Judas Priest @ Barclays Center (10/9/2014)

Logo - Judas Priest

Artist: Judas Priest
Venue: The Barclays Center (Brooklyn, NY)
Opener: Steel Panther
Date: 10/9/2014
Label: Legacy Recordings

As excited as I was to be able to see Judas Priest this evening for what amounted to the very first time in Brooklyn, I was exhausted. You see today was the beginning of the 2014 NY Comic Con at the Javits Center and I’ve been attending that for the past few years bringing all its wild colors and diverse activity to the masses on the once side presence to my website “PiercingMetal Musings”. This year the event falls right into my main content based on all the changes I have put into place but that is a tale for another already posted narrative. After inhaling what I felt was the biggest soft pretzel I had ever seen I headed over to the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn and believe it or not this was going to be my first ever time at the arena. The Priest was on their “Redeemer Of Souls” tour and had only one support band with them on the run by way of the raucous rockers Steel Panther. Here is how the night went down for those who might have missed out.

CD - Judas Priest - Redeemer Of Souls

Steel Panther: So I’ve enjoyed the presentation that Steel Panther has been putting out there for I think about five or six years now and I always find their shows to be nothing less than a gut busting experience. They’ve headlined shows out here at either the Gramercy Theatre or Irving Plaza and the audience around them is generally another interesting part of the overall spectacle. That being said I was not too certain that the diehard Judas Priest fans would “get” that this is part parody and part high energy Metal band and I felt this way from the moment that they were announced as the direct support for the new Priest tour. Some personalities lambasted this in the public press online or via the radio and magazine outlets and since I enjoyed them already I felt let’s just see how it goes even though I would have preferred a truer to the Metal band like Kamelot or even Sonata Arctica if I could point out some worthy favorites. That being said the band was exactly what I expected them to be and that was not only musically proficient, but acting like something out of a sexually charged fraternity house with their antics. Now I am used to this having seen them a number of times but I think for the most part the Priest purists were in shock by some of the banter going on and being directed at them and their wives, girlfriends and even daughters. One comment by singer Starr found me noticing some people closer to the front with their jaws dropped based on what they had just heard. My thoughts were that many were not aware of the level of comedic shtick that this band brings to the table. Set wise they would deliver their fan favorites like “Asian Hooker” and “Community Property” along with a couple of numbers from their latest album “All You Can Eat”.

The jokes would be familiar to me along with their audience barbs and public proclamations about their sexual prowess and I had to admit it was funny to watch those fans who felt some of this might be serious. Crowd wise they did not perform to the full on planned attending because some of those fans just had no interest in the set and drank beers in the main lobbies as they waited somewhat impatiently for Judas Priest to arrive. I chuckled when I heard cries of “Slayer” in the thoroughfare (wrong show guys wake up) and was happy to hear some people exclaim how the Panther set was something that they loved. Like I said this is a fun band but is maybe better served up under different circumstances. I would love to know what they as a band thought about this tour after it all wraps up. Hopefully there will be some articles that speak to that angle. Now it was time for the mighty Judas Priest to take over Brooklyn.

Judas Priest: A huge banner bearing the band’s name was now draped across the stage and made for some wonderful far away Facebook and Instagram posts for those with a clear line of sight and interest in doing so. This would be my first time in this arena which I already noted as I opened this narrative and I was liking the layout overall for the show. It would also be the first time seeing Priest in action again after a few years. I missed out on the tour that was originally announced as being their last but thankfully that was not the case and instead we will find the band on minimized touring plans as opposed to none. That tour was documented in full on the “Epitaph” Blu-ray and DVD film which I reviewed right here on the site for those interested in the release who also might have missed the show. The band would begin performing behind the curtain and when it dropped there they were in all their glorious Metal majesty – Halford, Tipton, Travis, Hill and no longer new blood Faulkner. I had to admit I was eager to see how well Richie would do in the band with my own eyes even though I greatly enjoyed the “Epitaph” concert film. The would open with “Dragonaut” from the new album and it thundered through the crowd. Since the band was now over a week into the tour they were totally in sync with their presentation and as they launched into “Metal Gods” they had the whole arena singing along with them. Halford sounded excellent and while many of the stratospheric notes of the past don’t get hit as often he still has the pipes that make you clutch your Metal heart and say “oh hell yeah”.

