Friday, December 17, 2010

Uriah Heep and Crow
Friday, November 5, 2010
Medina Entertainment Center, Medina, MN
Watch Uriah Heep perform “Gypsy”.
Tonight’s concert was a special one, as it was only one of three shows the legendary Uriah Heep played on a short US jaunt (the other shows being in Chicago and Milwaukee). It had been about 10 years since the band was last in the States and expectations were high. I walked in about midway through Crow’s lengthy hour-plus opening set. Crow is a legendary cult band in their own right, and they were inducted into the Mid-America Music Hall of Fall in 2005. This Minneapolis band is buried in the annals of heavy metal history since their Top 10 US single from 1969, “Evil Woman (Don’t Play Your Games With Me)”, was covered by none other than Black Sabbath in 1970 and released as their first single prior to inclusion on the European version of Black Sabbath. Crow’s associations with metal end there, however, as their boogie rock sounds owes more to blues music than hard rock. They clearly maintain a hardcore fan base, and crowd roared their approval for familiar songs such as “Cottage Cheese” and “Don’t Try To Lay No Boogie Woogie (On The King Of Rock & Roll)”. While not the type of music I would choose to listen to, you have to have respect for this legendary band and they were a great choice to open the show.
Watch Uriah Heep perform “Look At Yourself”.
This was the first opportunity I’ve had to see Uriah Heep, so I was immediately blown away as guitarist Mick Box and his current incarnation of the band tore the roof off as they launched into “Wake The Sleeper”. Having released over 20 albums, it would be impossible for Heep to play everyone’s favorites, so the band responded by performing a set with many new songs and mixture of hits and obscure, deep cuts. Songs from 2008’s Wake The Sleeper (including “Overload” and “Book Of Lies”) and the two new songs from 2009’s Celebration dominated the early part of the show, with “Return To Fantasy” and “Bird Of Prey” mixed in to placate old fans. About halfway through the show, the classic rock radio staple “Stealin’” brought the entire place to its feet, and from there the emphasis was on older material. Demons And Wizards was given its due with “Rainbow Demon” and “The Wizard” before surprising everyone with “Free ‘N’ Easy” from the overlooked Innocent Victim album. The show then reached its climax with amazing, heavy versions of the old classics “Gypsy” and “Look At Yourself” that stomped all over the original recordings. Wake The Sleeper was revisited with “Angels Walk With You” and “Shadow” before “July Morning” (from 1971’s Look At Yourself) and one of the earliest metal anthems, “Easy Livin’”, closed the set. Everyone wanted more, and the band returned to play “Sunrise” and “Lady In Black” for the encore.
Click photo to see more pictures of Uriah Heep (17).
Uriah Heep simply put on an amazing show, and proved that are they are more than capable of rocking harder than ever. Every band member sounded at the top of his game, and everyone was having fun on stage. The band announced that they are working on lining up more US shows for 2011, so do not miss any chance to have the see these legends!
Look for an audio download of nearly the entire Uriah Heep set soon!

Return To Action

Alright, it's unfortunately been a while since I've had the opportunity to update the site, but there's a lot to be coming your way soon!
First, if you live here in the Twin Cities area, get out to Station 4 in St. Paul to support a huge lineup of great local bands for local promoter The SwordLord's Christmas show. DAWN OF VALOR and AVIAN are co-headlining the bill, with NOBLE BEAST, ETERNAL VOYAGER, KINGS, HOLLOWSTONE, and PLAGUED INSANITY rounding it out. Note that this is Avian's first show with their new lead singer, Brian Hollenbeck, who took over from Lance King earlier this year. You can read my review of the new Avian EP featuring Brian, The Path, here. Throughout the night there will be all kinds of giveaways and drink specials, so don't miss this!
The next forthcoming feature will be a review of the legendary Uriah Heep's show last month in Medina. Other concert reviews on the way are Circle II Circle/32 Headshots in Fridley, and Forbidden/Evile/Gamma Bomb in St. Paul. I've got loads of pictures and videos to go with these.
A slew of album and demo review are also coming, including ones from Hollowstone, 32 Headshots, and many, many others.
I appreciate your loyalty and patience during the stretch of inactivity, so keep your eyes peeled for a lot of interesting stuff in the near future!!