King Diamond brought the Institute to Philadelphia this past November 11, 2019 and, of course, Metal Insider was there!

Let me say this… if you still, for some crazy reason, have never seen King Diamond live, stop reading this article and go click here to get yourself some tickets. Even if you’ve never really listened to King Diamond before, go get some tickets. There’s a reason he’s the King and it’s very much evident in this magical and mysterious Institute Tour.

The stage setup and concept for this tour is probably my favorite one in both recent and distant memory. The stage is actually three levels and King utilizes all three. This means that even those way up in the nosebleeds are going to be able to see what’s going on. Stagecraft is very well done and fans are truly transported to King’s diabolical, mid-20th century “institute” over the course of 13 songs. Everything is well lit.  Sound is on point and not obnoxiously loud.

From the get go, when I saw King come out on a gurney, laying there under these creepy vintage surgical lights, I knew I was poised for a killer show. With little vignettes before, during or after nearly every song, the band presents a cohesive and wildly visual performance that only elevates the music so many of us have loved for so many decades.  And it was also great seeing second vocalist Livia in a prominent place on stage!

The setlist was quite varied and the band played some songs I haven’t heard in a long time including “Voodoo,” “The Lake,” and “Burn.” A very heavy pre-2000 set that also, however, included the newest single “Masquerade of Madness.” A splendid new song in the older vein.  Loved hearing the band play this and if this a preview of the new record, there’s no doubt it’s going to be one of their best.

If you have concerns about King’s age or voice. Stop. If you think you’ve “seen this before” because you’ve seen King Diamond many times back in the day – you haven’t actually seen THIS before. This is one of the greatest performances I’ve seen all year. King Diamond is in top form and his band is still crushing it.

So instead of no presents for Christmas this year, buy your loved one a VIP entry to The Institute!