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June 18, 2024

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1984 Live Bootleg (Epilogue Entertainment)

By: Geoff Melton

Although not one of the best known 80's "hair metal" bands Icon's eponymous debut and it's follow-up Night of The Crime were definitely underappreciated and 2 of my favorites from that era. On December 30,1984, six months before vocalist Stephan Clifford left the band to become a born again Christian (just after the recording of their sophomore effort), promoter Paul Gasparella recorded their performance in front of a sold out crowd at Graham Central Station in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This tape is one of the few known live performances of this band, and has now been released on both video and CD as 1984: Live Bootleg. The key word in the title is "bootleg", because as you would expect from a recording like this the sound is pretty thin with crowd noises at times somewhat overpowering. While the sound quality of the music is poor overall, the music itself is quite good, highlighting their strong metal-laced melodic rock sound that I've always found reminiscent of Dokken. Recorded on the tour supporting their debut the 16 song set found the band trying out 8 new cuts (4 that made the follow-up and 4 that weren't on either studio album) and also tackling Argent's "Hold Your Head Up". The video portion of the recording is a mixed bag as well, with the picture quality only so-so (too much backlighting with band members often looking more like shadows), but since it was recorded on a tripod there's great stability to the footage with little jerkiness. For longtime fans like me 1984 Live Bootleg is an interesting glimpse into this short-lived era of this band (the band did go on to support Night of The Crime with a new vocalist and even released two more studio albums with him), but newcomers should stick to the studio releases.
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