Concert Reviews

One of the main purposes of this Iced Earth web site is to serve as a place for Iced Earth fans to share their experiences with the band. I want this page to be the highlight of my web site, so please send me your concert reviews or any Iced Earth related feedback at Ross274@aol.com. With a little help from other fans, such as yourself, we can help spread the word about our beloved Iced Earth!!! Send in those reviews...and long live IE!

Check out the interview with Jon Schaffer at the Mining Company!! Click Here.

Iced Earth review and interview w/ Jon Schaffer
8/14/1997 - Palladium - Detroit, MI

by Sumit Chandra

I'm writing this minutes after Iced Earth's performance in suburban Detroit. This is the band's first tour of the US and needless to say this was my first time to watch the band perform. Two words summarize the experience:

Pure Adrenaline

The crowd, though small in numbers, was comprised of hard core Iced Earth fans who knew the words and the music and were definitely not shy about singing along or getting involved in the show. The band was up to the task and their performance reflected their extensive touring experience around the world. They pulled off the complexities of their material with absolute precision and tremendous vigor. Matt Barlow's vocals were especially powerful and demonstrated great range and variation in style. He did a great job with the Dark Saga and Burnt Offerings material, as well as the older songs. Randy's leads were very precise and Jon, Jimmy, and Brent teamed for an excellent rhythm section. Overall, the band was really energetic and confident on stage and put on a memorable performance. I've been a fan of the band since 1992 and it was definitely worth the wait to see them perform in person. If the band is in your area, then I'd encourage you to check them out. You can get samples of their material at their website: http://www.icedearth.com

Set List

Dark Saga
Last Laugh
Last December
Angel's Holocaust
Stormrider
I Died for You
The Diary
The Hunter
Vengeance is Mine
Pure Evil
Slave to the Dark
Question
Violate
Purgatory (the unknown instrumental)
Iced Earth

After the show, Jon Schaffer took some time to sit down with me for a quick interview. Here's a synopsis of our discussion.

1) How does it feel to be able to perform in the USA for basically the first time?

It feels awesome to be able to play in our home country, and it's a distinct pleasure to play for fans that appreciate the band. Even though, this is the 1st time for us in the US, and the numbers are small, we're performing very well and the crowds are responding accordingly, which is a great feeling. It doesn't matter if there are 2000 people in the audience or very few, our fans always seem to be fanatical about the band, and that's something we're thankful for. Detroit was great with the audience and we're really excited about Cleveland and Chicago where we've been able to do an even better job of promoting the shows.

2) How did the idea to tour the USA come to be, and how did you decide on these cities?

It's something we've always wanted to do, and we were finally able to find a promoter who genuinely wanted to work with the band. His name is Jeffrey Churchwell and he's a big fan of metal music. When he heard our music, he was interested in working with us, and got us the shows on this tour. The cities were chose based on the "draw" potential the promoter's felt the band had in these cities. The Midwest is a really strong area for metal and that's why it's good for us to being here. In fact, I believe that the show at Jackhammer's (in suburban Chicago) is their 1st all ages show. The band is excited about the prospects of further touring in the US.

3) What are the bands upcoming touring plans? other places in USA? Europe?

We would like to tour more in the US if at all possible. There are no guarantees at the moment, but we're talking with Savatage about doing a US tour with them. That would be excellent, because both bands are good friends and get along very well. Also in the discussion stages is an October/November tour of Europe with Rage and Savatage. This would be welcome because it would give us our first chance to play in Spain and Portugal. Additionally, the band will be going to Greece in November for a couple of shows. There has been talk of a live
album and possible video in Greece but I think that will wait until we release another album and go on the road in support of it. Our main focus is to really build as much of a base in the US as possible by touring as extensively as possible.

4) What do you think about the internet and your presence on it? You've been known to personally answer questions posed by fans on your website http://www.icedearth.com

It's very cool, because it's a way to generate new fans because they are able to sample the music on-line and then by the CD's. An example was some of the people that made it to the Columbus show last night, who were specifically introduced to the band through the internet. It's also a good way for us to build the link with our fans who are ultimately responsible for our success. This gives us faith and allows us to persevere and press on with our music. That's definitely the most powerful thing about it.

5) Is there any truth to the rumors that the band might be moving to Indianapolis?

It's possible. Probably somewhere in Indiana, but not necessarily Indianapolis. We see that metal is the strongest in the Midwest and it would be a good place for us to use as a base as we try to expand our fanbase in the US. We're thinking about buying a farmhouse, which would give us the opportunity to have rehearsal space. It would also allow us to play more frequently in the area, because everything (such as Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Chicago, etc.) would be in weekend driving distance. There will be some financial consequences as we'll have to re-locate and find new jobs to support ourselves but it would probably be best for the band's long-term prospects.
So, we're still considering the decision, and will probably make it after we see what happens with some of our other touring opportunities. It could happen by the end of the year, and then our fans in the Midwest would definitely get to see the band on more of a regular basis.

6) What is the latest on the new album?

We had the concept record though initially but it doesn't really feel instinctive. We've done that with "The Dark Saga" and we don't want to repeat ourselves. So, we're doing an album that will be able to stand on it's own. We've written some songs, probably half an albums worth, but that's taken a back seat to our current touring focus. The next album will have one epic song, which will have an Egyptian vibe and will contain a character
that I have come up with. It will also have artwork from Greg Capullo.

