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Iced Earth - Live in Ancient Kourion

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Who could've seen this coming: a metal band from Tampa, Florida embarks on the first-ever official filming of one of their headlining shows at a 6000-year old outdoor theater in Limassol, Cyprus?

Wanting to really play the corners of the planet, Iced Earth creator and guitarist Jon Schaffer had the idea to stage a show in the ancient Kourion Theater where all the power to run the tons of equipment and lighting had to be supplied by generators the band brought in, not to mention the fact that the concert was held on a hot summer day where temperatures surpassing 100-degrees tested the limits of the gear and the crew.

In the end it was all worth it; the band put on a flawless high-energy 2 -hour show and the Cypriot crowd ate up every note enthusiastically. The show was part of Iced Earth's tour behind their 2011 Dystopia album and a good portion of the songs from that album are worked into the lengthy set.

Iced Earth has had a bit of a problem holding onto members and this show features band newcomer Stu Block on vocals; Block may be the latest addition to the band but with a vocal range that can slide from Hetfield rumble to Halford shriek in a heartbeat he's got the perfect chops to animate Iced Earth's particular brand of metal. Schaffer gives Block a mid-set breather and takes the mic for "Stormrider;" Block is quickly back to howl through "Pure Evil," "Dracula," "Wolf" and a few others before the band leaves the stage. But the big fan favorites haven't been played yet and when the guys come back for their encore they stay for another seven songs including takes on the eerie "Damien," the uncharacteristically emotional "Watching Over Me," "Dante's Inferno" from the Burnt Offerings album, "The Hunter" from The Dark Saga and debut album theme song "Iced Earth."

Kourion Theater survived the Greek, Roman and Byzantine empires and it survived Iced Earth just fine too but if the stone structure could talk it would likely say there's been nothing like this since the Gladiators were here.

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