before but the set change between Uncle Acid & The Deadbeat’s set and King Diamond’s headlining set was probably the first time that I’ve seen the stage there concealed by a giant curtain. Was King Diamond really a big enough deal to have to have this stage hidden for the changeover? Or was this just a power move? After a quick wait, the curtain parted giving me a glimpse of one of the most impressive and extravagant stage set ups I have ever seen in my life. Keep in mind, The Palace isn’t a huge place. It’s not an arena, it’s literally just a beautiful gutted out theatre so to see such a huge set on the stage had me absolutely stunned.
Instead of just a cheap banner sporting the image of a haunted mansion looking setting, the stage had been turned into said mansion. Complete with stairs on either side of the stage and working doors, the impressiveness of the stage set-up took me some time to really take in but as soon as Kim Bendix Petersen (AKA King Diamond) was wheeled out on stage in a hospital bed complete with and IV, I knew I couldn’t just focus on the artistry of the stage props. Kim climbed off of the hospital bed and jumped into a set that left me so very confused, impressed, and well, just in shock.
As mentioned, I knew nothing about King Diamond when walking into the show last night other than the imagery used in his merchandise and his signature corpse paint look so I was a little shocked as he opened his mouth and began to sing. His vocal range was nothing short of impressive but it definitely caught me a little off guard. I was expecting guttural growls and powerful roars. I got that but I also got high pitched vibrato and a falsetto that could have easily shattered a glass. Although the vocals were definitely impressive and stole the spotlight for me majority of the show, there was no ignoring the talent and precision of the band members. Every drum hit and every guitar note fit it’s place perfectly and was played with a sense of power when needed, and a sense of delicacy when called for. I may have been captivated by the stage set up and the overall theatrics of the show but it was really the music that had me stunned.
King Diamond’s set had everything you could ever ask for. It had an incredible stage set-up, a stunning element of theatrics complete with dancers and skits, and captivating music but most of all, Kind Diamond’s set had a sense of passion. I loved the fact that although this band probably does the same thing every night, they didn’t come off as bored with it. I may not have been totally into the vocals the entire night but I was totally into everything else and King Diamond’s set instantly turned into one of my favorites of the year.
Venue: Palace Theatre
Sausage Fest Meter- 8.6 out of 10
Smell-O-Meter – Weed/ Farts– seriously– metal kids stink
Average Age of the Crowd- 42
Crowd Surfers- 0
Moshability- 5.3 out of 10
Stage Divers- None
Broken Bones- None
Spotted Flying Through The Air- Nothing
Fights- None Witnessed
Pukers- None Witnessed
Passed Out Drunkards- None Witness
Idiots Taken Out By Security- None Witnessed
How Many Times I’ve Seen These Bands Before-
Idle Hands- 0
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats- 1
King Diamond- 0
Celebrity Sightings- None
Overall Score- 8.3 out of 10
Show on Deck- Fit For An Autopsy/ Lorna Shore/ The Last Ten Seconds of Life/ Dyscarnate
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