Heaven & Hell: Live at WaMu Theater

by guitarkadia on August 27, 2009

in Blog

Update: May 16, 2010. Photo tribute to DIO.

August 25, 2009.

I don’t think any amount of word combo put together by me will successfully capture the feeling of photographing the very people I grew up idolizing. Influence is a peculiar thing. It has the capacity to shift your perspective on life. I think you can’t be influenced by someone or something without being recognized by them.

Perhaps all this is not quite sitting with you, my gloating over this. But you see, being at the pit to photograph Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Vinny Appice, and Ronnie James Dio is not something I can explain to just anyone as to why it would be such a big deal. Unless you were a kid growing up in Dhaka, Bangladesh who had a sort of ‘calling’ upon hearing the opening riffs to Paranoid or Iron Man, or Heaven & Hell. If I could take you back to my high school notebooks – I’m sure they’re still there – you would see ‘Dio’ logo imprinted by hand on them, along with Iron Maiden, Sabbath and Metallica.

Our friends would have discussions about which album was better than which, who made Sabbath more Sabbath, does Iommi really wear thimbles – my friends I’ve seen them up close! All of us agreed on one thing – Ronnie James Dio is the voice!! Whether he was in Sabbath, or Rainbow, or going solo, his unmistakable voice certified the sound; my brother used to play ‘Holy Diver’ over and over and over  (think he still rocks that album in his car). Who wouldn’t? I witnessed first hand from the pit – the man may have aged, the voice hasn’t.

This was my first live attendance of a concert with any combination of these guys playing. For some of you it may seem nothing. For me, watching Tony Iommi walk out stage left and over to where  I was standing gave me the chills. Lord knows how many posters, magazines covers, videos, album covers I’ve seen with the man who essentially gave birth to the sound of Metal, it did not make me ready to see him that up close.

Ditto for Dio. It’ll take me thousands of more words to aptly go over how, when, and why Sabbath’s music influenced me. I have to shift the view and give you a photographer’s perspective. All those photos I’d cut out of magazines and pasted on my wall. I put an end to that. Because, my friends, I now have photographs of these legends of my very own, from my own POV. I cannot tell you what that’s like – god knows I’ve been trying since the first paragraph. I’ll never be able to look at their photographs the same way again. You still there?

Ok, let’s get to some good stuff.

Dio and Iommi continued their desire to record and tour after collaborating on the Black Sabbath: The Dio Years back in 2006. Iommi’s named the band ‘Heaven & Hell’ to be clear about what period of Sabbath’s life would this band represent. Basically, this is Black Sabbath with Dio with a different name.

iilana August 27, 2009 at 8:44 am

Thank you for this wonderful post! I’m going to see Heaven & Hell on Friday in Boston. It will be my first time seeing any incarnation of this band and the first time seeing Ronnie James Dio perform live. Nobody I know seems to understand my excitement. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one.

emon August 27, 2009 at 10:21 am

You’ll love it! Write back and let me know what you thought. Best!

Christopher Badgley August 27, 2009 at 10:38 am

Great photos. Great Band. Great show.

I love the Dio version of Sabbath, now Heaven and Hell. My favorite. Sorry Ozzy.

Thanks for sharing.


emon August 27, 2009 at 10:57 am

Thanks, CB!

iilana August 29, 2009 at 11:12 pm

The show in Boston was wonderful. Dio’s music and lyrics have always inspired me, but lately things haven’t been going so well and I’ve needed music for a pick-me-up more than ever. The concert was all that and more. First of all, I can’t believe how much better Ronnie James Dio sounds in person. His voice was so incredible, that I can’t find words adequate to describe it. And the music was unearthly. The drum solo by Appice was incredible and I’m usually not much into drum solos, but I closed my eyes and just felt the drums. It was very tribal.

I’m not really someone who goes to many concerts, but for this one I made an exception. I was in the front row and it was a total emersion experience. I felt a little out-of-place by virtue of being a concert newbie, felt a little silly about trying to throw the horns, but I was able to sing every word during the audience sing-along.

Sadly, after this, my cd’s will never quite measure up. Live sounded so much better.

emon August 30, 2009 at 12:27 am

Very cool, front row! I’m glad the show made you feel better. Isn’t it amazing what live music does to the mind and body! What are you planning to check out next?

iilana August 30, 2009 at 5:36 am

I’m probably not going to be able to check out anything for a while unless I win the lottery. Haha. That is unless the Dio band finds time to squeeze in some US tour dates. I’d give anything to see that band. Magica is one of my favorite albums.

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