Finally, something fresh to write about.
Last Friday night I made my first trip to the Time Warner Cable Amphitheater at Tower City and caught the Heaven & Hell concert.
Heaven & Hell is Black Sabbath with Ronnie James Dio on vocals. The name comes from the 1980 Black Sabbath album, "Heaven & Hell."
Dio recorded that album along with 1981's "Mob Rules," "Live Evil" in 1982, and 1992's "Dehumanizer."
The amphitheater really is just a slab of concrete with a roof thrown over it. Nothing too fancy.
I read online the place holds about 5,500 and I'm not sure if that counts the standing room only area. The show was packed really nice turnout. I had 10th-row seats and my ears were ringing as I forgot my ear plugs.
Heaven & Hell put on a solid performance. Tony Iommi was steady on guitar and Dio has lungs of steel.
The best tune of the night from Heaven & Hell was "Children of the Sea" which just happened to be the third number. "Mob Rules," Sign of the Southern Cross," "Voodoo," "Falling Off the Edge of the World" and the 18-minute version of "Heaven & Hell" were all good.
The band also played three new tunes from their new greatest hits package, "The Dio Years."
Machine Head and Megadeth opened the show.
Megadeth really, really kicked butt.
I've been a casual fan of Megadeth since the 1980s and had sort of drifted away after the early 1990s.
Singer/guitarist Dave Mustaine kept the talking to a minimum Friday as the band hammered through 10 songs in 50 minutes. They opened with the new "Sleepwalker" and proceeded to play classics such as "Hangar 18," "Kick the Chair," "Wake Up Dead," "Peace Sells," "Symphony of Destruction," "Holy Wars," "Take No Prisoners," "Tornado of Souls" and the new track "Washington is Next" from the new CD, "United Abominations" which was released Tuesday.
Megadeth's playing was flawless and their performance once again renewed my interest in the band. I dusted off my "Rust in Peace" album from 1990 and gave it a spin last weekend.
On Monday, I trekked back to Cleveland and the House of Blues for Cursive, Against Me! and Mastodon, which was the headliner.
I don't know if I was tired or what, but the whole night never clicked. Half the crowd was there for Against Me! Mastodon sounds good on CD, but didn't translate well live. It just sounded like a wall of sound. I couldn't distinguish the intricate musical passages. It just all blurred together.
Next up: Porcupine Tree Friday at the House of Blues.