Heaven and Hell, Megadeth on fire at JLC

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Tony Iommi

Anna Coutts

I WAS TRYING TO GET A HAIR APPOINTMENT WITH MY STYLIST, BUT RICHARD SIMMONS HAD HIM BOOKED FOR THE NEXT SIX WEEKS. Heaven and Hell lead guitarist Tony Iommi brought down the JLC Saturday night with his new outfit.

Metalheads found salvation in Heaven and Hell, who performed to a packed house alongside Megadeth and Down Saturday night at the John Labatt Centre.

Ronnie James Dio, who recently reunited with his former Black Sabbath bandmates to form Heaven and Hell, was phenomenal. Unlike Ozzy Osbourne, Dio is not only able to sing, he’s capable of speaking in more than mumbles.

The enthusiastic crowd varied in age, from angst-filled teenagers to beer-guzzling senior citizens. The show was a technical masterpiece, with creative, complex lighting and well-timed pyrotechnics adding to the powerful performances.

Megadeth didn’t disappoint, bursting onstage with the violent aggression it’s known for and treating the crowd to a strong but short set. While at first vocalist/guitarist Dave Mustaine’s guitar wasn’t loud enough, the problem was quickly remedied.

Guitar Hero fans will be happy to know Megadeth played both “Hangar 18” and “Symphony of Destruction,” though it didn’t need to drop its pants to activate star power, as the crowd was electric. Other highlights of its 45-minute set included a fantastic rendition of “Peace Sells (But Who’s Buying?)” and its traditional finisher “Holy Wars.”

Typically non-talkative Mustaine ended the set simply with “You were awesome, we were Megadeth,” drawing massive cheers.

Though its assembly took 30 minutes, Heaven and Hell’s medieval castle set was worth the wait. Fake stone walls, castle gates and screens resembling cathedral windows made the legendary lineup seem even more mythical.

Heaven and Hell started with hits like “Mob Rules” and “Children of the Sea,” which were mellow compared to Megadeth’s brutal onslaught. However, the crowd was on its feet instantly, chanting along. Despite his decrepitness, Dio worked the crowd well and even jumped around occasionally.

The band members took turns showcasing their talent: bassist Geezer Butler cranked the wah-wah, drummer Vinny Appice played a sick solo, and guitarist Tony Iommi shredded some amazing riffs and was flawless throughout the show.

When the band broke into “Die Young,” the crowd collectively creamed its pants. The night’s highlight was “Heaven and Hell,” in which Dio showcased his infallible vocal chords as the entire building sang along.

The night finished with “Neon Knights,” leaving many metalheads extremely satisfied but still sorely in need of haircuts.

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