King Diamond 11/19/2019
The Institute Tour
Palace Theater, St. Paul, MN
Trying to explain King Diamond to someone unfamiliar with him is a lot like learning calculus by audio book while driving. How do you describe King or his music. Best way to sum it up is that King Diamond is an experience. A complete auditory and visual explosion complete with drama and theater. And if you’ve never seen him you are in luck as he is currently on The Institute North American Tour which is done as advance promotion of the album of the same name. King Diamond’s first record in 12 years.
After being closed since 1977, the Palace theater in Saint Paul was re-opened in 2017 under the management of the folks at First Avenue. And it’s not quite renovated interior added the mood of the evening. Much to the delight of the near sellout crowd, King appeared on the stage via gurney pushed through a door by one of his many characters that would roam the stage throughout the night. King abruptly came to and seemed shocked by his surroundings. The stage was a multi teared run down mental institute.
Soon after King awakens the band appears and they jump into the opening song “The Candle”. King is killing right now. He is hitting every note and the band sounds amazing with founding member Andy LaRocque on guitar and his backup singer Livia Zita. Before long the stillborn corpse of the central character from the album Abigail is wheeled out in her coffin where King performs some sort of funeral for her.
Throughout the night hooded henchmen roam the stage for all sorts of deeds while a dancer occasionally appears, climbing the stairs to the balcony. Disappearing only to reappear as a nun, a patient etc. And fear not, wheel chair grandma makes an appearance during what has to be their biggest track “Welcome Home”. The stage and the theatrical aspects to this show are impressive and for once I actually wish I had a seat in the Palace’s amazing balcony. The stage is quite massive and you just feel like you’re missing something standing on the floor.
This tour is nearing its end in early December but if you have the chance to catch one of the remaining shows you should do it.
Behind These Walls
A Mansion in Darkness
Masquerade of Madness
The Invisible Guests