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AU Vol. 15–3 Issue 87

Monday, 01 April 2019 00:00 Published in Volume 15

Absolute Underground #86 - 420 Issue!!! featuring the Weed Olympics, Cannabis Corner, Plant Tonix, Dana Larsen, Terp City, and the 420 Music and Arts Festival.


Also in this issue:

  • High Arctic
  • Hexripper
  • Western Death
  • Dizzy Mystics
  • Planet Smasher
  • Uli Jon Roth
  • Gnosis
  • Destroy Wrestling - Techno Destructo
  • Titty Titty Bong Bong
  • Omnipotence
  • Heart Attack Kids
  • A Eulogy to Zippy Pinhead

Extreme the Dojo vol 32. Napalm Death, Eyehategod, Misery Index, Melt-Banana

March 5, 2019, Club Quattro, Osaka, Japan


By Ryan Dyer


Extreme the Dojo is a metal concert variety series in Japan which usually brings together three or four big name acts together in one show. Held in Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo, the likes of Nasum, Obituary, Melvins, High on Fire, Nile, Municipal Waste, Behemoth, Pig Destroyer and of course Napalm Death have locked up at the dojos. Philip H. Anselmo and the Illegals will take part in volume 33 of the series. Obviously, the forerunners of these events have great taste.


Volume 32 saw four huge underground acts together under one roof - Napalm Death, Eyehategod, Misery Index and Melt-Banana. In Osaka, it was held in Club Quattro - a livehouse which used to be a cinema on the 10th floor of a building in the center of Umeda, Osaka’s bar and club district. The show brought together a variety of different people - crust punks, veteran metalheads who have been to several dojos - sporting t-shirts from past events, a handful of foreigners and the odd three-piece suit clad business man. There seemed to be no sense of elitism in the crowd as everyone felt in place as they chatted among each other in the t-shirt line or smoke room before the bands started.


First up was Japan’s Melt-Banana, a legendary noise/grind/experimental project who would merit a trip to Japan alone. The band has had a long relationship with Napalm Death, touring with them and the Melvins on their 2016 tour. The two piece of Yasuno Onuki and Ichirou Agata best exemplify the feeling of walking around cyberworld districts like Shibuya or Dotonbori - a sensory overload of lights and sounds - high pitched chirping emanating maid cafe girls, and post-metal guitar bordering on hyperreal with programmed bass, drums and electronic blips and bleeps blanketing the audio canvas like a digital hot spring.


Ichirou, clad in a medical mask, utilized a deli tray of pedals while Onuki waved around her hand held beat sequencing device like a replicant sorceress through their half hour set, starting with “Feedback Deficiency” on through tracks from their latest highly acclaimed album Fetch, through their earlier efforts. “My Missing Link” is a suitable name for the experience Melt-Banana brings - obviously influencing countless female sung, hybrid bands since their inception, but by being based in Japan, a bit obscure unless a special occasion brings them overseas. The fans at Extreme the Dojo, however, seemed more interested in the foreign riff mongers who followed, and besides myself, I think only three or four other people bought Melt-Banana shirts. Maybe they had seen them too often and the novelty had worn off - but to me it was something of a revelation and homecoming. It was the right move to have Melt-Banana play first, as their jarring brand of music would no doubt alter the vibe brought by the next three bands.


Up next were Baltimore’s Misery Index, who after Melt-Banana, brought a more streamlined and straightforward ass kicking to the Japanese crowd. This was meat and potatoes without any wasabi. It is worth noting now that the sound quality at these Japanese concerts is absolutely top notch. The crunching riffs sounded crisper here than on CD, I dare say. The crowd was ready to throw down now as the band crushed through songs from their five previous releases before unleashing a new track from their upcoming Rituals of Power LP. Guitarist Darrin Morris wowed the crowd with showman like poses while the rest of the band grinded away. The crowd ate it up and chanted when appropriate, such as during their anti-anthems “Traitors” or “Heretics”. The band travelled several hours overseas for these few dojo shows, and made sure they made their mark on the audience, who were aching for more when all was said and done.


