Having never seen Uriah Heep live before I didn't quite know what to expect from the band, now celebrating 49 years of service. Uriah Heep is a legacy band that helped create a sound and style all their own; a down and dirty rock band that had elements of Deep Purple and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. They were exciting, challenging and never followed the musical trends and as I collect my thoughts of the concert that just ended a few hours ago... they still are.
Hitting the stage at the Wolf Den (promptly at 8:00 PM), Uriah Heep tore through a set that wasn't nostalgic and just a 'greatest hits' show, it was an incredibly balanced performance that paid homage to their history as well as featured some newer songs. Yes... Uriah Heep is still making relevant new music and have an album coming out this fall from Frontiers Music.
Opening the show with their classic Gypsy, the crowd (one of the biggest i've seen at the Wolf Den) was invested straight away, singing along to every song, throwing their hands in the air and really enjoying what the band had to offer. From their beloved catalog we were treated to Look At Yourself, Stealin', and the epic, Magician's Birthday mixed in with newer songs like 1991's Between Two Worlds and 2014's The Law. Despite the fact that my favorite Uriah Heep album, ABOMINOG was completely neglected, the set list flowed perfectly with just a few times to catch our breath. Saving the best for last, the band brought out one of their bigger hits, Easy Livin' and that got the crowd fired up!
The current line-up of Uriah Heep has been together since 2013 and it shows in how tight they play and how coordinated their attack was. Guitarist Mick Box is an amazing player and so relaxed on stage. He has a calming influence on his bandmates and really enjoys is time on stage. Behind him, drummer Russell Gilbrook is a beast, hitting hard, playing loud and keeping it all going. Bassist Davey Rimmer held it all down and was fun to watch, especially during some difficult songs. On keyboards, Phil Lanzon was a wizard, creating the sounds and textures for everyone else to play along with. Finally we have vocalist Bernie Shaw who has an incredible voice and solid stage presence. He is another one who is so relaxed on stage and very comfortable leading the band and audience from song to song, memory to memory.
When a band plays the Wolf Den, the audience can hear everything because the sound and acoustics are so clear. For some bands that can be a bit scary, but for Uriah Heep it seems that perfect sound is just what they do.
If you have never seen Uriah Heep live.... stop reading this, go to their website and go to a show! They are in North America for the next three months and "may be comin' to your town!!!"
The Power Chords Podcast is a twice-monthly podcast celebrating rock and metal music of the '70s, '80s, '90s and beyond. The show is co-hosted by Matt Herring and Brian LeTendre.