Monday, October 17, 2022

Uriah Heep @ Olympia, Paris - October 16th, 2022

The last decade has been rather kind to the mighty Uriah Heep: the veteran hard rock band has released some excellent records, and have been playing to sold-out crowds the world over. They are touring to celebrate their fiftieth anniversary, quite an accomplishment for a band that has had as many members as the Harlem Globetrotters. The current line-up has been in place for a long time now, which explains the band's stupendous on-stage chemistry.

Instead of storming the stage in a maelstrom of distorted guitars, epic Hammond organ runs and explosive drums, the Heep has decided to throw its audience and curveball by opening its half-century celebration shows with an acoustic set comprised of some of their softer songs like Circus, Free Me and a rearranged medley songs from Demons & Wizards, including The Wizard.

The acoustic set ends with the legendary Lady In Black to make way to the bombastic, electric Heep.  The rest of the gig alternates between classics like Rainbow Demon, Sunrise or Free N' Easy and deeper cuts like Between Two Worlds. The epic progressive ballad July Morning ends the concert in grandiose fashion. But of course, they kept their most famous songs for the encore: Gypsy and Easy Living' wrap things up in cracking fashion.

Despite the turnover in personnel, despite the deaths, despite the shifts in the musical climate, it's good to see that there's still plenty of life left in Uriah Heep. The band has confirmed that there's a new album dureto be released next year, which will inevitably be the impetus for a new tour. So here's to another fifty years! 'appy days!


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