Now let’s slow the tempo down to the speed of sap dripping down a maple tree near Minoh waterfall. The Louisiana sludge legends Eyehategod took the dojo to an alter of feedback worship as the band played for a very eager audience who had not seen Eyehategod in Japan for a number of years.


Starting with “Lack of Almost Everything” and “Jack Ass in the Will of God”, the riffs and agitated screams of the band no doubt brought flashbacks to the older members of the audience of the legal days of mushroom usage in Japan. Mike Williams groaned on tracks like “Agitation! Propaganda” but between songs joked in jest with guitarist Jimmy Bower about how quiet the crowd were - as is custom in Japan. The crowd will applause enthusiastically once the song ends but won’t shout out like barbarians as the band preps for the next offering.


Their latest self-titled album was featured heavily, with “Parish Motel Sickness” and “Medicine Noose” appearing, with Bower raising his mic stand and cord like a makeshift rope before letting in to the lyrics of the latter. ‘This song is about fucking your sister,’ was the cue for “Sisterfucker (Part 1)” followed by its sequel. The set ended with the monolithic sludge jam of “Run it into the Ground” from their debut In the Name of Suffering and as the feedback faded, fans went to the bar for one more drink before as the Godfathers of sludge left the stage and the Godfathers of grind set up to destroy it.


Britain’s Napalm Death are no stranger to Japan, playing the Extreme the Dojo event before with Nasum and Pig Destroyer, as well as other small tours throughout their 30-plus year existence. They have a connection with the crowd and judging by the hype of the people there and number of t-shirts sported by the Japanese fans, were the act most wanted to see this evening.


“Unchallenged Hate” broke down the doors as an opening track. Pits immediately opened and the packed room suddenly folded in on itself like a sushi roll. Roarer Barney Greenway has the admirable quality of going from Tasmanian devil mode during tracks like “Smash a Single Digit” and “Everyday Pox” to civil humanitarian in his between-song speeches. He preached to the audience about peace, love and understanding - stating that every person on planet earth deserves to live a comfortable, happy life. And what is a happier time than experiencing the legendary Napalm Death slam through “Suffer the Children” and “Scum”?


From their latest compilation album, Coded Smears and More Uncommon Slurs came “Standardization” a track about ‘How the higher ups want to make every person completely stagnant and like everyone else’. From their latest LP, Apex Predator - Easy Meat, they unleashed “Cesspits” ‘A song about people dying in pits from making shit we don’t need. How fucking ironic.’ “You Suffer” and “Dead” were played consecutively, ‘Two very harmonious tracks’ quipped Greenway while catching his breath afterwards. The audience cheered politely before another pocket of silence - which brought fourth “Silence is Deafening”. When the last seconds of its crunchy breakdown ended, more silence, ‘How fucking appropriate’ laughed Greenway. The set came to a close with their cover of the Dead Kennedys’ “Nazi Punks - Fuck Off” and their classic “Siege of Power”.


‘We will be back in a few years - it’s like clockwork.’ Indeed, how the years condemn, but they also bring gifts like a grindcore family reunion with the Godfathers.

Download Festival Japan - March 21, 2019

Friday, 01 March 2019 00:00 Published in Underground News

Download Festival Japan - March 21, 2019


By Ryan Dyer

With festival season being months away, you may be chomping at the bit to have a full days’ experience seeing top-tier metal acts. Well, March is full of activity as well, with Britain’s long running Download Festival making its first appearance in the land of the rising sun, Tokyo Japan, on March 21. The festival joins Australia’s double Download Festival in Sydney and Melbourne, also in March, with many of the acts playing all three festivals.

Taking place at the Makuhari Messe Stadium in the Chiba prefecture, the full day festival, presented by Live Nation and Creativeman Productions, will showcase 10 major rock and metal acts. This marks the first major metal festival in Japan in over a year as Loud Park, Japan’s long running two-day festival, was put on hold during 2018.


