Mercyful Fate and Kreator in Philly: Black Metal Fever!

Live Review

Mercyful Fate. Photo by Shuvam DasGupta.

By Shuvam DasGupta, Rock At Night Philadelphia

Live Review: Mercyful Fate, Kreator, Midnight Live at The Fillmore Philadelphia 11/14/2022

Midnight. Photo by Shuvam DasGupta.

Legendary Danish Black Metal band Mercyful Fate is touring the US with veteran German thrash metal band Kreator. It is one of the rarest events for the metalheads in the US to see two legendary European bands live in action. Rock at night was present at the Fillmore Philadelphia on the night of 11/14/2022 to experience the event.

It was an almost sold-out event and people were wearing makeup like King Diamond himself. The night started with Midnight – a band that blends different genres like hardcore punk, thrash, and heavy metal to create a unique sound with an excellent stage presence. Led by the bassist and vocalist Athenar, the three-part band put up a stunning performance that reminded me of the Misfits. They performed a setlist of 8 songs and were even accompanied by a dancing lady in one of the songs.

Kreator. Photo by Shuvam DasGupta.

Next on stage was Kreator with art from their latest album “Hate Über Alles” in the background. The four-piece band consisting of the oldest members – Mille on Guitar and Ventor on drums accompanied by Sami on guitar and Frédéric on bass did what they do best. The audience had the horns up in the sky head-banging to the absolutely enthralling sound. The 40-year-old band just proved why they are still relevant for so many years. They did a setlist of 10 songs that consists of some popular tracks like – “Satan is Real”, “Violent Revolution”, “Flag of Hate” and “Pleasure to Kill”. They left with a promise to be back in the US next year for their headlining tour.  

Mercyful Fate. Photo by Shuvam DasGupta.

Finally, the curtains were down and the stage was set up for the sinister event that was about to happen. The curtain fell at 9:15 to reveal the grand stage with a pentagram in the back platform and an upside-down cross in the front of the stage. The members of the Mercyful Fate came on stage and then finally came the man everyone was waiting for – King Diamond wearing a ram’s head and his mic stand made of bones. The band’s unique presence was contagious to the audience – it was almost like they were taking part in an occult worshipping their master from hell – King Diamond. King was ruling the stage – sometimes going up on the platform and sometimes coming to the front of the stage and finally revealing his infamous white and black makeup. Even in this age after ruling and pioneering the black metal scene for decades it was amazing to see his stage presence and singing ability when he was hitting the high notes. The band with its other members – Bjarne T. Holm on drums, Hank Shermann and Mike Wead on guitars, and Becky Baldwin (replacing Joey Vera for this tour) on bass –  just kept on rocking song after song. They did a setlist of 11 songs consisting of hits like – “A dangerous meeting”, “Evil”, “Melissa”, “Doomed by the living dead” and on the encore “Satan’s Fall”. 

It was a dark and unholy night for all the metalheads in black shirts and I was sure everyone was loving every bit of it. I feel privileged to see them live as they almost wrap up the US tour. Finally a shout-out to the management for organizing such a great event. 



Shuvam DasGupta