Friday, May 31, 2002 @ 2:04 PM
Iced Earth et al Live In Holly
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REVIEW BY: Lil Shredder
As I stare out the passenger side window of my buddy’s car, we drive up the 101 freeway, I look out over the city of angels, and focus my attention to the large array of rolling hills to my right and see the Hollywood sign protruding from the green hillside, white and dominant, and I realize I am here. Tonight is a special night -- I am going to see 3 metal greats in all their glory, Iced Earth, In Flames, and Jag Panzer.
Waved into a narrow driveway by men with brightly colored flags, we pull into the parking lot next to the legendary Palace Theater. I see Jon Schaeffer walking right by the parking lot attendant’s booth, my excitement peaks and I almost jump out of the car to greet him. It’s 6:30pm and I am an hour and a half early. I walk around the corner to the front of the venue and see the line to get in… it goes clear down Vine almost across the street to the other side of the intersection. A sea of black tee shirts, leather, Doc Martens, and long flowing hair… yep, this is the place. I find the Will Call line, which is amazingly short and stand in it for about an hour speaking with some friends. Then a brigade of yellow shirts holding sections of a metal fence coming stomping by, caging the line from hell like a bunch of zoo animals. Girls on the left, guys on the right. The pat down I received was somewhat humorous to me -- the woman made me take out my lipstick and eye shadow to make sure they weren’t weapons and sent me on my way.
I walk with my friend to the Will Call line, he gets our tickets, hands me one and we walk in the lobby, to the right is the tee shirt stand, where a plethora of metalheads are feverishly calling out which tee shirt they want. To the left of me is the bar and grill, and directly in front of me is a massive staircase to the balcony level seating area, and 2 doors to the floor area. I whip out my ticket and see I am supposed to be in the Balcony, my friends look at me and immediatley formulate a plan to get me and my friend on the floor -- they succeeded.
Trotting onto the floor happier than ever, I walk up to the stage where everyone is and wait, suddenly everything goes dark and people start screaming, an eerie glow of black lights, begin to reveal two backdrops: one, the Wolfman, and the other was what appeared to be Dracula, and dead center in big letters "JAG PANZER." Then someone started talking into the PA, it reminded me of the Haunted Mansion speel from Disneyland, telling a tale of horror foreboding. Then loud drum beats… then the band walks onstage, and the crowd goes nuts. In between lightning fast licks and runs from guitarist Chris Broderick, to the amazing vocals of Harry "The Tyrant" Conklin, they put on a great show, playing faves such as "Iron Eagle" and "Take to the Sky"... They got the crowd going for the next onslaught ... In Flames. Jag Panzer finishes their set, and walks off stage, the room lights up again and I notice a swell in the people up front, the roadies onstage tuning up and testing the mics, the crowd starts chanting "In Flames, In Flames!"
This was my first time seeing In Flames live and I am right in the middle of the stage up front where I later found out is where it gets the most insane, little did I know I was in for a ride... The room goes dark ... and I hear a clip from the movie From Dusk ‘Til Dawn: "Were they psychos? ... Did they look like psychos? They were vampires, psychos do not explode when sunlight hits them, I don’t give a fuck how crazy they are!" and the band enters, immediately I am spun right into a full on mosh, my first mosh ever. It was incredible, the energy In Flames gave the crowd, with every song, the level just went higher and higher, they were unmatched the whole evening, they should have had In Flames headline the tour because they blew Jag Panzer and Iced Earth out of the water. When they played "Clayman," the whole place was either in the pit or banging their heads against the wall -- it was phenomenal. I can safely say I am now an avid In Flames fan, what a show.
Last and certainly not least: Iced Earth. About 15 minutes lapsed in between the end of In Flames and the beginning Iced Earth, and by this time I was out of the pit because A.) I was barefoot and had lost my sandals in the moshing, and B.) I was exhausted. Standing at the bar, drinking water while the PA was playing Maiden, the room goes dark again for the 3rd time and the theme song from Austin Powers starts playing. The stage lights up and the band walks out, the floor was so full for this set I had to go up to balcony to get a better look (by this time they had gotten through 2 songs). As soon as I get to the top of the stairs they break out with Dark Saga's “Melancholy” (Holy Martyr), Matthew Barlow growls into the mic, "This song is about an angel, who can really kick some ass!" As he belts out the chorus: "I see the sadness in their eyes, Melancholy in their cries, Devoid of all the passion, The human spirit cannot die, Look at the pain around me, This is what I cry for look at the pain around me, This is what I'll die for." I can't help but race back down the stairs and back into the pit, (barefoot and all), and begin to mosh once more, between "The Hunter," "Watching Over Me," "A Question of Heaven," "Dracula," "Slave to the Dark," "Prophecy," and for the encore the band's namesake "Iced Earth."
There is no doubt this show was the best I have been to in a while. If you are fortunate enough to have any one or all of these bands come to your city, GO SEE THEM!!! Definitely worth the money.