Judas Priest

The immortal rock gods Judas Priest make their second return to Japan in a year. Still in support of their latest album, Firepower, the 40-year veteran band have something of a spiritual connection with Japanese audiences since they first toured and released their classic Unleashed in the East live album and are sure to deliver another legendary performance to be talked about for years to come.


Slayer take their final world tour to Japan, meaning this is the final time the thrash legends will unleash hell in Tokyo. Recently playing Loud Park, before their retirement announcement, the experience this time is set to be cathartic and possibly emotional, as fans are sure to throw all of their memories of the band into one last circle pit during their undisputed classics “Angel of Death”, “Hell Awaits” or “War Ensemble”. It could very well be raining tears instead of blood.

Sum 41

Canada’s anthemic punk/pop group Sum 41 are also no stranger to playing Japan, with Sum 41 singer Deryck Whibley recently reminisced about doing mushrooms while the drug was legal back when the band first started while touring the country. About the Download festival, he states, “It’s going to be a great place, in Japan, for Download. The level of enthusiasm from the Japanese fans is the craziest out of anywhere in the world; everyone is enjoying themselves together.”


Satanic phenoms Ghost make their return to Japan. The band, in support of their fourth album Prequelle, bring their flair for theatrics to the big stage at Download, and will show just why they are on a meteoric rise to the top of the rock world. In just a few years, it could very well be Ghost who are headlining the festival.


Bay Area thrash veterans Anthrax are no strangers to Japan, with guitarist Scott Ian being a self proclaimed Japanamaniac and the band playing the country numerous times since the ‘80s. He weighs in on the festival, “When you see the brand - Download, you know it’s going to be huge, it’s going to be great. There are some festivals, where people know the name, and know it’s a rock festival. Even if it was just us, Slayer and Ozzy, it would be earth shattering.”

Arch Enemy

Tried and true melodic-death road warriors Arch Enemy will once again tear it up on a Japanese stage. On momentum from their recently released Covered in Blood covers album, Canadian growler Alissa White-Gluz and her Swedish cohorts have a devastating track record of hair raising performances and are sure to put on a clinic of brutality at Download.


The Grammy winning rock act Halestorm, in support of their latest album Vicious and fronted by Lizzy Hale, are known to play over 250 shows a year. This stop at Download Japan will further strengthen the band’s reputation as a live rock and roll machine and have Japanese fans hailing the storm.

Man with a Mission

“Who are those guys in wolf masks?” many inquisitive fans may ask when looking at the lineup photos for Download Japan. Surely, Little Red Riding Hood would be no match for this foursome. The Japanese rock/dance band has provided soundtracks for various anime, movies and games and is setting the already illuminated Shibuya on fire - soon, the world will join it.


Swedish metal act Amaranthe is difficult to classify, as the band shares three vocalists, each with a distinct style of singing. From death to power metal to even pop style choruses within songs, you are bound to get a buffet out of Amaranthe, and out of the 10 act lineup, this band could probably give you a sample of each subsequent band on the bill.

Like a Storm

New Zealand rockers Like a Storm will take the opening slot at Download Japan, meaning concert goers who arrive when the gates open will be treated to an early morning didgeridoo wake up call accompanied by monster riffage. The highest charting New Zealander band in American Rock history has toured with the likes of Korn and Alter Bridge, and will chalk up Download Japan as another show for their legacy.

The final lineup was not without its changes, as the aforementioned Ozzy Osbourne had to drop out of all festival appearances in the next few months including Download Japan due to medical advice from his doctor after getting pneumonia. However, in the case of Download Japan, the news of Ozzy’s cancellation was announced days before the festival unveiled its final two bands in the lineup, Judas Priest and Ghost, which eased the blow.

So during Spring Break, hop on a plane and experience Download in Japan.

