The band opens with British Steel
Judas Priest came to Jersey last weekend and of course, Hell Bent for Taters was there with Invader Milk and Gozer the Drossarian. We had hoped to re-enact the classic 1985 documentary Heavy Metal Parking Lot (helpfully reviewed by me here) but the 80's are long gone, and metalheads are a different breed these days. This was one of the few concerts I've been to where I felt young (the other was Steely Dan, where I felt really friggin' young). I'm sure much of the crowd were in the original Heavy Metal Parking Lot at least in spirit.
Thankfully the concert erased all the pain of witnessing such public atrocities. To think, at my first metal concert- I was in high school, during the Iron Maiden Somewhere in Time tour- I got hit in the head with a bra by a stoned Jersey gal of drinking age. Once again I'm one of the young guys, except now the gals have AARP cards. But then again, so does Rob Halford! He's 58 now, and still rocks the house. May we all rock so hard when pushing 60. The concert was celebrating the 30th anniversary of the British Steel album- damn does that make me feel old- so they opened with "Rapid Fire" and played the entire album.
I remember a claymation TV commercial advertising British Steel. I wish I could find it now... youtube has failed me! Judas Priest has been a favorite of mine for decades. Halford and crew are just so honest. They don't mince words. And they don't forget their mellower past, with their first albums almost being prog rock; they played "Victim of Changes," for one. Their latest album Nostradomus is a concept album, returning to their progressive roots, and they played the title track. But Halford also stormed onstage in the gleaming chrome Painkiller motorcycle to sing "Freewheel Burning."
My favorite album is Sad Wings of Destiny, and to my surprise (and shock) the first song they played after British Steel wound down was "The Ripper," which holds a special place in my heart because one of my favorite hot dogs joints, Rutt's Hut, calls their special "the ripper." And we went to have some before the concert, as detailed here on Pluck You, Too! Overall it was one of the best concerts I've been too, up there with Muse at the Garden, the 3 hour long Pogues concert on St. Patrick's Day, and seeing Flogging Molly and Warren Zevon at small venues. Classics such as "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" got the crowd participation treatment, and Halford is an effortless showman exuding charisma. Other faves of mine like "Diamonds and Rust," a Joan Baez cover of all things, was included.
We were a little disappointed that "Screaming for Vengeance," "Painkiller," "Electric Eye," and even "Turbo Lover" were passed over. Another fave of mine, "The Green Manalishi," an early Fleetwood Mac cover, would have been great too, but I'm glad I got to hear British Steel in its entirety. I hope they do the same for Screaming for Vengeance in 2012!