It was probably the earliest that I had found myself deploying for an event outside of something like the Toy Fair, but when Ghost announced that a Press Conference would be taking place in NYC at our own Irving Plaza (see that news HERE), I knew that I had to be on point no matter how much coffee was needed to make this happen.
The marquee of the venue that we know so well got right to the point about their being a special sermon by Papa Nihil and Sister Imperator. Sister is the one we see in all of their propaganda videos.
On the stage a couple of microphones and a lectern.
Hello again my fiends, and welcome back to the narratives that are focusing on the just recently held Big Apple Comic Con. The event once again took place at the Penn Plaza Pavilion (oops, I mean the Jordan Pearl Pavilion as its now called) and we attended the Sunday part of the event. If you missed the first installment that is okay as you can just click HERE and be up to speed before we continue along.
Now since I ended the previous chapter with some residents of the Spider-Verse, how about beginning this installment with some more of them?
Considering how many of these conventions that we’ve been attending for the sake of the Geek Media, it’s pretty safe to assume that we love the creativity and colorful displays to be found at events such as New York Comic Con, WinterCon and now the Big Apple Comic Con which was happening here in NYC just this past weekend.
Though we would have preferred to attend on the Saturday portion of the weekend, the only provisions that were offered were for Sunday so that would be the day of the exploration. PiercingMetal hasn’t been to BACC in a couple of years and it was based on my scheduling of other things at the same time but now its time to get back into the NY Groove with the coolness and the cosplay. Let’s go.
I’m just going to jump into the fray since my MTA journey to the city was an arduous one. Sunday train travel has been a beast of late and its become a reason I tend to avoid the day in Manhattan if at all possible. Oh yeah, this is Josh Adams, son of Neal. We’ll get to him later.
Artist: Judas Priest Venue: Prudential Center (Newark, NJ) Opener: Saxon and Black Star Riders Date: 3/20/2018 Label: Epic Records
As a card-carrying Heavy Metal fan for pretty much four decades now, I was super excited that 2018 would not only find us receiving a brand-new Judas Priest album, but also a healthy tour that would visit a lot of states on our side of the pond. The tour was sure to be an exciting one since The Priest had lined out that both Black Star Riders and the legendary Saxon would be joining them as they celebrated “Firepower”. Sadly, the band wouldn’t be hitting any of the Big Apple arenas outside of Long Islands Nassau Coliseum but that was fine since the nearby Prudential Center in Newark, NJ would be on the docket. Here’s my summary of the rock-solid event.
Black Star Riders: The BSR were up first and if you don’t know too much about the band, you should know that this began as an offshoot to a rebuilt Thin Lizzy. After a brief reunion tour by that famous moniker, the new material was released under a new branding out of respect of their storied past and would find Damon Johnson, Robbie Crane and Chad Szeliga joining up with Scott Gorham and Ricky Warwick. The band is a solid one and has been signed to Nuclear Blast Records for a few years now. Their set is a blending of new sure to be classics along with numbers that are long in our musical hearts from the Thin Lizzy catalog. Tonight, they would not deliver too many of the legendary bands numbers outside of “Jailbreak” and instead would focus on their new albums material. Speaking frankly, I would have preferred that they mixed it up a little better since there was a lot of people coming in tonight that would be getting into place by the time Saxon would hit and I think more would have tried to be earlier if they knew more of the songs. That being said, the early and short set that they delivered was a solid one. I still need to get the new album myself and once I do you can count on a comprehensive overview here on the website. Now it was time for Saxon so all the excite right? You betcha.
It was an exciting time to be a Heavy Metal fan and a supporter of the absolutely legendary Judas Priest for you see not only has the band released an incendiary album with “Firepower”; but they’ve also landed on the Billboard Top 200 Charts which is pretty damned cool in this day and age. “Firepower” is the bands 18th album, and trust me it’s a molten one and worthy of addition to your music library. In honor of the release, the folks at Sony Square NYC have set up a small gallery of archival photos and some stage costumes along with other trinkets that you don’t generally get to see up close and personal. I did a walk-through video and photographic narrative of the gallery about a week ago and if you didn’t see that post just click HERE to be brought to that story, and then you can return to the topic at hand.
With the band on tour for the new album, it was decided that Judas Priest members would come to Sony Square NYC for an album signing. You had to purchase the album on CD, LP or cassette in order to get one of the wristbands but once you did you were golden to come in and say hello to the guys and get your shiny new album signed. I wasn’t going to miss being one of the media flies on the wall for such an appearance so over to the SSNYC space I went and after securing the credentials was told that around 5:45PM the band would be making a grand entrance. Who would show up for this I had to wonder but before I could think anything more about it I realized that I was right near the albums producer Andy Sneap. By now most of the Priest fans of the world know that Andy has stepped into Glenn Tipton’s shoes for touring purposes after the musician had to stop touring for health reasons. Sneap is also a member of the band Hell and has about 100 albums to his credit in terms of producing. Not too shabby right.
Some scurrying of security staff started to commence and then the sirens were heard and up rolled one of the powerful firetrucks of our city’s incredible New York Fire Department. When they went right to the corner I thought that they were responding to a call, but when the mighty machine started to back up I knew that they were only answering the call of Heavy Metal this afternoon as the member of Judas Priest began to exit the vehicle. Drummer Scott Travis came out first and he was followed by guitarist Richie Faulkner. A moment or three passed by and a small group started walking toward us. It was bassist Ian Hill, The Metal God himself Rob Halford and wait, could I be seeing things? Was that Glenn Tipton walking with Rob?!? Yes my friends Glenn Tipton was here as well and that was an awesome sight to behold. The cheers of those in attendance who were close enough to see were resounding.
Once inside, the media folks were able to gather in a small corral while the band members got ready for the signing. Over the speakers they were playing parts of “Redeemer Of Souls”, the live album “Battle Cry” and of course the brand new “Firepower” and eventually the guys all came out. I snapped what I could but they didn’t have a lot of proper light on them which was strange since usually these are very well lit events and I did what I could. A healthy group of contest winners went up to the band first and while it seemed as though they were signing other things that people brought along with them, there were NO personal photos allowed with the band. It’s not a popular decision in the fans eyes but in the interest of time one has to deal with it so the whole crowd can be processed and get their album signed. Between groups I even had the chance to pass through and say hello and thank them for all the music they have given us. It was great to be a part of this and to see Glenn at the appearance. With the band performing tomorrow at the Prudential Center one has to wonder if that show will be one of the appearances that he has eluded to in statements on the official Priest channels. One can only hope. I will be at the show tomorrow as well and have learned that there are still tickets available so if you consider yourself a Heavy Metal fan at all you want to be rallying for the Priest when they come a calling. Until next time.