Saturday night was a special event for metalheads in Dallas, Texas. Legendary vocalist King Diamond and his eponymous band kicked off their North American tour in advance of the 2020 release of their first album in more than 12 years, The Institute. To say there was a buzz among the near sold-out crowd at the Bomb Factory would be an understatement. Having been warmed up by Idle Hands and a glorious set from Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, the crowd was down right giddy. Whether they were sharing King Diamond stories at the bar, or in the 100-foot long line to the merch table, their enthusiasm filled the air.
Playing songs from his 1986 debut, Fatal Portrait, to his latest single, “Masquerade of Madness,” King and his band hit all the classics in between. “Voodoo,” “A Mansion in Darkness,” “Halloween,” and “The Invisible Guests” had the crowd in a frenzy, but every song was met with delight, all the way through to set closer, “Black Horseman.” Guitarists Andy LaRocque and Mike Wead shared lead guitar duties, both shredding with absolute precision. Denton, Texas drummer, Matt Thompson (King’s longest running drummer), and bassist Pontus Egberg are a formidable rhythm section that holds everything together. Unlike many of their metal peers, the strength of Thompson and Egberg’s playing gives the other musicians room to accentuate rather than being responsible for delivering mammoth guitar riffs powered by rows of Marshall stacks. Of course, the King himself was in peak form and his incomparable falsetto was pitch perfect. His voice filled the 50,000 square foot venue and belied his 63 years of age.
But, this wasn’t just a band running through a list of fan favorites. This show was a spectacle. A three story set piece wasn’t just a backdrop, but an integral part of the show. With stair cases on each side, and the drummer playing on the second level, the King and his band were all over it, going up and down the stairs, and using various parts designed for specific songs. There was a dancer who came out for a couple of performances, some mysterious cloaked gentlemen who appeared throughout night, and even some theatrical interludes that introduced songs.
You can’t miss this tour when it comes through your town. King’s vocals are as powerful as ever, his band is tight as whip, and the whole production is off the charts. There wasn’t a single soul who left the Bomb Factory disappointed.
– J. Kevin Lynch (words); Robb Miller (photos)
King Diamond Tour Dates 2019 – click here for tickets.
11/04 – Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle
11/05 – Orlando, FL @ Dr. Phillips Center
11/07 – Brooklyn, NY @ Kings Theatre
11/08 – Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
11/10 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Tower Theater
11/11 – Baltimore, MD @ The Lyric
11/12 – Montreal, QC @ M–Telus
11/14 – Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore
11/15 – Cleveland, OH @ The Agora Theatre
11/16 – Louisville, KY @ The Palace Theatre
11/18 – Chicago, IL @ The Riviera
11/19 – Minneapolis, MN @ Palace Theater
11/22 – Denver, CO @ The Fillmore
11/23 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
11/25 – Seattle, WA @ The Paramount
11/26 – Portland, OR @ The Schnitzer
11/27 – Vancouver, BC @ The Queen Elizabeth
11/29 – San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield
12/01 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
12/02 – San Diego, CA @ Magnolia
12/03 – Anaheim, CA @ The Grove of Anaheim
12/04 – Phoenix, AZ @ Comerica