Judas Priest make a welcome return to the Chicagoland area as the Firepower tour continues on more than a year later.
As the Rosemont Theatre’s PA system blasted out the first notes of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs,” the fans took to their feet, filling the theater with cheers as they knew this signaled that Judas Priest was about to take to the stage. Within seconds of the last beats ringing out, the metal gods made an appearance as they went straight into “Necromancer” from the latest album.
Never one to shy away from making an entrance, Rob Halford appeared from behind a screen with his silhouette projected on it, to take his place center stage surrounded in a cloud of smoke. Donning a purple hat and cape whilst wielding his skull-headed staff, he looks every part the rocker we have come to know and love. He later removed the hat and cape to reveal his trademark leather and studs. Halford’s voice has remained strong throughout the years and is certainly not reflective of his 67 years of age.
The tour may be in support of their eighteenth studio album, Firepower, however, it was a career-spanning setlist which included some songs which haven’t been performed live in a long time. Songs like “Out in the Cold” and “All Guns Blazing” have been added to this leg of the tour which haven’t been performed since 1986 and 1991 respectively. However, they were sure to keep the old faithfuls until the encore, when they performed the huge hits “Hell Bent for Leather” and “Breaking the Law.”
Rickie Faulkner proves once again that he is a true rockstar and has clearly perfected the guitarist stance as he holds his guitar aloft to cheers from fans. You can’t help but watch him on stage as he interacts with the crowd as he points at various fans and encourages the audience to cheer and clap along.
All too often the drummers are hidden at the back of the stage and can’t be seen for their kits. That is certainly not the case here as Scott Travis is raised up and often has a spotlight shining on him as he encourages the crowd to keep the beat along with him. It’s infectious to watch.
It’s clear to see Judas Priest are still going strong and keep the crowds coming. There are absolutely no signs of them slowing down. They have dates scheduled for this tour through until March 2020, so you have no excuse to get yourself along to see them when they come to town.