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Heaven & Hell/Alice Cooper @ Sleep Train Pavilion Concord, 9/30/07

October 1, 2007

I can distinctly the remember the first time I heard of Alice Cooper. I was a young kid, and I was driving by the Astrodome in Houston with my parents and saw Alice’s name on the marquee. I asked them who she was, and they said, no, that it was a he, and that he was “really weird”. And I’ve been a fan ever since.

Then there was Wayne’s Worlds “Milwaukee” performance, and Dazed and Confused iconic School’s Out scene.

Not to forgo the main act- Heaven & Hell…I’m a die hard Black Sabbath- the Ozzy years fan, but I can appreciate Dio. Hell, he invented the freakin’ devil’s horns! And then there was his appearance in Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny.

Metal-Rules.com – “I want to ask you about something people have asked you about before but will no doubt continue to talk about, and that is the sign created by raising your index and little finger. Some call it the “devils hand” or the “evil eye.” I would like to know if you were the first one to introduce this to the metal world and what this symbol represents to you?”

R.J. Dio – “I doubt very much if I would be the first one who ever did that. That’s like saying I invented the wheel, I’m sure someone did that at some other point. I think you’d have to say that I made it fashionable. I used it so much and all the time and it had become my trademark until the Britney Spears audience decided to do it as well. So it kind of lost it’s meaning with that. But it was…I was in Sabbath at the time. It was symbol that I thought was reflective of what that band was supposed to be all about. It’s NOT the devil’s sign like we’re here with the devil. It’s an Italian thing I got from my Grandmother called the “Malocchio”. It’s to ward off the Evil Eye or to give the Evil Eye, depending on which way you do it. It’s just a symbol but it had magical incantations and attitudes to it and I felt it worked very well with Sabbath. So I became very noted for it and then everybody else started to pick up on it and away it went. But I would never say I take credit for being the first to do it. I say because I did it so much that it became the symbol of rock and roll of some kind.”

So- to the show!

I missed Queensryche- who knew there would be so much traffic on a Sunday? The crowd was to be expected- lots of aging rockers who were very mellow throughout the show, except for the occasional fist pump. There were a lot of aging concert t’s, long, but thinning hard, and big smiles. You could tell that most everyone there was really excited, and many were a bit too drunk.

Alice Cooper’s shadow appeared behind the curtain, followed by another shadow of Alice Cooper spearing the previous version. This kicked off a series of theatrics, such as a modern dancer, the hanging of Alice, Alice spearing a baby, but- no boa. Boo…He sounded great, though. He was pretty interactive with the few lucky ones up front- throwing hi signature whips/canes, fake money during Billion Dollar Babies, and at the end, fake pearl necklaces. It was satisfying enough for the decades of expectations I had built up.

Not my video, but totally cool:

We only stayed for about 5 songs of Heaven & Hell…something sounded really off with their sound, and Geezer and Iommi don’t move around very much on stage- I don’t think they much ever did, but nonetheless, I was disengaged by the distance between myself and the stage.

Also not my video:

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