Friday September 17, 2021
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto
Fifty years. Half a century. Way before the majority of the fans in attendance at Covelli Centre were even born this band existed. Think about the rich and deep music catalog of one of the most important heavy metal bands ever to walk the face of the earth. All the many tours along with the shows the band has put on. Well what many fans witnessed Friday night, was a celebration that showed a band still firing on all it’s cylinders.
The tour was supposed to happen last year but was pushed back due to the pandemic. While many tours have been derailed even as we speak, Judas Priest decided to move forward with this tour and the reception by the fans has been astounding. What can be said about vocalist Rob Halford that hasn’t already been said. To see him get up the stage at the age of 70 and still be able to put in a remarkable performance tells us that he is simply a freak of nature.
The band came out firing playing “One Shot At Glory”, a song until this year they have never done live. The band also are playing quite a few songs that have not been played in quite some time. Who other than Judas Priest can whip out the title track to their 1974 debut album Rocka Rolla and make it sound so good? The set was well balanced and oddly enough featured four songs from their gold certified album Painkiller, an album that was Halford’s final one until his return with the 2005 Angel Of Retribution release.
The highlights were plentiful beginning with the head banging “Freewheel Burning” which Halford nailed. Not an easy song to sing at any stretch of the imagination. The old warhorse “Victim Of Changes” and “Painkiller” were also two standouts on a night when the band was clearly in the zone.
Joining Halford is the same touring lineup that was assembled in 2018. It includes bassist Ian Hill who has been the longest tenured member in the band, the longest tenured drummer Scott Travis who came aboard in 1990 in time to record Painkiller. Rounding out the lineup were guitarists Richie Faulkner and Andy Sneap who led the axe assault for which Priest is known for and delivered it in spades.
It is simply amazing to see this band still performing shows of this caliber at this very late stage of their career. I have seen the band myself ten times and this one really stood out for me. Hands down the best show in 2021. If Judas Priest is coming to your town or nearby, my advice is do not miss it because you will regret it.
Battle Hymn (Tape)
One Shot At Glory
You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’
A Touch Of Evil
Victim Of Changes
The Hellion (Tape)
Hell Bent For Leather
Breaking The Law
Living After Midnight
Opening the show was the Swedish metal sensation Sabaton. The band played a mix of songs from their lengthy catalog. It was refreshing to see the majority of the crowd in their seats for an opening band. It is not everyday Sabaton comes over to tour the states and those in the know are very familiar with the band and what they bring to the table. It is bands like Sabaton that will keep the flame of metal going for many years to come.
The Last Stand
The Red Baron
Defence Of Moscow
Fields Of Verdun
The Attack Of The Dead Men
To Hell And Back