King Diamond

Wacken - 2014

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

King Diamond was to be one of the great pulls at Wacken’s 25th anniversary, but in order to match this in time and have the exclusive rights to his show this year, they booked the show a year after the big summer run where King Diamond toured the rest of the European festivals.
Well, even though Wacken was a bit late out of the starting blocks on this one, we had had a great time in the royalty’s audience the year before and figured it’d be fun to revisit the horror show once more...

“I’m glad you could all be here at the witching hour!”
- Kim ‘King Diamond’ Bendix Petersen (vocals)

Not surprisingly, the show began very much in the same way as on the previous tour and the setup King Diamond had toured with the previous year once again in use. The stage was made to resemble the great old mansion, and there was a large, pointy fence at the front of the stage.
The most visible change was to be found not in the gimmicky show, but instead in the line-up – long-time friend and collaborator Hal Patino had once more left the bass position open after leaving the band earlier this year, and a live replacement had been found in Swedish Pontus Egberg, who can be found in Dark Illusion at the moment but he is possibly more known for his earlier collaboration with Lion’s Share and The Poodles. As the King commanded, Egberg certainly deserved some recognition – this was apparently only his third gig with the band, and already he seemed very comfortable in his role and on the stage with the others. He also played without any noticeable faults.
The rest of the outfit were just as comfortable with each other as we had noticed on the previous shows, and especially King and Anders ‘Andy LaRocque’ Allhage had a nice, intimate connection with each other, where King got to play along on LaRocque’s guitar through a solo passage in Sleepless Nights.

The King’s queen was once more at his side, as Livia Zita again stood for delivering the female vocal performance. Just as had been the case the last time though, it was another woman – Jodi Cachia – who stole most of our attention, as she portrayed one character after the other from the dark universe of King Diamond’s storytelling. We first saw her sitting in a wheelchair with the huge grandma head on her shoulders in Welcome Home, but she made several more appearances throughout the show, some new, some recycled.
And there were new traits to the show, which renewed the experience in a nice way. My favourite part was the magic trick where grandma was put to death under the supervision of a doctor, placed in a coffin which was subsequently burnt to a crisp and then opened, revealing nothing but a smouldering skeleton inside. How they pulled that one off right before our eyes I cannot say, but it was one of the highlights of the concert!

Strangely, there weren’t many people around to see it. Just as the Wacken organisers, I would have thought that King Diamond was one of those experiences that would pull a full house to the stage, but surprisingly, this was possibly the smallest crowd for any of the main acts, and even smaller than many of the other acts to play on the main stages as well – hell, there weren’t even enough people present to fill the space down to the sound-tower, let alone to the entrance gates!
Not that everyone was missing out on something special and unique though – to be brutally honest, this concert did in no way live up to the expectations created at the two shows we saw in 2013. This felt lazy, uninspired and detached.
This of course raises the good question about the chicken and the egg, which in paraphrasing begs to know if the feeling of the show comes from the artist or the audience. There is no doubt about a good audience raising the stakes for an artist, but in my opinion (and yes, I have stood on a stage a few times in my life as well, although never something as big as Wacken) a good performer should deliver as good a show for a crowd of one as he or she does for a crowd of 70000. Whether the King’s lack of enthusiasm came from disappointment over the missing audience or something completely different I cannot say, but it doesn’t surprise me that the audience that was there wasn’t overly enthusiastic.

As you have gathered, we witnessed a new side to King Diamond here at Wacken 2014, and it wasn’t a pretty one. Although they have the potential, the man and the band did not deliver a show even remotely adequate for their own reputation or that of the festival.


The Candle
Sleepless Nights
Welcome Home
Never Ending Hill
Let It Be Done
The Puppet Master
At The Graves
Tea / To The Morgue / Digging Graves / A Visit From The Dead
Evil (Mercyful Fate cover)
Come To The Sabbath (Mercyful Fate cover)
Shapes Of Black
Eye Of The Witch
The Family Ghost
Black Horsemen

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