The Metal Gods are back!!! Metal Insider was thrilled to be at the first stop of the ’50 Metal Years’ tour by living legends Judas Priest this past Wednesday, September 8, 2021. The show kicked off in Reading, PA, a region still reeling from the massive floods and storm devastation that landed in the weeks before. As such, the crowd was clearly elated and pumped for this massive show that featured so much greatness from a band that never slows down.
The stage itself was quite elaborate in usual Priest style with a bit of a dystopian, contamination theme; far-too-appropriate for today’s COVID reality. Ironically, all fans had to show a vax card or a negative test in order to attend to minimize… well, further contamination. Nobody really seemed to be mind. The crowd was polite, cooperative and orderly – the opposite of what you see on social media.
So how did they sound? Quite simply – amazing. Halford was in top form and clearly amped to be back on stage. I watched in awe as he just belted out note after note, song after song. It was as if Halford wanted to show the fans that at 70 years old he can still perform and sing better than many in their 20’s and 30’s. Unafraid to hit the highs on songs like “The Sentinel,” “Exciter” and “Painkiller,” Rob just totally crushed it. “Hell Patrol” was another breathtaking highlight.
Guitarist Richie Faulkner continues to demonstrate why he’s become such an integral member of this band. He’s an absolute showman who loves the crowd, loves the stage, and loves being a rock star. Many folks were wearing Faulkner t-shirts in the crowd and lots of love was directed Richie’s way.
On the other side of the stage Andy Sneap clearly has settled in as the touring guitarist and more than capably delivers from the metal from Tipton’s side of the stage. There was some great dual guitar moments here and there that the crowd clearly appreciated.
With lots of new songs that haven’t played on tour in years, Priest brought fans a truly novel experience that even the most die-hard follower could appreciate. I mean, they played “Invader,” “Rocka Rolla” and “One Shot of Glory!” Don’t tell me you’ve heard those live in recent years!
One Shot at Glory
You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’
A Touch of Evil
Victim of Changes
Blood Red Skies
Hell Bent for Leather
Breaking the Law
Living After Midnight
Judas Priest is celebrating 50 Metal Years in the US now through November. Many tickets are very reasonably priced. And even if you’ve seen JP many times, this is a definitely a show you don’t want to miss!