Concert Review: King Diamond’s Abigail Tour

During the summer of 1845 a man named Johnathan and his wife Miriam move into a mansion that Johnathan inherits. They are warned not to go in by four horsemen, but they do not listen. Johnathan is told by the ghost of a relative that Miriam is possessed by the spirit of a  stillborn child named Abigail. The next day Miriam is pregnant and the fetus starts developing inside her and Johnathan realizes he must stop this demon child from being reborn.

That is the story to King Diamond’s iconic album Abigail. Released in 1987, Abigail is the second King Diamond solo album and his first to tell a full story, something that would become a staple of his albums. With a good story, chilling atmosphere, amazing high vocals from King himself and amazing riffs and solos from guitarist Andy Laroque, Abigail is without a doubt the man’s best and most well known album to date. When it was revealed that he was going to do a fall tour celebrating this album, the hype was unbelievable as tickets evaporated as soon as it went on sale.

Fans in the Tri-State area were given the chance to see this tour when it was booked at the Playstation Theater on Times Square in New York City. Originally called the Nokia Theater and then the Best Buy Theater, Playstation Theater is one of the most popular venues in NYC hosting concerts from many acts ranging from Devo, to Carcass, to King Crimson. For this tour King Diamond played three shows in a row at this venue, all which sold out! This review will be focused on the third show which took place on November 21st, 2015.

Due to recent events, Time Square was surrounded by cops and random people telling doomsday prophecies. At around 7pm the doors opened and security carefully checked everyone as they let them in. Though the show was sold out, the venue had yet to be packed. The crowd all found their places to sit or stand as they awaited the opening act.

Thrash legends Exodus got on stage around 8pm. Since the day they formed to as recent as their spring/summer tour with Testament, the band was known for high energy shows and fast mosh pits. However at this show almost no one was moshing. Their set was really short and though they played some greats such as “Strike of the Beast” and “The Toxic Waltz” fans were disappointed at the small amount of Exodus classics. Sound wise they sounded great and if given more set-time, Exodus would have most likely delivered the awesome set the band is known for.

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After Exodus was done it was time for King Diamond. Around this time the venue was getting more crowded and actually looked like a sold out show. King opened the set with his popular track “Welcome Home” while on stage he had an actor play his grandma. He then followed it with “Halloween”, “Sleepless Nights” and “Eye of the Witch”. His voice was spot on and didn’t sound weak for a second. His backing band sounded great and fans couldn’t remove there eyes from the stage. King then asked the audience if they “wanted some mercy”. The crowd knew this meant it was time for some Mercyful Fate tracks. He played “Melissa” followed by the “Come to the Sabbath”. This was a great choice in tracks as they both tell the story of the fictional witch Melissa who was burned at the stake and her lover who tries to get revenge on the church. On stage a woman played Melissa and acted out the lyrics to these songs making for a nice short film before the feature presentation.

After the Fate songs it was Abigail time. He played the entire album front to back and it sounded amazing. The stage show was very fun and parts such as seeing the possessed Miriam  lip syncing to the chorus of the title track and the horsemen slaying Abigail helped bring the album’s story to life. King’s set stole the night and left the crowd leaving happy. If you are a King Diamond fan  and you have not seen him live do yourself a favor and fix that! You won’t regret it!

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 photo by Stephen Keeler