We've always followed our instinct. I've found that when I don't follow my instincts, I usually end up with results that leave something to be desired, and right now the concept album idea just doesn't feel right in my gut. The songs we've written do stand on their own, and there's definitely excitement associated with the next record, but there's still a lot of territory we haven't toured in support of "The Dark Saga" (like most of the US) and we
definitely want to give this album the touring exposure it deserves.

The current tour is a losing financial venture for us, but we think it's a good investment in the band's future, and is probably the best way for us to expand our base of interest. There's a good vibe in the Midwest and people here still need the rebellion associated with metal, and that's why metal does so well here. So, this is definitely the best place for us to consider as the center of our expanding fan base.

7) any parting words for fans of metal and fans of Iced Earth?

We will definitely remain true to our metal roots, and press on in our efforts to bring our music to as many people as possible in the US and abroad!

Jon, also mentioned that he was producing a German band called "Silent Scream" and Iced Earth drummer
(Brent, who's excellent by the way) will be playing drums on that record.

Thanks,
Sumit

e-mail: sincee@hotmail.com

Iced Earth review
8/16/1997 - Jackhammer - Chicago, IL

By Neil Gregie

I think I can really understand now where some of the anger in Iced Earth comes from.

To paraphrase a rather controversial line, they are the truly the best at what they do. There is no doubt in my mind about that, after seeing them live at Jackhammer on Saturday night. Thus, it completely baffles me why a band of this quality is not playing in arenas to 10,000 people. Well, actually I know the reason for that, it's because there are so few people in this country with minds of their own anymore. And that's where I could see some of the anger coming from. It's simply anger at how fucked up and unfair the world is today. But hopefully, we're doing something to change that.

There weren't a lot of people at the two shows, but the ones there were amazing...singing all the words, and just going nuts. So now we have to pass some of that intensity along to other people, and start growing the crowds. It may take a while, but I'm sure it can happen, especially if Iced Earth keeps turning out shows like they did here.

Also, despite the relatively small crowd, the band played just like they were playing to thousands of screaming Greek fans, or even better. They are all simply incredible, so completely into what they are doing. Jon, what can I say, he's the master. Running around, thrashing it out, all the time moving his hand on the guitar so fast you can barely see it. Then there's Randy over on the other side, not quite as active, but totally into it in his own way,
and ripping through the solos with ease. I just love Jimmy on bass. He's got this very "open" style where everything on him seems to be moving all the time. And Brent, on drums, well, Brent just kills. Blew out the monitors, he was hitting so hard. And then there was Matt. I knew he'd be cool, but I had no way of knowing how great he'd be. He is the complete package. He sang excellent throughout, like he was in the studio. But that's just the beginning. That guy can move. And he moves "right," everything fits perfectly, never looking cheesy at all, like many singers do when they aren't singing. And then while he's singing, he's also acting. Especially during the Dark Saga pieces, notably "A Question of Heaven." The song is emotionally powerful on the CD, but when
Spawn is on stage in front of you, begging God to let him die, and feeling the crushing blow when he is denied, it's unbelievable. Would've brought tears to my eyes if dehydrated myself from the screaming and sweating.

Then they come off stage, and any of the anger that was in the songs is gone. They're about the friendliest guys you can meet. Just hanging out like any other metal fans...you have to look hard to even notice them. They seem to really enjoy getting to know the American fans, and to see that there are some of us out there, and our numbers are growing every day.

So spread the word to everyone you know, so Iced Earth will have a chance to visit more cities, more often, and soon the American scence will be rolling again. I'm sure they'll still remember and thank us hard core fans when they're out playing "Dante's Inferno" in the arenas!

 

Iced Earth Review
8/14/97 Palladium - Detroit, MI

By Tim Johnston

It was nearly a week ago today that I saw Iced Earth live and frankly, it changed my life. I really enjoyed Iced Earth's music before I saw the band live - they were even my favorite. However, as with some other great bands, sometimes you don't get into the music all the time - sometimes you wonder if it really is all that good. I'm not saying this happened a lot, but it did happen once in awhile. It only happened a couples times and only with one or two of the albums. But, it all changed when I saw them live. The energy was so high in there, even though there was no more than 40 to 50 fans. I guess maybe speaking to the guys helped a little. I think that most of all it came down to the music. For those of you who haven't seen them yet, you are missing out on an experience of a life time. They simply kick ass. Ever since that night their songs have been playing in my head, even when I had no CD playing. There is a new appreciation of the music...even more than before. I truly think that they are the best band ever formed. Every song moves me; every song is amazing. I'm obsessed, I'll admit it. The thing is, I never thought I would like one band so much. I simply doubt that I will ever have those moments of doubtfulness again. For those of you who have seen them you probably understand what I'm saying more than those who haven't. The experience was one of the best in my life and I mean that. I can't wait for the band to come to the Detroit area again because I will definitely be there. For more on what I thought of this concert be sure to check out the full review which will be posted on my web site within the next few days. I will notify you all then.

PS - This to the guys in the band - You are all the greatest both on the stage and off. I will always be one of your biggest fans and I'll always appreciate and support what you are trying to do. Thanks again and keep up the awesome work!