Judas Priest – Still Delivering the Goods
San Antonio was once called “The Heavy Metal Capital of the World.” Not sure if the good ol’ city of San Antone still lives up to its name but I’d like to think so. After all, we’re still a loud- flamboyant and cultural city; who loves to party hard and when it comes to rock and heavy metal we sure can pack the house.
There’s always something magical in the air when the metal gods, Judas Priest roll into town. A unique and vibrant surge of energy seems to flow through each and every fan in attendance. Maybe it’s the beer but just like you caffeine addicts who need your cup of coffee to make it through the morning; we need our dose of metal. So- you can imagine what a show like Judas Priest and Whitesnake would entail…thousands of drunk and merry metal heads making conversation, singing along to their favorite JP tunes and the show was yet to begin.
My day started out sort of frantic, an odd feeling of nervousness consumed me. The fact that I was going to be a mere few steps away from the Metal Gods as they rocked San Antonio sent chills down my spine. I’ve seen Judas Priest many times before and this was to be the 2nd time I shoot live photography for the band but the thought that they were going to perform British Steel in its entirety was exciting!
Alternative rockers, Pop Evil opened up the show. Did not get to check this band out but the overload of fans mingling outside and in the hallway was proof that I was not missing much. None the less, these fuckers are touring with Judas Priest and Whitesnake, so they must have something decent to offer someone.
Whitesnake took the throne next and I was extremely surprised that vocalist David Coverdale sounded great after all these years. The years must have been kind to him because his voice and energy was like a breath of fresh air, while the band dished out hits like Slow N Easy, Is this Love, Here I Go Again and even the cheesy ballad, Crying in the Rain to name a few. With substance and obvious confidence, guitarists Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach worked the stage like a winning pair. Just goes to show, that although Whitesnake flirts with the pretty side of hard rock and metal, the snake still bites hard.
Love Ain’t No Stranger
Slow and Easy
Lay Down Your Love (both guitar solos)
Crying In The Rain (drum solo)
Is This Love
Give Me All Your Love
Here I Go Again
Still Of The Night
Closing the show, Judas Priest never ceases to amaze me and on this occasion Halford hit the notes with passion. Don’t get me wrong, passion, enthusiasm are two qualities always present when Rob Halford performs but he was definitely giving it 100+ percent on this night. Last year’s Metal Masters tour was huge on visuals and technicality. This time around, there was less eye candy which made it possible to witness the gang pour out their energy.
With the gang performing British Steel in its entirety, we heard gems such as Rapid Fire, You Don’t have to be Old to Be Wise, The Rage and Steeler- all tracks that you probably never witnessed in a live setting unless you were lucky to catch the Priest back in the golden years. Also performed was the haunting Victim of Changes, a track that never fails to send me goose bumps. The crowd went insane and wanted more!
The night was capped off with a great encore; Freewheel Burning, Diamonds and Rust [JP’s cover of the great Joan Baez folk song] and You’ve Got Another Thing Comin ended the night. The drunks stumbled out merrily, and I must say, it always puts a smile on my face to witness Priest on stage- full of energy and having fun! The way metal should be. Judas Priest is still going strong, ‘Delivering the goods’ for many years to come.
Breaking The Law
You Don’t Have To Be Old To Be Wise
Living After Midnight
Victim of Changes
Diamonds and Rust
You’ve Got Another Thing Comin