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Judas Priest and Rob Halford still rock fans
In the world of heavy metal, Judas Priest set the style, set the tone and took
the delivery of live metal to another level for decades. The band and its
members are trend setters in so many different ways and their influence is
The band is three weeks into their North American portion of their world-wide
“Epitaph Tour” and rolled into Cincinnati with supporting acts Black Label
Society and the re-built classic rock band “Thin Lizzy.”
After forty years of head-banging and touring, Judas Priest is indicating that
this tour will be its last big-time world tour. It's yet to be determined if this is
really the final tour for Priest.
If there is a disappointment about the tour, it is that original Judas Priest
guitarist K.K. Downing opted to walk away from the band for reasons that still
have not been adequately explained. In his place, the band enlisted Richie
Faulkner, whose youth and energy has perhaps made up for K.K.'s absence.
From a guitar playing perspective, Faulkner easily re-created Downing's
As a gigantic curtain dropped and the stage was illuminated, it revealed the
classic “British Steel” razor blade logo serving as the band's backdrop. The
amplifier back-line was covered in chains, the lighting was great and the band
simply roared as each member strode forward to greet the crowd. Overall, it
was a stripped down, pure back-to-basics metal presentation--complete with
flames and pyro led by the incredible voice of one of the best frontmen in
rock 'n roll.
Sauntering forward wearing aviator glasses, the godfather of generations of
leather-clad rockers, Rob Halford, slightly hunched over, decked out in full
leather, replete with spikes, chains and spurs on his boots. His voice was
strong and powerful as he broke into the opening number.
At 60 years old, you absolutely have to give it up to Halford and the guys in
Judas Priest. Was it as frenetic and filled with “wow factor” as it was back in
1983 during the “Screaming For Vengeance” tour? No, of course not, it's
nearly three decades later, but the fact remains, Judas Priest at 40 years old
still remains relevant and can pull in a respectable audience.
Since I was unable to watch the entire performance, I'm not able to offer a
complete overall review of the full performance. However, based on what I
saw, these guys may have lost a few steps physically, but musically, they
They sounded great and with smiles all around, it was easy to see that the
band members were digging it too. With lots of flames, leather and loud
guitars it's exactly what Judas Priest fans are hoping for. Bottom line for fans
of Judas Priest, or fans of classic metal in general, this is a tour that's worth
buying a ticket for.
Opening act Thin Lizzy was a refreshing surprise considering how so often
reconstituted classic bands fail to deliver. Not so with this version of Thin
Lizzy, from original member Scott Gorham to journeyman bass player, Marco
Mendoza, the band is filled with really solid musicians and they did the classic
songs proud. As for Black Label Society, Zakk Wylde continues to shred
away, performing long-winded, gimmick filled guitar solos that feature more
flash than musicality. For long time BLS fans, it's nothing new.
For more information on Judas Priest and the tour, visit www.judaspriest.com.
Fourty-year-old band kicks ass, musically, on final tour
|For The Fans, By The Fans. Look Beyond The Mainstream.