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TOPIC: Epitaph Tour Concert Reviews
[lilmac] Tuesday, November 15, 2011 2:13:03 PM 
-The Judas Priest concert on Thursday in St. Louis (11/10/2011) was absolutely amazing!
-I went to this show with some reservations due to KK Downing abruptly retiring. I never thought that this younger gent (Ritchie) could have bested or replaced what KK had done on rhythm guitar since 1974.
-My was I surprised! Ritchie was unique on rhythm guitar because he did his thing and didn’t spend the evening copying KK’s signature solos and rhythms.
-Thin Lizzy opened and was quite good, came on at 5:45pm as billed. Shame Phil Lennot wasn’t there… Enjoyed Jailbreak, Boys are Back in Town and Cowboy Song! Timeless music…
-Zakk Wylde’s Black Label Society played in the middle before PRIEST. BLS was mediocre at best. Great riffs at points, but we sat on stage left in the front lower part of the lower level which added to not being able to hear the full PA mix the best at points. Zakk is truly a egomaniac and spent the bulk of the night showing off and doing countless lead solos. We could only hear his lyrics/singing clearly on one song- Bow Down… That song rocked, but overall they badly need a SINGER!!!
-Judas Priest came out and played a lengthy 2 hour and 20 minute show… that I’ll never forget!!!
-Between some of the later songs in their set, the band members other than Halford would go get a quick drink while Halford explained to the crowd about the background of the upcoming song. Most of the latter songs had a backdrop/banner with the LP cover of the track to be played
-I cannot believe how intense Halford’s voice still is!!!
-The “new” drummer(1990 on) has exceeded all expectations
-Ritchie on rhythm guitar (the newest addition, for this tour) truly blew me away. His solos did not mimic KK Downing’s, but were his own take on these timeless riffs
-Glen Tipton again proved why he is one of the best guitarists ever in rock history
-Ian Hill on bass did things I’d never seen him do. He really threw his bass around and emphasized notes like never before
-All in all, Judas Priest has done more than I ever could believe. I got into this group in 1976-77 courtesy of an older friend of mine in Hays, KS, the rest is history!!!
-Being around since 1974 thru the present says it all, countless great LP’s which we now now as CD’s. My, have the times changed? Or have they??? Love that JUDAS PRIEST!!! The boys from Birmingam, England…

-Priest opened their show with- Battle Hymn (pre recorded) into Rapid Fire (classic track from 1980’s “British Steel” LP / Great opener! Show is off to a great start… Halford bellows “Pounding the World, like a BATTERING RAM!)
-Next was:
-Metal Gods (Another rocker from 1980’s “British Steel” LP / Halford’s voice was strong, crowd went nuts!)
-Heading Out to the Highway (from “Point of Entry” LP- 1981 / always a rousing number, very well done)
-Judas Rising (from 2005’s “Angel of Retribution” CD / intensely done, Ritchie is proving to be a player)
-Starbreaker (From “Sin After Sin” LP- 1977 / WOW! The band had stars flying across the large video screen as they performed, made me wanna take off to outer space! LOVED this track, never thought I’d see it live…)
-Victim of Changes (Taken from the 1976 classic LP- “Sad Wings of Destiny”. This is always an amazing track live. Ritchie did his rhythm parts very well. Tipton blew the crowd away with his amazing lead guitar solos and riffs)
-Never Satisfied (a gem from the 1st LP- “Rocka Rolla” from 1974. Great grind, riffs to never forget! Very well done…LOVED it!!!)
-Diamonds & Rust (Cover of the classic Joan Baez folk song from their 1st LP- “Rocka Rolla”- 1974 . Ritchie played acoustic at first, somewhat rough of a start on his part. Glen Tipton played electric all the way thru. As the band progressed away from acoustic back to the heavy part, Ritchie and crew absolutely floored the crowd with their amazing POWER and intensity!!! Superb version of this all time classic…)
-Dawn Of Creation (intro into) Prophecy (a couple of interesting tracks from the latest CD- “Nostradamus”- 2008, the 2 disc concept album. Halford was dressed up in a bizarre bright hooded outfit as he hollered out- “I am Nostradamus…”)
-Night Crawler (from 1990’s speed metal album “Painkiller”. Was somewhat surprised they played this again like they had in 2008, but as Halford says- “Beware the Beast in Black!”)
-Turbo Lover (Great, driving song from the unique “Turbo” album from 1986. Strong rendition, made me wanna strap on the seat belt and burn rubber!)
-Beyond the Realms of Death (Taken from the 1978 LP- “Stained Class”. Another of the classic “melodramatic” pieces by this group. Love the mellow to intense progression of this piece! Very powerful version, Halford blew the crowd away as always…).
-The Sentinel (taken from 1984’s “Defenders of the Faith” LP. This track is taken from the tour that was my 1st JP show at Sandstone Amp. in KC on 7/15/84 which was my 16th birthday. What a show THAT was! Still loving this group 30 years later!!! This song has such a memorable sound/riff, very good version, Tipton ROCKED!!!)
-Blood Red Skies (taken from “Ram It Down”- 1988 / Great mellow intro with a bright red laser beam that hovered over the crowd to emphasize the title. Then the “cybernetic heartbeat”….)
-The Green Manalishi (With the Two Pronged Crown) (Taken from the 1979 LP- “Hell Bent for Leather” / Great ROCKIN’ version. Another example of why Judas Priest live are one of the finest hard rocks groups ever!).
-Breaking the Law (from 1980’s “British Steel” LP / “Breakin’ the WHAT?” I would have preferred The SINNER in it’s place but this is one of their best known tracks. Well done, good crowd interaction)
-Drum solo (Scott Travis) into- Painkiller (from 1990’s “Painkiller” CD / Good drum solo by Travis, the drummer that took over in 199o. Solo sequed into Painkiller… Rob Halford simply punished the crowd at points with his amazing high octave screams. His final note about blew my eardrums out. Man, this guy is as good now, in most cases, as he was 20 years ago. GREAT version, this band is absolutely on fire!!!)
Encore 1:
-The Hellion(recorded intro) into - Electric Eye (taken from the 1982 LP- “Screaming for Vengeance” / This album was given to me along with the new Iron Maiden LP (# of the Beast) back in 1982, what a gift! Halford’s timeless lyrics say it all- “Up Here in Space, I’m Looking Down On YOU….!” Awesome version, usually done as a set opener, great rendition, timeless band!!!
-Hell Bent for Leather (Title track from the 1979 LP / Halford rides out in full leather on his Harley as he revs up the engine to the crowds delight. Drummer, guitars all join in the madness of the LOUD intro as the Harley roars, then the band screams out another Hell Bent ANTHEM…).
-You've Got Another Thing Comin' (from “Screaming for Vengeance” / Hard to believe that the eve is almost over. My neck is sore by this stage from headbanging like a teen! Girl behind me grabbed my bottom, thought I was in for an interesting eve being that her hubby was by her… My neighbors behind me were all high fivin’ throughout the eve, truly a remarkable performance)
-Encore 2: -Living After Midnight (from 1980’s “British Steel” LP / Scott Travis, the drummer comes back out first and prods the crowd to make some NOISE!!! For a final encore I will have to say that this band is truly going out in style. Truly a remarkable performance, not bad for a bunch of guys in there late 50’s/early 60’s!!!)
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