More information can be found at www.downloadfestivaljapan.com/en

Foreigner Live Review

Thursday, 28 February 2019 11:36 Published in Live Reviews


Molson Canadian Theatre
Hard Rock Casino, Vancouver, BC
Feb 23rd, 2019


“Standing in the rain, with my head hung low.
Couldn't get a ticket, it was a sold out show.
Heard the roar of the crowd, I could picture the scene.
Put my ear to the wall, then like a distant scream.
I heard one guitar, just blew me away.”

That guitar belonged to one of Foreigner's original founding members, Mick Jones, as he set out across Canada on Foreigner's Cold As Ice tour. This Rock Icon is also a record producer (Van Halen, Bad Company, The Cult, and Billy Joel) and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2013.

Thanks to Sonja, Amanda, and Nancy at the Hard Rock in Coquitlam I was able to get media access to the second of two sold out shows.  

The Casino is full of epic Rock memorabilia as I made my way towards the Molson Canadian Theatre (previously the legendary Red Robinson Show Theatre). This top quality venue has an open floor area for those wanting to get closer to the band, who provided a tight seven-piece Rockstravaganza on this night!

A giant disco ball hanging from the ceiling added to the nostalgic ambiance of the night, reflecting a hypnotic glow across the entranced audience. It was then the show kicked off with the songs Long, Long Way, Double Vision, Head Games and Cold As Ice. Cold As Ice had Mick Jones switching talent from guitar to keyboards.

Foreigner's singer (since 2005) Kelly Hansen delivered spot on vocals as he roamed into the crowd like a tiger in search of prey in his striped shirt and flowing rockstar scarf. Before launching into Dirty White Boy, he commented on how many beautiful Canadian women were in the audience and how many of them were with sketchy looking dudes.

This tour also marked the 40th Anniversary of the Head Games album and Foreigner even went back 42 years to their first song people ever heard on FM Radio and 8-Track Feels Like the First Time.

The stellar setlist consisted of other established hits like Waiting For A Girl Like You, Blue Morning, I Want To Know, and Urgent with cowbell and blazing saxophone solos by Thom Gimbel. He could have been father of the legendary oiled-up sax man from The Lost Boys.

A spaced-out keyboard solo got the room pulsating and clapping. Then a drum solo for the ages including the ol’ water on the drums trick. It looked wicked and sounded even better. Cue the giant gong that led directly into fan favourite Jukebox Hero. The starry eyed crowd erupted and sang along to every word. I'm looking forward to Jukebox Hero: The Musical. 

For the encore it was time to light up those cell phones for I Want To Know What Love Is as Foreigner was joined on stage by a high school choir from Coquitlam. The band ended the night with a scorching rendition of Hot Blooded.  After their final bows, the band thanked the audience for “Warming our hearts even though it's super cold outside.”

Rock 'n' Roll will never die thanks to places like The Molson Canadian Theatre at the Hard Rock Casino.

Thanks again to Sonja, Amanda, and Nancy! Keep on Rockin'!!!

Check out www.hardrockcasinovancouver.com for upcoming events such as Cheech and Chong on March 15th and The Lalas Burlesque Show on April on April 12th.

-Ira Hunter

AU Vol. 15–2 Issue 86

Friday, 01 February 2019 00:00 Published in Volume 15

Absolute Underground #86 - Special Punk Rock and Paintbrushes Issue! Featuring interviews with Descendents artist Chris Shary, The Vandals Warren Fitzgerald, Mad Twins, H2O's Toby Morse, AFI's Hunter Burgan, Emily Nielsen, and Kevin Seconds. We also cover KISS and Ace Frehley's latest concerts.

