Legendary Danish heavy metal king King Diamond announced another USA tour after just being on this year’s Rockstar Mayhem Festival. To make this occasion extra special, King Diamond performed the entire Abigail album which is one of his greatest accomplishments. Along with him he brought thrash metal legends Exodus to add even more metal to an already amazing night. The previous night sold out within days and so day two was added and I was given the opportunity to attend.
Exodus is a thrash metal band from the San Francisco Bay Area. Just over a year ago, Exodus recruited their longest-standing vocalist Steve “Zetro” Souza after being absent from the band for 10 years. On October 14, 2015, Exodus released their newest album Blood In, Blood Out. As Exodus started the show with the song Exodus, the venue was already packed as fans awaited to see one of thrash metal’s biggest bands. The band received a positive response from the crowd as Exodus laid down the thrash metal riffs and Souza let out his vocals that made him very popular among the thrash metal community. The next two tracks were songs from the new album which were the title track Blood In, Blood Out and Body Harvest. Souza took a quick break to let the fans know that this next song is about Vlad the Impaler and the song title is called…Impaler! Despite the band being a thrash metal band, it was very upsetting seeing the crowd being rather still. It’s normal for a thrash metal band like Exodus to have crazy crowds, mosh pits, and crowd surfers. This show barely had any type of movement except for the few times a mosh pit happened. Exodus continued the show with Blacklisted and then followed with one of their best song, Bonded By Blood from their debut album of the same name. Souza finished the song by saying that we are all Bonded By Blood letting everyone know that we as metal heads are all brothers and sisters. The second-to-last song was one of Exodus‘ craziest songs, The Toxic Waltz. A song the band wrote specifically for fans to mosh pit to. The show came to an end as the band finished up the show with Strike of the Beast from their debut album. Exodus was the warm up and left the crowd very happy as they left the stage and made way for the king.
The venue was packed to capacity as fans eagerly awaited for King Diamond to start the show. The lights went off and fans started screaming. The curtains lifted to reveal the stage having two staircases on each side of the stage, two upside down crosses on each end of the stage, and a giant lit-up Baphomet in the middle of the stage. The intro to King Diamond‘s Them album started as the band members made their way to stage one by one. Drummer Matt Thompson started the first song of the night which was Welcome Home from the Them album. King Diamond made his way to the stage and started singing using his famous high-pitch falsetto singing style as he sang “Grandmaaaa! Welcome Hooome!”. His microphone made from two real human bones in the shape of an upside down cross. Accompanying him was a woman dressed as an elderly woman in a wheelchair dressed as King Diamond‘s grandmother in the song. King Diamond would sing the song to her as his grandmother only seem to become irritated with him as he regularly smacked her with his mic and snarled at her. Sleepless Nights was the second song as has a very gothic-acoustic beginning as King Diamond sang the first lyrics, “I cannot sleep at niiiight. That’s what the day is for aaanywaaay”. Whenever the chorus would come of singing Sleepless Nights, King Diamond would hold out his mic and allow the fans to sing the chorus for him. For the third song, King Diamond announced to the crowd that to them, everyday is Halloween! Eye of the Witch was the next song and is another fan-favorite that fans love to sing along to. King Diamond told the crowd that they have a setlist set, but he chooses what they play and he was feeling like playing some Mercyful Fate. Mercyful Fate is King Diamond‘s original band and he rewarded the crowd with not one, but two Mercyful Fate classics. The first was Melissa. During the song, a woman portraying Melissa in the song was held up above a cauldron. The next Mercyful Fate song was Come to the Sabbath. Fans of King Diamond are very familiar with this song. Fans loved singing along to this song. Now that the extra songs were out of the way, it was time for the main attraction of the tour.
The entire Abigail album is to be played. The Funeral intro was played and a coffin with the name Abigail was written on it as King Diamond cast baby Abigail into the coffin to lay her down to rest for all eternity. The album started with Arrival and tells the 1845 story of Miriam Natias and Jonathan La’Fey whom move into a mansion that La’Fey inherits and dismissed the warning given by seven horsemen to not move into the house. The show continues with A Mansion in Darkness and featured King Diamond and a woman in a black dress portraying Miriam walking around the stage with lanterns. The Family Ghost is the third song on the album and is one of King Diamond‘s most popular songs and is regularly played at shows. This song continues the story in where La’Fey is greeted by a deceased family member and shows him a casket in which a corpse of a stillborn child, Abigail, rests. The 7th Day of July 1777 is a fan-favorite that sadly isn’t played too often at King Diamond shows, so this is one of those occasions where fans got to hear it. During the song, King Diamond portrays The Family Ghost and pushes the unfaithful wife down the stairs on stage murdering her as the song says. This all takes place, “In the year 1777…on the 7th day…of Julyyy!” as King Diamond continued singing. Omens is another song that hasn’t been played in a long time and it was nice seeing it return on the setlist. Fans loved singing along as King Diamond yelled out, “deadlyyy OMEEENS!!”. During the performance of The Possession, Miriam came out on stage and showed clear signs of being pregnant with baby Abigail. A baby crib appeared on stage where King Diamond would rock it back and forth, yet the crib was empty. The song Abigail showed Miriam starting to have pains from being pregnant as she prepared for giving birth. Now that the album was coming to an end, the lights went out as guitarists Andy LaRocque and Mike Wead started the acoustic intro the final track on the Abigail album, The Black Horsemen. The intro of the track had King Diamond singing the story of how Miriam becomes possessed by baby Abigail during her pregnancy and pushes King Diamond down the stairs as if he was La’Fey in the song killing him. In the middle of the song, Miriam is shown having more birth pains and starts pushing her belly down and reveals a baby Abigail doll as she finally gives birth to “the second coming of the devil in disguise”. Soon, two black-hooded figures appear and take Miriam away from the stage.
King Diamond and the rest of the band continue playing the song as the fans were already mesmerized by an amazing performance by the King. The song finished and fans were screaming with such joy. The band came out to bow the crowd while King Diamond stayed a little bit longer to wave to the audience. He left the stage and the lights came back on and you could see fans were all smiles as they just witnessed one of the greatest shows they’ve possibly been to.