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King Diamond, Uncle Acid, and Idle Hands @ Kings Theatre (Photos)

When you go to a King Diamond show, you know you won’t just be seeing a standard concert, but a theatrical, immersive stage show. As King and Company (still including original member Andy LaRocque on guitar) gear up for the promotion of The Institute, their first studio album in 12 years, their stage setup has morphed into a crumbling mental hospital, replete with metal bars and an upside-down cross. After a spooky taped intro, the band appears out of the darkness and rips into Fatal Portrait opener “The Candle”. The ageless King is in top form, hitting every high and harmonizing with his backup singer Livia Zita. Cuts from horror opera Abigail follow, with “Arrival” and “A Mansion In Darkness” back to back following the stillborn Abigail’s ‘funeral’ ceremony, performed by King and his hooded minions. A dancer appears, climbing the stairs to a balcony, and just as quickly is gone. She will reappear several times throughout the night, alternately as a nun, a patient of The Institute – this comes during the performance of new song “Masquerade Of Madness” (which King has been playing all tour and just released as a single right after the Brooklyn show) – and of course the wheelchair-bound Grandma, the central character of King’s most popular song, “Welcome Home”.

While the set is full of hits, notably absent is anything from the band’s post-2000 output (except “Masquerade of Madness”). It’s a minor quibble as the crowd bellows in approval when the acoustic guitars are brought out for “Sleepless Nights”, the song that features King at his most dynamic, and the dedication of closer “Black Horsemen” to former King Diamond/Mercyful Fate bassist Timi Hansen, who passed away just days ago after an extended cancer battle. The crowd dispersed slowly, satisfied, with a positive energy that only comes when the senses are fully engaged. With a new album on the horizon, hopefully that energy returns soon.

King Diamond is on a North American tour now as he gears up for the 2020 release of his new album The Institute (which is prefaced by new single “Masquerade of Madness,” which he’s been playing all tour). The tour has killer support from Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats and Idle Hands, and we just caught all three bands at Brooklyn’s Kings Theatre on November 7. Pictures of that show are in the gallery above. That’s an excerpt of Chris Rowella’s review for BrooklynVegan above.

Stay tuned for more on The Institute, and also stay tuned for the Mercyful Fate reunion coming in 2020.

For more on Idle Hands, read our recent interview with the band about the King Diamond tour, their new album Mana, and more.

Photos by Mathieu Bredeau.

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