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Judas Priest @ Prudential Center (3/20/2018)

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.

BSR Set: All Hell Breaks Loose, Jailbreak, Heavy Fire, Soldiertown, The Killer Instinct, When The Night Comes In, Kingdom Of The Lost, Bound For Glory.
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Judas Priest Signing @ Sony Square NYC (3/19/2018)

sony square nyc logo

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.

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Judas Priest’s Glenn Tipton Diagnosed With Parkinsons

Speaking frankly, this isn’t the kind of news that I like to broadcast but with everyone alerting their own readers I must fall in with the pack and share the news about Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The full Official Statement hails from the bands Facebook Page. Read on.

Official Statement:
Ten years ago Glenn was diagnosed to have the onset of the early stages of Parkinson’s – from then until recently Glenn has lived his life as the great heavy metal guitar player he has always been, maintaining by his own definition a standard of quality and performance that is incredibly important. Right now Glenn is able to play and perform some of the Priest songs that are less challenging but due to the nature of Parkinson’s progression he wants to let you all know that he won’t be be touring as such – True to the metal spirit of ‘the show must go on’ Glenn has requested Andy Sneap to fly the flag on stage for him.

judas priest, judas priest concert photos, glenn tipton, glenn tipton photos, photo by ken pierce

“I want everyone to know that it’s vital that the Judas Priest tour go ahead and that I am not leaving the band – it’s simply that my role has changed. I don’t rule out the chance to go on stage as and when I feel able to blast out some Priest! So at some point in the not too distant future I’m really looking forward to seeing all of our wonderful metal maniacs once again”

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