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URIAH HEEP, SAXON In Houston, TX With Photos!

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Monday, June 3, 2024 @ 9:50 AM


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All Photos By Larry Petro/Petrofyed Photography

Closing out the month of May, Houston got a dose of hell, fire & chaos as two legends of the NWOBHM, URIAH HEEP and SAXON invaded the State of Texas to finish up their (presumably) first leg of the Hell, Fire & Chaos Tour. With 3 shows in the Lone Star State, Houston was up first as they played the House of Blues on a Wednesday night.

With each of these British heavyweights having been around for about 50 years (55 for URIAH HEEP and 49 for SAXON) you would think that at some point in their storied histories they would have toured together at least once, and maybe they have, but a quick Google search on the matter produced no results so I'm going with that as proof that they haven't. If I'm wrong I'm sure that someone will point that out to me anyway ;). History would be made then as they set out on the co-headline Hell, Fire & Chaos Tour. With no other support act on the bill we got a nice headline set from each band, starting with the mighty SAXON!

SAXON is out on the road in support on their recently released 24th (?!) studio album Hell, Fire And Damnation and appropriately they kicked off their evening with the blistering title track. At the young age of 73 frontman Biff Byford sounds as great as he ever has as he and his cohorts, drummer Nigel Glockler, bassist Nibbs Carter and guitarists Doug Scarratt and (he of DIAMOND HEAD fame who replaced Paul O'Quinn) tore up the House of Blues with a set that included four tracks from the new album, the aforementioned title track, "There's Something In Roswell", "Madame Guillotine" and "1066". Of particular note here, "1066" was played even what should have been played according to the printed setlist on the stage was "Broken Heroes", which would have been a really deep cut coming from 1985's Innocence Is No Excuse album. Why they chose a different number is anyone's guess and "1066" was a great choice either way.

Of course a SAXON show would not be complete without some of their most classic tunes being performed and for this tour we in H-Town got "Power And The Glory", "Motorcycle Man", "Heavy /Metal Thunder", "Dallas 1 PM", "Crusader" and "Strong Arm Of The Law", among others. The band returned for two encores, "747 (Strangers In The Night" and "Princess Of The Night", before taking their final bows and leaving the audience wanting more. Seriously, this band could play for 3 hours and that would still be the case.

Setlist:

  • "Hell, Fire And Damnation"
  • "Motorcycle Man"
  • "This Town Rocks"
  • "Power And The Glory"
  • "There's Something In Roswell"
  • "Heavy Metal Thunder"
  • "Madame Guillotine"
  • "Dallas 1 PM"
  • "Strong Arm of The Law"
  • "1066"
  • "Crusader"
  • "Denim And Leather"
  • "Wheels of Steel"
Encore:
  • "747 (Strangers In The Night)"
  • "Princess of The Night"
After a brief set changeover it was time for the other timeless band, URIAH HEEP. The band also had a fairly recent album to support, that being the 2023 release, Chaos & Colour, the band's 25th. So as you can see, both bands have longevity in the music business and have continued to write and record new music no matter what trends come and go. Vocalist Bernie Shaw, who was an early part of the band PRAYING MANTIS, has been the frontman of the HEEP since 1986 so you could certainly say that he and founder/sol remaining original member, guitarist Mick Box have a lengthy history. Bernie's voice is impeccable and was on point throughout the show, starting with their opening song, "Save Me Tonight", one of 3 tunes they would also play from the newest album, the others being "Hurricane" and "Hail The Sunrise". Now, even though I admittedly didn't listen to much URIAH HEEP growing up I was surprised by exactly how many of their songs I recognized. Tracks like "Grazed By Heaven", "Rainbow Demon", "Gypsy" and "Look At Yourself" certainly dusted off some longstanding cobwebs in this old brain of mine.

Guitarist Mick Box, at 76 years young, is still an absolute master of his craft, easily pulling off solo after solo with zero mistakes, a feat for someone half his age. Backed by bassist Davey Rimmer, 17 year drummer Russell Gilbrook, and guest keyboardist Adam Wakeman, son of the legendary YES keyboardist Rick Wakeman, who was filling in for Phil Lanzon who could not be on the tour due to family commitments, the band was tight and in fine form. They finished up their pre-encore set with "July Morning" before returning for encores "Sunrise" and of course, the classic "Easy Livin'". It was such a treat to catch this band again as the last time I had that opportunity was at the 1983 Texxas Jam In Dallas.

This part of the tour may be over now but the original press release said 'More dates to be announced' so let' hope they return for another leg of the tour in the U.S. If they do and they come near your town, this is a must see show! Two legends on one stage? Yes please!

Setlist:

  • "Save Me Tonight"
  • "Grazed by Heaven"
  • "Rainbow Demon"
  • "Stealin'"
  • "Hurricane"
  • "Sweet Lorraine"
  • "Hail the Sunrise"
  • "Free 'n' Easy"
  • "Gypsy"
  • "Look at Yourself"
  • "July Morning"
Encore:
  • "Sunrise"
  • "Easy Livin'"
Check out some more photos from the show!
All Photos By Larry Petro/Petrofyed Photography


 

 

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