CARNIVAL OF SOULS at THE V.P. SOUTH , Amityville, NY October 23rd
Photos: Gail Flug
I have witnessed many a VIRGIN STEELE performance, both electric
and acoustic, but having missed the last CARNIVAL OF SOULS appearance,
I really had no idea what this incarnation of DeFeis & Pursino
was all about, or what I was in for on October 23.
Needless to say, I was shocked, delighted & thoroughly entertained!
First let me say this. The VP South is not the sort of venue that
our heroes usually appear in. The stage is way too small for their
very large production, and the room itself while fairly long, is
rather narrow, but talk about up close & personal, it doesnt
get much more close up and personal than that! You literally get
drenched in the heat and sweat coming off the stage, and you will
occasionally get whipped by flying hair! And damn, this was one
hot performance. Live, untamed, dangerous, wild and free. Brilliant!
I loved it!
psycho moans, groans and bizarre shrieks cycled up from the PA,
and then BAM!
there was David DeFeis and keyboard player Lynn
Delmato conjuring up a pact with the Devil at some rural midnight
hour crossroads. A mournful gothic Blues tune elevated into a roar
as the rest of the band entered into the sound spectrum. This group
performs high energy, kick-ass, Bluesy Metal / Rock music that somehow
manages to also be both ethereal and gothic. I felt like I was not
in a bar on Route 110 in Amityville, NY, but in a bar somewhere
in the 7th Circle of Hell, or the swamps of Louisiana, during a
night of full moon, with a vampire stalking me! There was if I remember
correctly a full moon.
was all over the stage wailing and sailing high up into the rafters
with that incredible voice of his. One moment he sounds like a piercing
violin or guitar, and the next like a knockout punch from the hammer
of Zeus! His delivery on Purple Rain, complete with his own lyrics,
was unbelievable. David constantly inserts his own lyrics and poems
into the set throughout the night. Edward, with a wall of Marshall
amps behind him, performed spectacularly. It is so obvious that
Edward and David have been working together for years, as the chemistry
is so evident you can reach right up and touch it, and on a stage
like the VP South, you dont miss a moment of what they create.
Josh Block on bass played excellent counterpoint to the explosive
drumming of Mark (Geoff Fontaine) Edwards, and the afore mentioned
Miss Delmato, kept up an atmospheric swirl of wild keyboard sounds
and devil-blues style piano all night long.
highly inspired set was very long (I think almost 3 hours non-stop),
very well thought out, put together, and filled with many special
surprises. As they say, Strange & Beautiful! "Monkey
Man" from the Stones, was one example of an inspired choice,
and the arrangement that they constructed was brilliant. VIRGIN
STEELES own "Strawgirl" a real gem, (which I was
told has never actually been performed live by VIRGIN STEELE), was
performed that night. This was a true rare experience. "Gimmie
Danger" from Iggy and the Stooges Raw Power album, was played
heavier and with more passion and catharsis than the original version,
and the "Chloe Dancer" / "Gentle Groove" combination
performed stripped down with just piano and vocal was really beautiful
& stunning. "Change In The House of Flies" was powerful
while at the same time, eerie as all hell, and "Born On the
Bayou" really summed up their whole approach for me.This is
a music that is Bluesy, yet dark and full of power and menace. The
set list I present here will give only a slight indication of what
the CARNIVAL OF SOULS tries to achieve. They must be heard &
experienced live to fully comprehend their essence. I urge you to
do so at the next available opportunity. You have been warned.
more photos here ...
1. BLACK MASS INTRO
2. BIG E Chord!!! WALKING THE DOG
3. SUPERSTITIOUS / SLY Jam / BORN ON THE BAYOU
4. TAKE ME FOR A LITTLE / CRYING IN THE RAIN
5. MONKEY MAN-into ...
6. THE INVOCATION-into ...
7. SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL-into ...
8. FOUR STICKS into ...
9. SWORD OF THE GODS Intro - FLAME ON - with Poem insert
10. THE WANTON SONG
11. F# DRONE GTR & VOX SOLO
12. BLACK LEATHER
13. PURPLE RAIN
14. CHLOE DANCER / GENTLE GROOVE
15. ACE OF SPADES
16. QUEEN OF THE DEAD
17. CHANGE IN THE HOUSE OF FLIES
18. DESERT PLAINS into ...
19. THE END
20. WHITE - into ...
21. AMERICAN HORSE - into ...
22. IN THE CLOUDS
23. GIMMIE DANGER
25. Organ Solo - YOUR TIME IS GONNA COME into ...
26. THANK YOU
27. BRING IT ON HOME
28. THE ROVER
29. Doors Jam RIBALD Intro (WHEN THE MUSIC´s OVER) /
ROAD HOUSE BLUES / BREAK ON THROUGH
ENCORE: KNOCKIN ON HEAVENS DOOR