TVD Live Shots: King Diamond with Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats and Idle Hands at City National Grove, 12/3

On a cold and dreary Tuesday night in Orange County, King Diamond conjured up the spirit of Abigail in front of a packed house in Anaheim, CA. Fans from all walks of life were in attendance to witness his ghastly sermon and nobody left the venue disappointed. It was a masterful show from one of the all-time legends of black metal and one of the best shows I’ve seen this year. All hail King Diamond!

I can remember hearing “Melissa” for the first time as a teenager and was immediately hooked on Mercyful Fate and their lead singer, King Diamond. Their music was like no other at the time and pushed all conceivable boundaries, mixing dark themes of Satanism and the occult with raw, unadulterated metal. King Diamond’s unmistakable falsetto was one of a kind and still lives on in infamy some 45 years later. Tuesday’s show would definitely be one I would cherish as a lifelong fan.

Opening for King Diamond were two bands that I highly anticipated seeing live, Portland’s own Idle Hands as well as legendary English rockers, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats. Each band was unique in their own right and killed their respective sets. I’d definitely be down for seeing them both again the road as their brand of no-frills rock and roll resonated with me as well as others at the City National Grove on Tuesday evening. Definitely a breath of fresh air for sure and one I won’t soon forget.

At the conclusion of Uncle Acid’s set, fans took a much-needed break as King Diamond’s crew appeared and began finalizing the stage for the chaos that was about to transpire. A huge curtain was dropped mid-break which added to the mystery of the stage setup. 30 minutes later, house lights dimmed as Uriah Heep’s “The Wizard” took over the airwaves. The curtain was then raised, and band members took their respective spots on stage as King Diamond was finally wheeled out on a gurney. The crowd went ballistic as they launched into “The Candle” from the 1986 masterpiece, Fatal Portrait. We we’re finally on our way and there was no turning back.

Over the next two-hours, members of King Diamond’s coven were blasted into hyperspace with a 13-song set covering his some of his most haunting classics. Personal favorites from the evening included “Halloween” and “The Invisible Guests,” while other fans I spoke with felt “Voodoo” and “Sleepless Nights” were near the top of their list. King Diamond’s voice was again flawless, and his band was out of this world throughout the entire set. In addition, the stage setup for this tour was unbelievable and really helped to bring to life King Diamond’s incredible music. Well done.

The show came crashing to an end with a killer encore consisting of “Burn” and “Black Horseman”, and both choices were well received by all in attendance. My only gripe in an otherwise flawless performance was that we did not have another couple of hours to dig further into the King Diamond / Mercyful Fate vault for more of his insane classics. Aside from that, this show had it all and then some, making it one of my favorite shows so far in 2019.



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