DIO / ANTHRAX / FIREBALL MINISTRY
Greek Theater; Los Angeles, CA; 10/30/04
Reviewed by Keith Guillotine & R. Scott Bolton
Keith Guillotine: It was a little chilly in Southern California that night, but at least it wasn't raining! This was the first time I had ever heard of Fireball Ministry, and I'm a little sad about that because they really rocked. Closing my eyes and just listening to the first two songs, I honestly thought I was at a Black Sabbath concert with Ozzy on vocals. These guys (and girls) were awesome. I don't know a whole lot about them, but I'm definitely going to research the band's background. If I were Siskel and Ebert I'd give them two thumbs up. I wouldn't be surprised if they were on the list of bands scheduled for Ozzfest 2005. You owe it to yourself to see them when they come to your area.
R. Scott Bolton: I had the good fortune of catching Fireball Ministry when the opened for Motorhead and I knew the band could rock. The band whipped the admittedly limited audience into a party mode, delivering their bombastic Sabbath-y sounds with energy and charisma. The band sounded great and their performance made it apparent they were thrilled to be there. I look forward to catching Fireball Ministry again. And, because it seems like they're always on tour, that should very soon.
Keith Guillotine: These guys have been around for a while and still kick ass the way rock'n'roll is supposed to. I'll admit, some of the band's music is a little on the "rap" side, and I can't stand rap. But for the most part they are hard rockers and are still going strong decades after getting started. Scott Ian is even more talented now than he was back in the 80s.
R. Scott Bolton: I haven't seen Anthrax live in years and I was blown away by the band's musical talent. Keith's right - Scott Ian rocks harder today than he did in the beginning and I was stunned at the fiery talent and explosive onstage performance of Rob Caggiano. And John Bush is still one of the greatest singers in rock'n'roll. In fact, I think his awesome vocal talents are somewhat wasted on the band's furious songwriting style. Still, Bush was nothing short of amazing. The band closed the set with "Only" and it couldn't have been a better closer. The crowd was left wanting more but they weren't gonna get it - the Greek has a curfew and the bands were under orders to get out there, do their thing, and get the hell off the stage.
Keith Guillotine: I hate to say this, but Dio's new album, "Master of the Moon," is not his best. Most of the music is slower and it plays more like a CD full of ballads. Maybe it's because "Killing The Dragon" (the last album) was so good that I was expecting something equally loud and Dio-like. But the songs from "Master of the Moon" reminded me of a chain restaurant coupon: "Get a second meal of equal or lesser value." Don't get me wrong: the band and the show were great. But I think it had a lot to do with the playing of old favorites from past CDs including "Killing The Dragon," "Last In Line," and "Holy Diver."
R. Scott Bolton: Keith's right on the money about the Dio show. It's always hard for a band to sell their new stuff when they've got a huge, classic back catalog. But when Dio played tracks from "Master of the Moon," the show all but came to a dead halt. The good news is that Dio dug deep into his past, bringing out classic songs from the days of Rainbow, Black Sabbath and the early solo days. A highlight was Rainbow's "Gates of Babylon," which - according to Mr. Dio - they were going to play because, if they didn't, nobody else ever would. "Gates of Babylon" sounded absolutely incredible and made the audience forget the plodding "Master of the Moon" material. And, when the band closed out with the "Last in Line" / "Rainbow in the Dark" one/two punch, Dio had them right where he wants them. And, just in case you're wondering, Dio still sounds awesome. That man can sing, plain and simple.
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Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:15 -0400.