King Diamond

Copenhell - 2016

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

At this point in history, it’s not odd that Copenhell has begun to book bands and artists that have already visited the festival at one point or another.
This particular guest however, was probably the most anticipated return we could hope for. In 2013, he laid the festival in ruins after closing it in the most spectacular way we could have hoped for. Now, he was back in his old country, with a promise of a very special show centred on his most hailed album. An album simply called Abigail.
Ladies and gentlemen. Stand and take a bow for the king – King Diamond!

“Copenhell, it’s fucking great to be back!”
- Kim ‘King Diamond’ Bendix Petersen (vocals)

That exquisite house scenery that we remembered from his last visit filled the stage once more, and why not? If this isn’t the house of Abigail, I don’t know what is! One obvious thing had changed though, and that was that there was no fence in front of the stage to begin with. It had been an interesting feature, but it was also nice to have a clear view of the stage straight from the get go.
Why was it good to have a clear view? Well, for one thing we could more clearly see the musicians, and they were on fire! The line-up was intact since our last meeting, but somehow the energy level was completely different. Everyone was working their asses off, and yet they managed to make it look so easy and fun! And of course, there was the king himself. As he appeared on the stage, the crowd erupted in cheering, but it soon enough made way for the first song of the evening – Welcome Home.
Now, I mentioned that this was a special Abigail show, but as it turned out, King Diamond had a few goodies up his sleeve, with which he intended to warm the crowd up before heading into that famous creation. And yes, Jodi Cachia was with us again, in the guise of grandma, that most wicked of old ladies. It was pretty much a repetition of what we had already seen, but it wasn’t a problem, as it is a fantastic show that they put on. I love the combination of music and theatrics, and few bands has a better basis to build this upon than King Diamond, with their special storytelling way of creating their whole concept.

The Abigail section was where this combination really got to shine of course. Here we had the entire story, from beginning to end, and the characters (Cachia and King Diamond mostly) really got to develop as the story progressed. I love the acting in the single songs, but when the story is presented as a whole, it makes it even better.
In a way, one could say that King Diamond even had the weather on his side – as Funeral began playing over the speakers, a light rain began to fall over Copenhell. Rain is not normally something you’d wish for during an outdoor concert, but I can’t deny the mood enhancement it delivered in combination with the story and the general atmosphere. This was a perfect horror opening, nothing less.
The fact that it kept on raining without affecting the crowd noticeably either, was a true testament to King Diamond’s attraction on people. Neither did the rain affect the show – the band kept on playing, delivering their utmost, and King Diamond sang and acted together with Cachia, who was delivering a performance worthy of the worst of nightmares. The things that poor girl must go through when playing the role of Miriam Natias – the abuse, the ghostly impregnation, and finally the fatal birthgiving of the demon child Abigail LaFey.

“Thanks a million Copenhagen, it’s always fucking amazing to be back here!”
- King Diamond (vocals)

As the story played out as a whole, there wasn’t as much room for King Diamond to have those pleasant, relaxed talks with the crowd that he had on his last visit, but apart from that, I can’t think of anything truly negative to say about this concert. The production was absolutely top-notch, as we could expect, with the beautiful stage, changing backdrops, and everything else mentioned already.
Honestly though, this show didn’t sweep me away the same way as it did back in 2013, but I can only assume that it was because I had no idea what I was in for at that time, and this time around my expectations were sky high. So no, King Diamond didn’t lay Copenhell in ruins in 2016. Having said that, this was still one of the top concerts of the festival, and one that will be remembered for a long time.


Out of The Asylum
Welcome Home
Sleepless Nights
Eye Of The Witch
Melissa (Mercyful Fate cover)
Come To The Sabbath (Mercyful Fate cover)
A Mansion In Darkness
The Family Ghost
The 7th Day Of July 1777
The Possession
Black Horsemen

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