Progressive hard rock lords Uriah Heep are still a musical force to be reckoned with as evidenced by last night‘s glorious performance at USF in Bergen, Norway. On the back of their excellent Living the Dream album, which is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the year, the band ploughed through an exhilarating 90-minute set in front of an ecstatic crowd. The venue was utterly packed, and it was rather difficult to get close to the stage and get a good view of everything that went on, but that did not change the fact that the concert was a riveting one and that Heep were on top form.
The crisp, clear and hard-hitting sound did justice to the song material while the musicianship was to die for. There was nothing visually impressive to the gig as such, but then why should there be? This was all about the quality of the songs and their many shades and nuances. Speaking of songs, the set list was particularly interesting in that it contained a handful of songs from the aforementioned Living the Dream opus and they sounded just as moving and heartfelt as all the old classics from the 70’s and 80’s. The fact that there was a perfect balance between old and new also shows that Heep clearly believe in the strength and depth of their latest album as opposed to merely relying on greatest hits and fan favorites. There were many standouts and highlights, but the most majestic compositions that were aired included ‘Take My Soul Away‘, ‘Knocking at My Door‘, ‘Rainbow Demon‘ and the spine-tingling ‘July Morning‘. Others such as ‘Return to Fantasy‘ and the mellow ‘Waters Flowin‘‘ also came out great. Not surprisingly, ‘Sunrise‘ and ‘Easy Livin‘‘ served as the encores and hardly any of us went home feeling even remotely disappointed by the entire affair.
Last night‘s performance was damn-near flawless and it is difficult to point to any shortcomings or things that were missing. It was energetic from start to finish and the band (and especially the hugely talented vocalist Bernie Shaw) gave it their all. Mick Box and Shaw were constantly smiling, and you could tell that they were all having the time of their lives up there on stage, which was wonderful to behold. Even after 48 years of touring and releasing albums, Uriah Heep show absolutely no sign of slowing down and their creative juices are still flowing as evidenced by Living the Dream, which is most definitely a record that you ought to invest in ASAP.