Sunday, July 12, 2009

Judas Priest - Heavy Metal Parking Lot 2009

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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.
Johnny (Invader Milk) and I "Breakin' the Law"

Shaggy hair, faded tattoos, electric blue nails so long you wonder how the girl can wipe her ass- it was metal New Jersey style. All we needed was a bucket of Rolling Rock longnecks and a hibachi grilling Taylor Ham sandwiches, and I assure you next time that will be the case. One couple, looking like God the Biker and Overtanned old Sarah Palin with platform flip flops, decided to simulate Cinemax After Dark to Whitesnake. It was like watching two Galapagos turtles mate out of the shell. The image is still burned into my retinas.
Mike and Heavy Metal Parking Lot alumni in back

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.
The incomparable Mr. Halford

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."

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!

The Ripper


  1. I have seen a lot of '80s metal, but never Priest :-( I used to play Point of Entry constantly on the Panasonic all-in-one stereo, on vinyl of course.

  2. Nice review, it's good to see such a well written review of a New Jersey concert. There always seems to be an overabundance of concert reviews from NYC, Chicago, and Cali but not enough from NJ!

    So YOU'RE the guys who go to concerts and burp up hot dog stench?!?! lol. Every time I go to PNC for a concert someone seems to be burping hot dog stench practically right into my mouth. It's one of the things that always kept me from eating hot dogs. I know...I un-American of me! I don't eat hot dogs! Everyone else I know loves hot dogs though. For some reason White Castle burgers are so much less offensive to me and surprisingly, they don't send me to the toilet like they do others.

  3. And you write a New Jersey blog?! And you don't like hot dogs? Sir, confessing that is a bold statement.

    I guess White Castles are alright, now that the Route 3 charbroil grills are all gone- Anthony Wayne, the Red Chimney. If you're ever in Nutley try Lil Burgers. Good stuff.


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