Dio, Anthrax, Fireball Ministry @ The Beacon Theatre, NYC 10.02.04
Ronnie James Dio, quite possibly one of the greatest vocalists in heavy metal music
visited New York City in support of his latest effort Master Of The Moon. The
Beacon would be the venue and the mighty Anthrax would be opening the bill. One can always
count on a great performance from Dio, as he has been in this business for so many years.
He also has a wide catalog of great songs, especially since he was a part of Rainbow and
Black Sabbath in years gone by. The full show would start off with a band called Fireball
Ministry who I found very loud and not all that impressive. The overly loud band made it
difficult for their music to sound anything more than muddy to me and my friends. I did
not see people really responding to them but since this is a new group to me I will remain
Anthrax would be interesting to see, as they are generally a fun and energetic group. The
band entered the stage to the music of the Blues Brothers showing they have not lost their
sense of humor over all the years. However, this is not the Anthrax of days gone by as
only Charlie Benante (drums) and Scott Ian (guitars) remain from the original lineup.
Frank Bello stopped playing the bass for them last year and singer Joey Belladonna has
been replaced by Armored Saints John Bush for over a decade. Anthrax has continued
to release a sufficient amount of product on the market. The most recent attack on one's
musical senses is the bands reworking of some of the classic Anthrax tunes. These tunes
were voted on by the fans who visited their website. There is also an excellent DVD/CD
package called Music Of Mass Destruction. This piece is quite good and worthy
of a look. As a matter of fact, the DVD actually reflects most of the tunes that the band
played that night.
While the group did not seem to hit any tunes from the Speading the Disease they
did get a large amount of numbers out for a band under the constraints of an opening slot.
Their set consisted of: N.F.L., Caught In A Mosh, Safe Home, Anti-Social, Indians, What
Doesnt Die, Deathrider, Only, & Bring The Noise. I dont know why Chuck
asks if there are any old-schoolers in the house before the play Antisocial,
since I am pretty sure that N.F.L. is older but it still came out great. A
highlight of their set was during Bring The Noise was when rapper Chuck D. of
Public Enemy came out and sang the track with them.
Ronnie Dio arrived to the stage very shortly after that and he was electric as always. His
band was Rudy Sarzo who is among my favorite bass players ever. Craig Goldy on lead
guitar, Simon Wright on drums and Scott Warren on keyboards. Soon into the set, Simon
Wright did a drum solo. Now, I like his playing and I enjoy drum solos, however, I have
issues with his for it is using many of the old Cozy Powell tricks of the 1812
Overture. To me this is a bite of something that was clearly associated with someone
else who was known for it specifically and it is pointless for him to do it. I have not
read whether he idolized Cozy but I do think he should try something else. It is also a
little difficult to enjoy any drum solo after watching the brutal Charlie Benante of
Anthrax tear up the skins. He is definitley one of the best drummers who played heavy
metal in our time.
Dio mentioned that the group was on a curfew and as a result they would not be doing as
many numbers as he had planned. I was honestly annoyed at this, for if anything the
opening acts should have been cut shorter and not the main act. I would rather see less of
the Fireball Ministry rather than cost the audience added tunes by Dio or even Anthrax.
The songs Dio would not get to would be The Last In Line and Rainbow In
The Dark, and perhaps Master Of The Moon which I expected he would play.
The first two I mention are clearly two of his biggest tunes. If there were more than
that, we would not find out. The songs we did get to enjoy are as follows:
Dios Set: One More For The Road, Sign Of The Southern Cross, Stargazer, Stand Up And
Shout, Drum Solo, Dont Talk To Strangers, The Eyes, Killing The Dragon, Man On The
Silver Mountain, Jam Part, Long Live Rock And Roll, Rock And Roll Children, Gates Of
Babylon, Holy Diver, Heaven And Hell, Neon Knights.
The reader can see that Dio really pressed his Black Sabbath and Rainbow years on this
tour. It is about time he played more of those tunes, since I dont expect we shall
see a Rainbow tour anytime soon and Black Sabbath seems to focus more on keeping Ozzy as
frontman for any gigs they are working on. I wanted to also mention that Dio did not use
over-the-top stage props for this show. A large backdrop of the new CD cover and some
clever lighting were all this Master Of Metal needed and it truly showed.
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