URIAH HEEP @ Opera House, Tel-Aviv, Israel
in Monday, 28 January 2013 at Opera House
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein
I like the phrase "There is always a first time for everything". Maybe I like it even more because this is my actual first time of writing a live report since I started writing. Therefore, I hope I will be able to interest you guys.
I believe that it was the perfect night for a classic Rock concert. It was somewhat cold and rainy outside but the location was right at the center of Tel Aviv in one of the newest Opera houses. I really like the venue, elegant a bit for a Rock concert, but since the show, in a larger part, wasn't intended for the younger audiences, it was suitable. The funny thing is that in the age of 30, I was still considered as the younger crowd on that show. Furthermore, and probably the most important thing besides waiting to heed the call of one of the greatest Rock bands in history, I went to the concert with my dad, probably has been my sole inspiration for listening to this type of music since I remember. Two generations of Rockers (one became a Metalhead) side by side to watch one of the greatest, probably the most harmonic band ever, the British URIAH HEEP. The band performed their second live gig in five year or so in Israel for the support their latest album, "Into The Wild", released back in 2011 via Frontiers Records.
Similarly to past live performances of vintage bands that I had the honors to watch, like DEEP PURPLE and NAZARETH, the concert began with a simple, Classical music oriented, intro in order to let the band members the chance to enter the stage in style. The place was a near full house. Right after the musicians were in place, URIAH HEEP, Box, Shaw, Lanzon, Gilbrook, Jowitt (Replacing for bassist Trevor Bolder that undergone a surgery) exploded into the air with the sweet heavy Rock "Against All Odds" off one of their 90s efforts. I didn't picture any type of opener, but this one really got everyone going. Classic Rock, 70s Hard Rock, Progressive Rock and Heavy Metal came out united to a fine display of the old British antics that have been influencing worldwide Rock and Metal bands for years. Unfortunately, probably it was from where I was sitting but yet again it didn't have to matter, I could notice that the sound mix was way too sharp as the guitar sliced through my ears and it was a bit hard to distinguish the vocals. Really not what I needed as I already had a strong negative opinion regarding the sound productions for Rock / Metal here in Israel. However, I tried to make the most of it since URIAH HEEP lived up to my expectation as a high quality live band with insurmountable experience for over forty years in the business.
URIAH HEEP, commanding with amazing skills, with incredible riffing, rough cut soloing (several wah wah induced), bombastic drumming, classy keys and nice bass additions, on each instrument while being led by the incredible voice of Bernie Shaw on vocals, provided exactly 90 minutes of diverse and highly melodic music ranging from the acoustic 70s classic of "Lady In Black" through the tear dropping, classic moments of "July Morning" and "Sunrise" surging through space with "Traveler In Time", crossing borders with superb newer material such as "Overload" and "Into The Wild" to the clutches of heaviness with "Gypsy" and the speeding bullet "Free N' Easy" (where they packed up a few girls on stage for headbanging, looked silly because most of those didn't seem to understand what really headbanging means). In general, URIAH HEEP handed the Israeli audience, which really needed that kind of classic "Nail On The Head" over and over again, some of their valuable offerings from their four decade history, sharing both unforgettable oldies along with cracking newbies. The band's leader Mick Box honored and thanked the fans for coming and supporting the band on its journey. That meant a lot and showed clear professionalism of a true artist.
All in all, both my father and I enjoyed the performance and were thankful to take part in such a glorious moment. URIAH HEEP is a piece of history that won't be forgetting and I would always heed their call if intended to head over here again.
1. Against All Odds (Sea Of Light)
2. Overload (Wake The Sleeper)
3. Traveler In Time (Demons & Wizards)
4. Sunrise (The Magician's Birthday)
5. All My Life (Demons & Wizards)
6. I'm Ready (Into The Wild)
7. Between Two Worlds (Sonic Origami)
8. Stealin' (Sweet Freedom)
9. Nail On The Head (Into The Wild)
10. Into The Wild (Into The Wild)
11. Gypsy (Very …Eavy, Very …Umble)
12. July Morning (Look At Yourself)
13. Lady In Black (Salisbury)
14. Free N' Easy (Innocent Victim)
15. Easy Livin' (Demons & Wizards)
Ticket Price: 189 NIS
11 December 2013