The Motor City trembles in fear as rock Gods Judas Priest descend from the headbanging heavens bringing 50 years of metal to Detroit.
8:59 p.m. and deep within the bowels of the mighty Fox Theatre of Detroit, you will find a horde of hungry headbangers waiting for a heaping hunk of Halford and Company, also known as Judas Priest. A massive stage set in a steampunk type, Road Warrior theme is laid out about the ginormous stage. A quick peek at the wristwatch, and we see the witching hour has arrived… finally… 9 p.m.! The house lights grow dim, followed by the familiar introduction of the iconic Black Sabbath song “War Pigs” which begins to pour out of the theater’s sound system. The track is cut short with a “Battle Hymn” replacing Sabbath as a massive, glowing red JP symbol is lowered from above the stage. Sending beaming lights of anticipatory glee into the eagerly awaiting crowd. Stage lights begin to illuminate the scene and we see drummer Scott Travis take to his throne, as guitarists Richie Faulkner and Andy Sneap arrive with their dueling flying Vs. Bassist Ian Hill faces the crowd smiling as the mighty metal God Rob Halford takes the stage. The crowd goes berserk and Halford reciprocates by hoisting a leather-gloved fist to the sky, in an Olympian gesture of metal godliness.
The band rips into “One Shot At Glory,” and a night of metal-making memories is underway. Halford wastes no time engaging the crowd. His voice is strong, and it is quickly apparent that Rob can still nail those high notes that he is known for. Considering he is 70 years of age, singing for 50 plus years, it is quite amazing that he sounds the way he did decades ago. Next up is “Lightning Strike,” followed by the classic “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming.” Halford taunts fans with a Hulk Hogan pose holding his ear, and the crowd responds by belting back at him while fist-pumping that famous chorus… “You’ve got another thing coming!” Scott Travis and Ian Hill keep that rhythm section tight and sticky, just like a fine and vintage superglue. Hill’s runs and Travis‘ fills are executed with Jedi-like mastery, keeping that recognizable backbone to Priest’s performances.
Onto “Freewill Burning,” “Turbo Lover,” “Hell Patrol,” and right into a smoking version of “The Sentinel.” Halford does not slow, and Hill, of similar age, is right next to him. Strong vocals are delivered for “A Touch of Evil.” Next up, the fist-pounding “Rocka Rolla,” gets the crowd by their doodads, followed by the dark tune “Victim of Changes.” Guitarist Richie Faulkner and Andy Sneap’s blazing tones keep melting their fretboards solo after solo. The youngest and most recent members of the lineup are up to task and keep the grinding riffs rolling through their amplifiers, spot on and flawless. “Desert Plains,” and “Blood Red Skies” are followed by an electrifying version of the classic tune “Invader.” The Priest wraps the night up with a crowd favorite “Painkiller.”
The lights then dim… as if to imply an end is near. But wait, Halford and the boys return to the stage with “Electric Eye.” The banging heads and devil horn finger pumps jump into overdrive as Judas Priest fires back at them with “Hell Bent for Leather,” followed by a note-for-note, perfect version of “Breaking the Law.” What could possibly end this musical journey as we near the top of this metal Mount Olympus? … The final encore of “Living After Midnight!” You’ve just been served with a heaping handful of headbanging, heavy-metal nectar directly from the God of metal himself, Rob Halford, and the mighty Judas priest.
Judas Priest comes as a highly recommended, bucket list concert experience for all headbanging and fist-pumping metalheads. You will relive those greatest metal moments of your yesteryear while making lasting musical memories this year. Be sure to check the band’s official website for upcoming tour dates, details, and news. Also, be watchful for a new studio album to be coming in 2022.JUDAS PRIEST
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