Last night was an incredible experience for me. I got to see NWOBHM legends Diamond Head along with Raven and new favorites Night Demon in a small club called Malone’s in Santa Ana, Ca. Even though I was having some insane upper back pain, I was determined to see this show and I’m so glad I did. There definitely could have been more people there, but it was a weeknight and things were running behind as Diamond Head went on about an hour late at around 12:45am or so (they were supposed to be on at 11:40). However, despite the recipe for a bruised ego, these bands played as if the place was packed.
The wife and I arrived shortly after Raven started their set on the main stage. I must admit I’m not as familiar with this band as I should be, but those guys definitely put forth a lot of energy and impressed me for sure. For being a trio, there was a lot of power being put forth from these guys. Let’s face it, they aren’t exactly young anymore; yet they put forth more energy than I see from some of the younger bands today. And those screams….holy crap! I had to look around to see if glasses were shattering at times. I must admit I’m not a huge fan of the shrilly King Diamond-like screaming, but I know that isn’t exactly easy to do consistently and takes quite of bit of talent to pull of right. So they still get the horns up from me.
When it came time for Night Demon to play the bar stage in between Raven and Diamond Head, I was pumped. I am thoroughly familiar with their current four-song release but shorty before they began it occurred to me that I might get to hear some new songs, which I did. They played three songs that I heard for the first time; ‘Heavy Metal Heat’, ‘Satan’, and another one they didn’t say the title of. Based on those songs, I cannot wait until they come out with their full-length release next year. However, I do think that the band might benefit from having another guitarist at live shows. In no way am I saying anything bad about how it sounded, I just think an added rhythm guitarist would add to the sound and make them even more amazing then they already are. Regardless, they put on a great show.
As for Diamond Head, I was completely blown away. Even though the band was without their usual frontman Nick Tart, their fill-in vocalist Chas West threw it down better than any vocalist they’ve had in the past. Of course, that’s just my opinion. Regardless, anyone who may be skeptical about seeing these guys with a fill-in vocalist needs to quit worrying because I guarantee they won’t be disappointed. They played all the songs one might expect from these guys; ‘It’s Electric’, ‘Helpless’, ‘Sucking My Love’, ‘Lightning to the Nations’, ‘Am I Evil?’, etc. The band had great energy and Chas added an element to the band that is nothing but positive. You can check out multi-cam footage of them performing ‘Am I Evil?’ in San Francisco below along with the remaining dates on the tour.
Special thanks to Jason at Homeless One Productions for his hospitality.
October tour with Diamond Head & Raven:
17 – Los Angeles, CA – The Vex (w/ Night Demon, Gypsyhawk, and others)
18 – San Diego, CA – Brick By Brick
19 – Corona, CA – M15 Concert Club
20 – Las Vegas, NV – Vamp’d (w/ Night Demon)
22 – Littleton, CO – Toad Tavern
23 – Kansas City, KS – Riot Room
24 – Oklahoma City, OK – The Chameleon Room
25 – Dallas, TX – The Boiler Room