25 years of “The Crimson Idol” @ O2 Forum Kentish Town, 2017/10/27


“I was born Jonathan Aaron Steel…”. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read this story. Not to mention the ones I’ve listened to – and still do – the album that serves as its soundtrack. It’s been 25 years? Seems like yesterday.

blackie_jonathan“ReIdolized”, the so-called revamped version of the 1992 masterpiece (review here), was released early this month, featuring a few more songs and the movie that gives you a visual of what Blackie‘s singing about. Given his “return to the Christian faith”, it was a disappointment but not exactly a surprise that the harsher cursing had been replaced. Funny thing is, he surely did the same at this London gig but I didn’t notice – I was so enthralled with everything this album means to me, and Blackie‘s voice sounded just like the first time I’d heard it, that my mind also heard the same words. Yes, there’s a lot of emotional baggage here, but the band’s sharp performance weighted just as much when I elected this as my no. 1 show of 2017.


THE CRUEL KNIVES warmed up the gig which I believe was a mistake. Not the band itself, don’t get me wrong – they’re a cool hard rock band, featuring former members of HEAVEN’S BASEMENT, with a great posture, presenting their debut EP “Side One”. But as much recognition you may get for opening for W.A.S.P. in the 25th anniversary of what’s probably their most epic album, what are the chances the audience will be really paying attention to you, with all the anticipating buzz of what the headliners will deliver afterwards? It’s quite an ungrateful slot; an event like this shouldn’t have support acts.


“The Crimson Idol” was played in full, obviously, with the aforementioned movie displayed on three video-walls. Didn’t see much of it during “The Idol” as, after all these years, my eyes still fill with tears when listening to it.


Apparently, a handful of people didn’t see it either, as Blackie would later “complain”. He said that when he saw people moshing during “Hold On To My Heart” (?!), he was this close to leave the stage – they’d spent a million dollars making that movie, so he wanted us to be paying attention. But then he also said that after so many years on the road, he knew when people were paying attention, so he thanked us heartily for our endless support.


Personally, I’d rather listen to “The Headless Children” than THE WHO cover of “The Real Me”, but as long as the second part of the show featured “L.O.V.E. Machine, “Wild Child” and “I Wanna Be Somebody”, as it did, it didn’t make any sense for me to be picky.



About Pieni

A metalhead who loves photography and her friends.
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