Metal is alive and well as King Diamond and thrash giants, Exodus, thrill fans in San Fran who turned out to see this concert bill to legendary names of the genre.

King Diamond has long-held a place in the hearts of San Francisco metalheads. From the early Mercyful Fate shows at the Kabuki Theater (with a very young Death Angel) and, somewhat ironically, at the same Warfield Theater (a legendary gig supporting Exciter and Motörhead) to the later solo shows at the Stone, the mighty King has always delivered the goods in this town. So it was no surprise when he and his band put on yet another show for the ages at a near sold-out Warfield Theater.

As the lights dimmed and the opening chords of “Welcome Home” were struck, the mighty King appeared from stage right with his “Grandma.” From that moment forward, the entire venue was transported back in time. After “Sleepless Nights,” Eye of the Witch,” and Halloween,” King and his band launched into the Mercyful Fate classics “Evil,” “Melissa” and “Come to the Sabbath,” before playing his solo album Abigail in its entirety. Hitting every falsetto note while provoking the head-bangers in the front row, Diamond had the near capacity crowd in the palm of his hand for the next ninety minutes.

Opening the show were Bay Area thrash legends Exodus, who proved to be the perfect choice to put the crowd into a frenzy. Front man Zetro Souza still has what it takes to command an entire venue, and as he and the band steamrolled their way through “Strike of the Beast,” Toxic Waltz,” and “Bonded By Blood.” It was quite clear that metal is still very much alive and kicking in San Francisco.

National Rock Review photographer Raymond Ahner was on hand to report.

King Diamond
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Warfield Theater
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About The Author

Raymond Ahner is a professional freelance photographer residing in San Francisco, California. Growing up in the Bay Area, Raymond was lucky enough to witness both the Punk and Thrash Metal scene of the 1980's explode literally right in front of his eyes. It was a pretty special time in his life, and is what instilled his love for live music. Over the years Raymond has been fortunate enough to combine his passion for live music with his love of photography. And although he will always love shooting the big arena Rock show, it is in a tiny, packed to the rafters club were he his most at home with his gear.

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