Also in this issue:

  • Riot City
  • Yama Hama
  • Killitorous
  • Slave to the Grind
  • Taggart and Torrens
  • Saints of Death
  • The Stampeders
  • Vampire Dark Rose
  • Imonolith
  • Witches Hammer
  • Okilly Dokilly
  • Getaway Van

AU Vol. 15–1 Issue 85

Saturday, 01 December 2018 00:00 Published in Volume 15

Absolute Underground #85 - XXX-MAS Issue! Legalization Day celebrations featuring an interview with Cannabis Corpse. Also San Francisco & East Bay Punk band interviews including VKTMS, Crucifix, The Pathogens, Dick and Jane, and the Dwarves.

Also in this issue

  • Wolfbrood
  • Punish
  • Shred Bundy
  • Psychostick
  • Claudio Simonetti's Goblin
  • The Reaction
  • Raven
  • The Human Prism
  • Midnight
  • Sloppy Seconds
  • HeWhoCannotBeNamed

AU Vol. 14–6 Issue 84

Monday, 01 October 2018 00:00 Published in Volume 14

Absolute Underground #84 - Halloween Issue! Featuring horror icon interviews from Calgary Horror Con with PJ Soles, CJ Graham, Ken Foree, Tiffany Shepis, James Remar, John Jarratt, George P Wilbur, and David Naughton.

Also in this issue:

  • Deathtime
  • Turbo vixen
  • Nightseeker
  • Striker
  • Gutter Demons
  • Cleve Hall - Monster Man
  • Zimmers Hole
  • Michale Graves 
  • Randy Rampage Memorial
  • Revocation
  • Stiff Little Fingers
  • Knuckleball

Queens of the Stone Age Live Review

Monday, 13 August 2018 14:10 Published in Underground News

Queens of the Stone Age

w/ Eagles of Death Metal

Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, BC

August 4, 2018


By Lawrence Denvir


Let’s face it, scalpers are fucking scum. Sure at times they can show usefulness in that odd time you choose to hit a show at the last minute, but mostly they create an artificial demand that inflates ticket prices – sometimes out of reach of true fans.


Step in Aurora with their Illumination concert series – a celebration of music, arts, legalization, and culture in all its diversity. It’s a chance for a handful of verified fans to see their favourite bands for free. And yes, due to the limited availability there will be those left outside the venue disappointed; however, those lucky enough to get inside will have a memorable night.


Case in point, Queens of the Stone Age with the Eagles of Death Metal at the Commodore Ballroom. With a capacity of just under a thousand people, the venue allowed fans to be treated to a pretty intimate experience with one of today’s biggest rock bands. Keep in mind this is the same band that, just back in January, packed Vancouver’s Pacific Coliseum (capacity of 17,500).


The band blasted through a seventeen song set included a healthy mix from their extensive album catalogue. Josh Homme, frontman for Queens of the Stone Age, towered over the crowd with his imposing height. But regardless of his physically intimidating stature, fans felt welcome to dance around by his friendly demeanour and songs like “Feet Don’t Fail Me” and “The Way You Used To Do” – both off their latest album “Villains”.


The crowd bounced around while wristbands provided to them by Aurora were synchronized with the light show. Attendees were clearly energized by “No One Knows”, the song from QOTSA’s album “Songs for the Deaf” which brought mainstream attention to the band.


Personal highlights included the underrated “Turnin’ on the Screw” and the cowbell-infused “Little Sister” – the latter apparently a request a fan made earlier that day.


The opening act, Eagles of Death Metal warmed the crowd up with a high-energy set.


“I’m playing with my best friend in the whole world tonight,” quipped EODM frontman Jesse Hughes referring to Josh Homme. “I’m the luckiest motherfucker in this town tonight.” I’d say there were about a thousand fans who would disagree with you on that one, Jesse.


