The Rickshaw Theatre
March 4th 2018
Regardless of it being a Sunday night, in true Rickshaw fashion, there was a pit brewing and arm throwing enthusiasm. Iced Earth’s, commitment to the power and skill of metal is undeniably incorruptible. Sounding unbelievably true to their Florida power, and thrash metal roots, Iced Earth also blends influences of classic metal bands like Death and King Diamond.
Canadian singer, Stu Block who started his career in Vancouver, made the audience feel like they were witnessing a home show; talking about the ever so glamorous East Hastings and making references to Vancouver punk and metal icon, Wendy Thirteen. The pit was soon sent into spirals, while Block belted strong power metal vocals. Opening with “Great Heathen Army” the first track of their new album Incorruptible. The makeup of the crowd consisted primarily of what appeared to be their original fanbase, the fans of the 80’s. While the bands new album may not have been as well received as their previous 2014 release, Plagues of Babylon, there seemed to be clear support with quite a few band T’s sporting the new album.
The band played a few other classics before moving forward to “Black Flag” off of their new album, after such well received response. Incorruptible, the bands 12th studio album, is the first studio album in 20 years to not be a concept album. The album instead features songs with their own individual concepts and messages, with stand alone lyrics. The performance as a whole could be seen in the same way: steering away from a more classic, immersive, cosmetically extravagant and cohesive stage set up, all while modernizing and streamlining their performance. This is not to say that the band has strayed from their original proper metal persona, because the metal vests and comparable attire were more than present.
While the band has had more than a few member changes over the years, the connectivity between musicians was very strong. The varying background of sub-genres in which the musicians steam from, may very well have contributed to their now, less cohesive and more explorative sound. Breaking away to songs from classic albums, the crowds response grew greatly. The pit began to brew while the band made comments of having to intervene – of course all in good spirits, encouraging the chaos. The stage performance was considerably more stripped down than previous shows, bare of fog and pyrotechnics, appearing to reflect more with the times. While original fans may have missed those extras, newer fans seemed not to be phased. With long hair flying and metal detailed vests flickering in the light beams, the stripped down performance was not detrimental to the enjoyment.Iced Earth, Rickshaw Theatre