they played at the Palladium in Worcester, MA, with Into Eternity and Saviours.
Saviours wasn't too bad, i thought...never heard them before, but they're kinda groovy/bluesy metal with some cool riffing....vocals were mediocre at best, though. one of the better openers i've seen at the Palladium, but apparently they're on the tour, so that doesn't really count. the mix was ok....you could hear most of the guitar stuff, but the kick drum was way too high in the mix.
Into Eternity was pretty solid, from what i could tell. it took about 5 songs to get a mix that was even passable for them, though...started off with pretty much just kick and vocals (with some weird compression on the vocals that made them sound really bad and inconsistent with the level), and the only guitar you could hear was during the solos. eventually, they evened things out a bit, but it was still pretty blah. they played mostly stuff from The Scattering of Ashes and the new album (which i haven't heard) and maybe a couple songs from Buried in Oblivion.
the Palladium typically has some of the worst sound i've ever heard, and it seems to get worse every time i go there...when i saw Testament in july, all you could hear was kick, vocals, and a bit of the guitar solos, and the subs were distorting. given the way the first two bands sounded, i wasn't really expecting much for Iced Earth. when they started checking Jon's guitar, though, i got the impression that it might actually be possible for them to sound decent. when they hit the stage, however, i could not believe my ears. have you heard Alive in Athens? it was pretty fucking close to that, sound-wise. everything could be heard, clearly. some of the best live sound i've ever heard at a metal show, and easily the best i've ever heard at the Palladium. they were super tight, too, and Barlow sounded great. i'm still in awe. i've been a fan for about 10 years now, and this was my first time seeing them live, and it was well worth the wait.
Barlow sounded great on the Ripper-era stuff, as well, but a couple of the songs are clearly meant for Ripper's voice...but i think they work well with either singer.
anyway, here's the setlist to the best of my recollection (and it's not entirely in order, either)
Intro: In Sacred Times
Behold the Wicked Child
Motivation of Man/Setian Massacre
Ten Thousand Strong
Vengeance is Mine
I Walk Alone
Watching Over Me
The Coming Curse
High Water Mark
My Own Savior
overall...pretty fucking awesome
We saw them at 930 when they came through DC, and they fucking crushed. It took them a song and a half to get the vocals in the mix, and the bass constantly put out this annoying midrange rumble their entire set.
Barlow just destroyed 10,000 Strong. I was like, "Ripper who?"