Aurora Cannabis is a community minded, Canadian owned and operated company. For more information on their products, services and the Illumination concert series, check out their social media platforms:






Queens of the Stone Age set list:

1.       A Song for the Deaf

2.       Do it Again

3.       Feet Don't Fail Me

4.       The Way You Used to Do

5.       If I Had a Tail

6.       Misfit Love

7.       The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret

8.       No One Knows

9.       The Evil Has Landed

10.   In the Fade

11.   My God Is the Sun

12.   Turnin' on the Screw

13.   Domesticated Animals

14.   Hangin' Tree

15.   Smooth Sailing

16.   Little Sister

17.   A Song for the Dead



AU Vol. 14–5 Issue 83

Wednesday, 01 August 2018 00:00 Published in Volume 14

Absolute Underground # 83 featuring an interview with Twisted Sister's Dee Snider discussing his latest solo release For The Love of Metal. We also catch up with wrestling legend Mick Foley.

Also in this issue:

The Damned interview with Captain Sensible
Kobra and the Lotus
KEN mode
Tristan Risk
Dragonlord interview with Eric Peterson
Social Distortion

Uriah Heep Live Review

Saturday, 16 June 2018 14:57 Published in Underground News



by William Liira


They played three shows in Vancouver in the same year (1972); they played a co-headlining concert with Def Leppard at the Pacific Colesium in 1983; they have a singer from Victoria B.C. who joined them right before they made history as the first hard rock band from the west to ever play in Russia in 1987; they’ve even been referenced on an episode of the Simpsons; but despite all of this, Uriah Heep seem to be a band that many people – including avid music fans of rock bands from that era – in metro Vancouver know little to nothing about. Could this have something to do with the fact that the last Uriah Heep concert to take place anywhere in British Columbia was on August 4, 2001 at a club in Burnaby that no longer exists? I have a very strong feeling that it does. As someone who discovered the band long after this Burnaby gig happened, I was struck with an unusually strong combination of surprise and excitement when they announced early this year that they would finally be returning to perform at the Vogue Theatre on April 28.


Almost as soon as that rush on anticipation had started to slowly die down, I was already starting to worry about how many people would actually buy tickets for this event. Coming onstage only to be meet by a sparse crowd would probably make them question if it was even worth their time and money to venture back to Vancouver. Having seen and heard several live recordings of these more recent incarnations of the band, I hated to think how a lukewarm reception would make this upcoming concert the first and last show I would get to see in this area. As me and a friend walked towards the Vogue on Saturday evening, we were both surprised to see a long line of ticket holders that started in front of the venue, extended around the corner onto Smithe street and finished not far from Seymour. I knew that all of those concerns were going to disappear about as quickly as our money would when we finally got inside and started buying beer and merchandise.


Before the long awaited return of Uriah Heep was to begin, local heavy metal group Uncle Sid was scheduled to kick off the night. I was completely unfamiliar with them, but I was reassured by my brother in law that they would be worth watching. He was absolutely right. It only took about a song or two for me to realize that I would now have to become a fan. For thirty minutes, all four members of the band gave it their all and seemed to be having the same effect on many of those around us. I also have to give front woman Emerald Green extra credit for her strong and energetic stage presence. This is something that can make or break a performance for any band, especially an opener. In order to really slam your sound down into the eardrums and memories of the audience, you need to have a strong lead to keep their attention and make sure that indifference doesn’t begin to set in. Uncle Sid opened up a very loud and effective line of communication that did three things; 1) They gave those who were already fans even more reason to keep supporting them (2) They made everyone else who hadn’t heard them before realize they had been missing out and needed to start doing the same, and (3) insured that the overall level of excitement would remain high after they left the stage. At this point, it was up to Uriah Heep to match and exceed it to prove that they were still influential rock legends who deserved respect.