With “Devil’s Child” came up it was incredible and apparently that song had not been done since 2009 when I poked around and what needs to be said about “Victim Of Changes” that hasn’t already been said at least a thousand times already. Another new track came via “Halls Of Valhalla” and this is one of my own favorites from the release since it has such a driving groove to it. The band would dip way back into their past with “Love Bites” from the incredible “Defenders Of The Faith” and this tune is listed across the webs as not having been played since 1986. Thinking about other songs not performed much since many years ago came the surprise inclusion of “Turbo Lover” from the album of the same name. This is a record that so many of my Metal head friends lambast from beginning to end but tonight at Barclays Center the whole crowd was singing line after line as if it was their favorite track in the Priest repertoire. Pretty funny to say the least and since I have no hate for the tune I was singing along as well.

The title track of the new album came next and I will say that I like it better live than on album for some reason. Have you ever found that happening where a tune is hitting you with “meh” on the album and then blows you away live? That was my headspace with this one. Another return to 1984 came with “Jawbreaker” which also hails from “DOTF”, an album that celebrated its own 30th Anniversary this year. “Breaking The Law” and “Hell Bent For Leather” were expected but still awesome and it was great to see Rob cruising out on the Harley as always. Through it all the band was in excellent form and while I originally balked about the retiring Downing, had to admit that Faulkner was doing a bang up job during these tunes and was a worthy addition to the lineup. His guitar picks even had Boba Fett on them since a dude near me had caught one and I asked to see it. That visual woke up my collecting jones but I would not be so fortunate tonight and come home with anything. Rob would have the audience sing along during his pre “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’” and I felt that this time it went on a little long. I would have preferred they threw us another tune in there instead. I don’t mind a minute or so of this but that is it. I guess I am getting more finicky about my shows at this point. “Living After Midnight” from the seminal “British Steel” would lead us into the closing “Defenders Of The Faith’, another tune not performed live since 1984. I documented a Milestone narrative about that album which you can investigate on THIS LINK when time allows. We didn’t see any sort of special edition release come out which surprised me but maybe that will be rectified next year. One can hope that it does and that they offer up some footage like we saw on the “Screaming For Vengeance” anniversary issue.

Closing up I had to say that this was a completely satisfying concert for me. Yes I am someone who lists Priest up in his own personal top three of all bands of all time but outside of that they showed that they still have the gusto to drop kick anyone who says that they should call it a day. Halford is The Metal God and its always amazing to watch him in action on the microphone. The audience rallies behind his every word and rightly so. Steel Panther was also on their mark even if their message was lost on many of the fans tonight. For those who kind of liked their set, I suggest you check out one of their own headlining gigs to really see what the whole thing is about. More importantly, be sure you catch The Priest on one of the still coming dates because if they are slowing down the touring plans you never know when they will be back here again. When I missed that “Epitaph” run I was almost sick to the stomach thinking I would never see Judas Priest live again. This tour came as a long overdue “Whew” to my Metal Mind. Tomorrow it would be back to NY Comic Con for me and for the people interested in those narratives and photos just click THIS LINK

Steel Panther Set List:
1. Pussywhipped
2. Party Like Tomorrow Is the End of the World
3. Asian Hooker
4. Just Like Tiger Woods
5. Gold Digging Whore
6. Community Property
7. Eyes of a Panther
8. 17 Girls in a Row
9. Gloryhole
10. Death to All but Metal
11. Party All Day (Fuck All Night)

Judas Priest Set List:
1. Battle Cry [intro]
2. Dragonaut
3. Metal Gods
4. Devil’s Child
5. Victim of Changes
6. Halls of Valhalla
7. Love Bites
8. March of the Damned
9. Turbo Lover
10. Redeemer of Souls
11. Beyond the Realms of Death
12. Jawbreaker
13. Breaking the Law
14. Hell Bent for Leather
15. You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’
16. Living After Midnight
17. Defenders of the Faith

Official Website: http://www.judaspriest.com
Official Website: http://www.steelpantherrocks.com

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