Heaven And Hell

Waldrock, Bergum, The Netherlands  June 13, 2009

Two years ago Ronnie James Dio played with Heaven and Hell on Fields of Rock in the Netherlands. Today he returned as Heaven and Hell was booked as headliner for the Waldrock Festival in Bergum. This small city is located in the very north of the Netherlands. That is most likely the reason only 6.000 people came to this festival. The weather was fine. The line-up was diverse but perhaps one or two top names would have attracted a lot more people.

The choice of many fans could have been in favour for the 3 day Graspop Festival in Belgium that is going to take place two weeks later. Heaven and Hell will be there along other top acts like Motley Crue, Marilyn Manson, Slipknot, Dream Theater, Nightwish, Chickenfoot, Journey and more. We decided however to travel up north and watch Heaven and Hell's only concert in The Netherlands this tour.

Waldrock that is only one day plus a pre-party the night before with 4 bands (Dragonforce, Napalm Death and 2 Dutch bands) still is a very fine festival. Great relaxed atmosphere, maybe not as professional as the other big festivals but then again that's also the charm of this event.

It was going to be a long day. The first band kicked off at noon. Local metallers Disintegrate had the honour to play their melodic death/thrash metal in their own area. Nice way to start the day. Other bands followed divided on the two stages including Dutch female fronted metal acts Delain & Epica, Papa Roach, Voivod, Trivium and Killswitch Engine.

Most striking were the covers by Voivod (Pink Floyd's "Astronomy Domine") and Killswitch Engine who had a go at Dio's "Holy Diver".

Needless to say the singer sounded a lot worse than Ronnie James Dio. After Papa Roach ended their rockin' set of nu-metal it was time for Lemmy and his companions. For those who perhaps would not know them Lemmy was very clear as he started with "We are Motörhead and we play rock 'n' roll!" in his typical rough voice.

They kicked off with a loud version of "Iron Fist". And all the other well known Motorhead hits followed. And yes, they were bloody loud as usual. Before Heaven and Hell would enter the stage we first got goregrind & death metal by Carcass on the second stage.

Then just after 11 PM the intro of E5150 started. Vinnie Appice got behind his enormous drumkit. Geezer Butler appeared on the left side of the stage, while riffmaster Tony Iommi took the right site and starts the "Mob Rules" riff. Then the little man with the huge voice entered the stage. There he is, Ronnie James Dio, and the man sings like we used from him. And many in the audience join in "You've nothing to say, they're breaking away, if you listen to fools... the mob rules!".

The audience get a fine mix of songs from the four studio albums this band has recorded through the years. Three of those were under the monicker Black Sabbath. Next up is "Children of the Sea" followed by "I" from the Dehuminizer album. "Bible Black" is the first song from the new "The Devil You Know" CD. It fits perfect inbetween the older stuff.

Next up is a song about 'the giant clock in the sky that pushes us round and round' according to Ronnie. It's "Time Machine", another track from "Dehuminizer". The song ends with a drumsolo by Vinnie Appice.

Another two songs from the new album "Fear" and "Follow The Tears" are performed. Inbetween these two songs there's "Falling Off the Edge of the World".

Before the song starts Ronnie is making a round along all the other 3 members on stage and give them the opportunity to say a few words through his microphone.

Vinny says 'it's fucking cold up here and wants the audience to make some more noise'. Then Ronnie announce the song as "it's something like diving off the end of the platform".

The set ends with the classic Dio era Sabbbath tracks "Die Young" and a long version ofcourse of "Heaven and Hell". In the mean time the clock has gone past midnight. Heaven and Hell returns for an encore and give the enthusiastic crowd more with "Country Girl" and finish the show with a good rockin' version of "Neon Knights".

We have seen today many new up and coming bands. The old experienced bands like Motorhead & Heaven and Hell are still way ahead of them. Mind you, they have a few decades more of experience so not really a surprise. Heaven and Hell was without a doubt the highlight of the day.

They produced an impressive wall of sound. Tony Iommi provided the doomy and heavy riffs. Geezer Butler with his thundering bass and the powerdrums by Vinnie Appice made the concrete carpet under it. We mustn't forget the hidden keyboardplayer Scott Warren. He also is a part of the huge sound.

And then there are ofcourse the excellent vocals of Ronnie James Dio. Far in his sixties he still is all over the stage. Amazing to see him move around that much. His voice is still very good, ofcourse not as good as it once was but it's still amazing to hear the man sing so good. The big smile on his face prove he's still enjoying every minute of it. The audience just looked and listened cause he's still the man on top of the mountain.

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