After making our way onto the floor and up to the front, we settled in at the right hand side of the stage. We were doing our part by maintaining all of that anticipation that had been building up for seventeen years. As the lights went down and the members began to appear, I was glad that I had decided not to go online and look up their setlist from previous shows on this tour. I was still guessing about how they would start things off, and as they began playing the intro to “Gypsy,” a huge grin grew on my face. This powerful epic rocker was originally the first track on their debut album, and here they are once again using this personal favourite of mine to introduce their own special brand of rock to anyone listening. They kept it going with more classic numbers like “Look At Yourself” and “Shadows Of Grief,” an excellent deep album track and a nice surprise that seemed to suggest that the setlist wouldn’t be too predictable. They had just absolutely crushed it with three classics, and as front man Bernie Shaw finally took the opportunity to have a brief chat with us, he acknowledged how long it had been and how many songs they were going to play to make up for it. They kept their classic 70’s sounds coming with “Stealin,” a popular single that had everybody breaking out into an enthusiastic sing along. After that, the band took another quick breather as Shaw told us what I had suspected would happen – they would be playing a lot of those 70’s classics, but they were also going to play a few new songs to give us an idea of what Uriah Heep was all about in 2018. “The Law” from their most recent album “Outsider,” made it clear that they were still all about making good new music and it fit right in with the more familiar repertoire.


The crowd was loving the performance, and that love was obviously having an effect on the band. Their execution of every song was flawless and brimming with the sort of energy that you wouldn’t necessarily expect from a band that plays as many shows as they do. They continued to show their technical prowess and musical depth with “Sunrise.” Then it was time for a lesson in music history. Mr Shaw introduced the subject of how music started to change in 1972. Bands like Yes, Genesis, and King Crimson began to experiment musically and prog rock was born. The length of tracks doubled, and certain substances that may or may not have aided in the process were now going to become legal in Canada. He then dedicated their next number “The Magicians Birthday” to an audience member who was celebrating her birthday, and told us to get comfortable because “this next song will take a while.” They had no problem demonstrating why their own contribution to that musically adventurous movement known as prog should be recognized as much as those three aforementioned bands. There are still people who are eager to attach a lot of negativity towards this kind of music. Based on what I saw, none of those people were in attendance. Longer ten minute songs were more than welcomed by the crowd.


Shortly after they finished that long form lesson, they calmly started into “The Wizard.” It was this very track that introduced me to Uriah Heep and made me realize there was something unique about this band. Even though guitarist Mick Box is the only member who was involved in the original writing and recording of this song, the sonic potion that they produced was still as potent when put in the hands of the new Uriah Heep in 2018. Now it was time for two more diversions into the more recent back catalogue. “One Minute,” another track from “Outsider” also sounded great alongside the classics. “Between Two Worlds,” from their 1998 album Sonic Origami, was as Shaw put it, “dusted off from the archives and played around with in soundcheck” before they decided to play it. I admire their decision to take chances and pick songs from an era that many people may not be as familiar with. They played it every bit as well as all the other songs and gave everybody more reason to go back and take another look at what they did during that decade.


And then it was time to shoot right back to the past and finish off the night with three fan favourites. “July Morning” is an iconic number that become incredibly popular in countries that were at one time closed off from the west. Not even the iron curtain could hold back the power of “July Morning” and it somehow managed to slip through and find its way to the ears of the Russian people in the 80’s. They didn’t care that this song was first written in the early 70’s; good music is timeless. As for the rest of us at the Vogue Theatre - Uriah Heep continued to remind us why we should keep believing this too as they performed it with as much passion as they always have. “Lady In Black” was our final opportunity to sing along to one of their most loved ballads, and we didn’t let them down. Before the final song, Shaw took a bit of time to give a shout out to all the fans from Victoria and said that BC Ferries had to add an extra sailing to accommodate all the fans who came over from the island. He also confirmed that they had finished recording their new album “Living The Dream” and that it would be released in September. Last but not least was “Easy Livin,” which I consider to be their “Smoke On The Water.” They’ll always play it live, and it’s always the one song that the local FM stations will play when they actually get around to playing Uriah Heep, which is not very often. After 97 minutes, they left the stage having proven that they were still worthy of being held in such high regard. They took a chance and came back to Vancouver; all the Heep fans came out in good numbers and showed there are still enough of us out here who love their music. Now I can only hope that’ll give them enough reason to come back for at least one more show.


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