The Return of sHEAVY: Live at the St. John?s Masonic Temple, May 10 2005

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The Return of sHEAVY

sHEAVY DVD Filming Gig
Live at the St. John?s Masonic Temple
Tuesday, May 10 2005

Review By EvilG & Rick
Pictures By Rick

Thanks to Ren for the passes!

For local fans of sHEAVY, this gig has been a long time coming! As a follower of the band since their early gigs at such infamous places as Sam Shades, The Loft, LSPU, etc. it was a treat to get to see this band playing live again. In recent years, band members have been living all over North America and only reunited to record a new album (their last being recorded in Belgium with Sabbath-fame producer Mike Butcher).  sHEAVY?s new album will be entitled ?Republic?? and is already recorded.



Fo those who haven’t heard of sHEAVY, a good referance point would be Black Sabbath/70’s metal. This gig wasn?t a CD release party but was instead being filmed for an upcoming DVD! Attendance for this performance was by invitation only and was limited to approximately 80 people. The band was setup in the ballroom of the Masonic Temple (a curious place to have a gig). There was no stage, just the drums and amps on the floor surrounded by a few racks from which lighting and Republic Of Newfoundland flags were hung. When the band took to the floor everyone crowded around in a semicircle.


It should be noted that 2 new faces were with the band for this appearance. Firstly was Kevin Dominic on drums. Followers of the local metal scene know Kevin from his time in bands with Dan (guitars) such as After Forever and Sacrament A.D. Original drummer Ren Squires was on the sidelines tonight with a busted up leg. Strangely, Ren isn?t drumming on the upcoming album either. Not sure what the deal is there, but Kevin did a great job behind the kit even if his style is not like Ren?s. Also joining the band tonight was rhythm guitarist Tommy Boland who is also in the local hard rock band Howl. I am not sure if he?s a full member, I suspect he was there to fill out the live sound for the recording. He did a great job of doing so and to my ears never made any mistakes.   


Along with the 2 new guys we had the original sHEAVY crew of Steve Hennessey on vocals who was sporting his assumedly newly skinned off hairdo. Even though he?s lost his cool Robert Plant locks, he clearly hasn?t lost his voice! His wardrobe also has been toned down. Most local fans can remember him wearing 70?s bellbottoms and huge collar shirts?not tonight unfortunately as the whole band instead put any past image aside. Bass player Keith Foley also did a great job on his bass playing but his stage presence could be improved if he took off the cement shoes that had him stuck to the floor in the one spot all night. Steve?s frontman persona made up for anyone else?s lack thereof as he paced around the floor, played the occasional air guitar, and made angry faces and laughed his was through. This is the kind of thing more front men around here need to do. Last, and certainly not least, is Dan Moore on lead guitars. For most of the night Dan was playing a cool blue Gibson SG shaped guitar adorned with a racing stripe and the letter ?S?. Dan is the riff-master of the band and being a guitar player I spent most of my time watching him playing.

For the older songs I was familiar with, he nailed every riff and solo perfectly. It was awesome to finally hear songs from SYNCHRONIZED live like ?Firebird 350? and ?Set Phasers to Stun?. These songs were great on the CD but they really need to be heard live to be appreciated. Even with sHEAVY?s deep back catalogue the songs from SYNCHRONIZED are easily recognizable. Another of my favorites was also played ? ?The Electric Sleep?.  I was hoping that the band would dig a little deeper into their back catalog and play something from BLUE SKY MIND or the SLAVES TO FASHION tape but tonight was not about playing old songs, the focus was on the new album ?REPUBLIC??. So how were the new songs? Well we only got to hear them once so it’s hard to compare, but they did fit in with the rest of the material and sounded like sHEAVYmetal! Steves vocals were not very loud in the crowd and at times you could not hear him at all. There were 2 speakers with his vocals coming through it but they were aimed back at the band, not towards the crowd. I guess they had to sacrifice some of the sound for the crowd for the purposes of the recording/DVD.

The fact that sHEAVY is playing live again bodes well for them. In his banter to the crowd Steve Hennessey alluded to the fact that sHEAVY are trying to hook up some tour dates to support the release of REPUBLIC? That is great news since the band didn?t get to tour behind SYNCHRONIZED. It was amazing seeing Newfoundland?s favourite sons back on stage. With the upcoming release of REPUBLIC? and this DVD, the band is back doing what they do best.


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