Judas Priest – [Live]

Tuesday, 01 November 2011

After almost forty years as one of the most influential Heavy Metal bands of all time, the mighty Judas Priest announced earlier this year that their "Epitaph" tour would be their last and, after witnessing the tour's stop at the Sleep Train Pavilion last week, I can honestly say that the band will be going out on the same level that they have been on since day one – on top.

For this farewell tour, Judas Priest will be playing one song from every album they've released, and on this night they opened the show with "Rapid Fire" off of the seminal British Steel album. From there on out, the set list was packed with nothing but classics, including "Metal Gods," "Heading Out To The Highway," and "Starbreaker." Singer Rob Halford looked and sounded better than he has in years, and seemed to really be into the performance; showing the near sold-out crowd that he was indeed still the Metal God. Pyrotechnics lit up the stage from the second song on, but the band let the music do most of the talking as they churned out more classics including "Diamonds and Rust," and "The Green Manalishi." Guitarist Glenn Tipton was his usual stoic bad-ass self and, although it looked a bit strange to see someone other than K.K. Downing trading riffs next to him, Ritchie Faulkner was about as good a replacement as could be; kudos to him for not playing K.K.'s solos, and instead playing his own riffs instead. And of course the rhythm section of Ian Hill on bass and Scott Travis on drums kept the heavy end pounding away.

After closing the set with "Painkiller," the band returned for "Electric Eye," "Hellbent For Leather" (which of course was highlighted by Halford riding a motorcycle onto the stage), "You've Got Anther Thing Comin'," and "Living After Midnight."  The show was classic Judas Priest from start to finish.

For a band like Judas Priest to last as long as it has is pretty remarkable in itself, but for them to go out still on top of their game shows just what an amazing band they have always been. They will be missed.



Judas Priest's final Epitaph tour continues. Click here for a list of upcoming shows.

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