Heaven & Hell and Coheed & Cambria in concert at the Bank of America Pavilion (Boston, MA) – 8/28/09

I bought my ticket to the Heaven & Hell show back in early May but I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it last night with all the stuff I’ve had going on physically. About 5pm I decided to drag myself behind the wheel and make the hour drive up to Boston for the show. This was going to be my 4th time seeing Heaven & Hell since they reunited back in 2006 and I had 11th row! Can’t pass that up!

Coheed & Cambria setlist:

I’m going to be extremely honest here: I have no idea who these guys are! I’ve seen the albums in the stores, seen the ads in magazines but I’ve never heard one tune by this band. I figured they were a new band but they’ve actually been around since 2002. The band played 50 mins and was a big hit with the younger crowd that was in attendance…..I would say that everyone ages 12-25 new who these guys were. They got a great response from the crowd and I saw a ton of Coheed & Cambria shirts being bought. Maybe these guys are worth checking out?

Heaven & Hell setlist:

E5150
The Mob Rules
Children Of The Sea
I
Bible Black
Time Machine
(Vinny Appice drum solo)
Fear
Falling Off The Edge Of The World
Follow The Tears
(Tony Iommi guitar solo intro)
Die Young
Heaven & Hell (with extended solo)

Encore:
Country Girl
Neon Knights

Like I mentioned, this was the 4th time I was seeing Heaven & Hell since the reformed back in 2006…..I’ve always been a huge Black Sabbath fan, especially post-Ozzy, so hearing the classic Dio-era of the band in concert is a special thing. Call it what you want, it will always be Black Sabbath to me! So I got to my seat right after the Coheed & Cambria set: 11th row and dead center! I was so close I could see Iommi’s fake fingertips! Great seats!

The band started out with ‘The Mob Rules’, an absolute classic, and never stopped. One thing I have to say for the band, they deliver a high powered set that a lot of younger bands could learn from: Ronnie James Dio sounded the best I had heard of all four shows, Tony Iommi played brilliantly and effortlessly, Geezer Butler’s fingers flew up and down his bass and Vinny  Appice is one heavy hitter. You could tell the guys were enjoying themselves, a lot of smiles on the stage last night! Not a lot of talking in between songs, just quick song intros,  just pure Heavy Metal.

The setlist was pretty good but a little short. The band played the mandatory classics like ‘Heaven & Hell’, ‘Children Of The Sea’, and ‘Die Young’ along with three new songs off THE DEVIL YOU KNOW (2009): ‘Bible Black’, ‘Fear’ and ‘Follow The Tears’. I’ve had the new album since it came out and I really like it so it was good to get a few new songs in the set although I was surprised that they didn’t play any of the three songs off the LIVE AT RADIO CITY (2006) album. I figured they would play two tracks from the latest album and give us ‘The Devil Cried’ or ‘Shadow Of the Wind’. The new songs came off well live with great crowd response…..I did notice a run on the CDs at the merchandise stand after the show, a lot of young kids picking up the album!

The only complaint I have in an otherwise flawless performance is that it was too short. I think I say that about every show I go to because I enjoy the music so much but this one was short despite the 95 minute set. Heaven & Hell have some long songs and ‘Children Of The Sea’, ‘Falling Off The Edge Of The World’ and ‘Heaven & Hell’ take up close to a half an hour on their own, especially when you add in some extended soloing from Iommi. The new songs are also on the slower/longer side of things so you got a more quality than quantity…..I’ll definitely take that. Sometimes newer bands try to cram in a ton of songs and they suck performance wise. The encore had a abbreviated ‘Country Girl’ that was almost like a quick intro to the speedy ‘Neon Knights’ but it got a great response. A lot of old school Sabbath fans were commenting after the show that it was a pleasant surprise to hear ‘Country Girl’ live.

I enjoyed the entire show but there is always something that stands out and for me it was the two tracks that the band played from the underrated DEHUMANIZER (1992) album: ‘I’ and ‘Time Machine’. It’s great to see the band embrace their entire catalog and DEHUMANIZER is a great album. I saw Sabbath on that tour also so that album holds a special place in my Metal world alongside HEAVEN & HELL and MOB RULES. ‘I’ has been in the setlist since the reunion in 2006 and the band has seen fit to perform ‘Computer God’ and ‘After All (The Dead)’ at the other shows I’ve seen so getting ‘Time Machine was a complete surprise! Great songs! Great show! RJD mentioned that this show in Boston was the next to last show of the tour so it looks like I’ll have to wait until 2010 or early 2011 to see the band again.