Article and Photos by Andrés Alvarado
English heavy metal outfit Judas Priest was birthed way back in 1969. That’s almost 50 years of sound-waves, fans, stages, and, most impressively, relevance to the scene. Here we are in 2018 and Judas Priest is still going strong at a high capacity amphitheater. Father time has been kind to the Rob Halford-led quintet, and, in turn, Judas Priest was masterful for their thousands of faithful aficionados on hand.
So, the stage is set. A roaring mass greets these British icons with open arms and beers in hand. Rightfully so, heavy metal is built on loud sounds, loud crowds, and crushing beers. Bright lights of heavy purple, red, and orange hues light up the main deck. These legends delve into opener “Firepower;” off their latest LP of the same title. Pandemonium ensues. Firepower indeed.
Leading the onslaught of metal madness are Halford’s distinctive and iconic growls. Decked in a fringe-heavy fashionista metallic jacket, aviator specs, and a shiny bald head, Halford may not be a rock-star idiosyncrasy machine, but his pipes slaughter eardrums in bulk. Joining Halford in the forefront are guitarists Andy Sneap and Richie Faulkner. What Halford lacks in poses, Sneap and Faulkner more than make up with the rock virtuoso mannerisms. Drummer Scott Travis is dynamite in the form of man. A true professional and the backbone to Judas Priest’s thumping melodic stylings. Rounding out the five-piece is long time vet bassist Ian Hill. On deck, Hill is a chilled cat that operates under a motto of letting his sound do the talking for him. Collectively, these five showmen come together to form like Voltron and create a forceful and unapologetic beautiful mess of metal.
All said and done, Judas Priest continues to press on and produce good times. From Halford’s quintessential vocals, to a “No Surrender” tribute to ill member Glenn Tipton, and every thing in between, Judas Priest are must watch live showmanship. It is now 2018 and somehow thousands still chorus Judas Priest smash-hits like “Breaking The Law” with much combined glee and rage. That is some special type of accomplishment.