Heavy metal legends Judas Priest are celebrating the 30th Anniversary of their classic hit album “British Steel” and performing the album in its entirety on their current summer tour. The ‘British Steel Tour’ featuring Judas Priest plus 80’s pop metal band Whitesnake and opening act Pop Evil rolled into the Comcast Center in Mansfield, MA on July 7th. This tour also hit the Constellation Brands Performing Arts Center in Canandaigua, NY the next day(July 8) and played to a packed house. The photos in this review were taken at that show.
As the backdrop curtain covered with an image of an old Donning steel factory fell to the stage, diehard Judas Priest fans rose to their feet, roaring in approval. Judas Priest, the band many credit as being the first true heavy metal band, hit the stage at 9:30 pm. They performed an intense 90 – minute set that did not disappoint. The band was tight and at the top of their game. The band quickly proved that even at their age they are still a force to be reckoned with. The band also had cool special effects that consisted of green lasers and tons of lights.
Vocalist Rob Halford was in great shape dressed in black leather and sunglasses, as he spun circles around the stage, unleashing his powerful vocals to such hits as “Breaking The Law”, and “Living After Midnight.” But it was the deep tracks from ‘British Steel’ such as “Steeler” and “Grinder” which whipped the crowd into a frenzy. Unlike many of the classic metal vocalist, Halford has not lost his ability to sing the high notes. He sounded simply amazing on both nights. He was also very active onstage and gave a stellar performance, dismissing the silly internet rumors accusing him of acting disinterested.
Guitarist Glen Tipton and K.K. Downing shredded out the classic hits with a vengeance. These guys are true guitar gods. I l saw Judas Priest last summer with Heaven and Hell at the Mohegan and tonight’s performance seemed more exhilarating. Maybe it was the aura of being at an outdoors arena Priest show, but you could tell the band was really into performing “British Steel” live.
Highlights of the set were “The Ripper”, and “Victim Of Changes.” The band also performed one song from their 2008 Grammy nominated release Nostradoomus- “Prophecy.” Judas Priest ended the night with “You Got Another Thing Coming.” The band received a standing ovation at the end of the show and band members came down to the front of the audience to slap hi-fives and throw out guitar picks. Overall, it was an amazing performance and proved why Judas Priest is one of the best metal bands on the face of the earth. Let’s hope one day they do a tour where they play “Screaming for Vengeance” in it’s entirety as well.
Judas Priest set List
Breaking The Law
You Don’t Have To Be Old To Be Wise
Living After Midnight
Rock Hard Ride Free
Victim Of Changes
Diamonds And Rust
You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’
Whitesnake featuring rock legend and former Deep Purple vocalist David Coverdale, hit the stage at 8 pm. performing a 60 – minute set of all of their classic hits. Although the cast of characters have changed since the heyday of the band, Whitesnake, in addition to Coverdale, currently consists of Reb Beach guitar, Doug Aldrich -guitar, Uriah Duffy-bass, Timothy Drury -keyboards and Chris Frazier -drums.
Opening with “Bad Boys”, Whitesnake took the metal crowd down memory lane performing all of their classic MTV hits. The bluesy vocals of David Coverdale sounded a bit strained, as the band launched into “Fool For Your Lovin”, and “Slow And Easy”.
Singer David Coverdale remarked,” Here we are in Massachusetts on this lovely night. Thank God the rain stopped.” Actually the only disappointment tonight was the weather factor that kept many fans away as flood warnings were posted earlier due to severe thunderstorms that embraced the area. But the diehard fans braved the tumultuous storms that have been persistent all Summer for one of the top music bills of the year..
Do you remember when guitar solos ruled the 80’s? Well, tonight in Mansfield, guitarists Reb Beach and Doug Aldrich wowed the crowd with their dueling guitar mastery before the song “Crying In The Rain”. Also the band has New England roots, as bassist Uriah Duffy is a native of Providence. Duffy is an incredible talent. This guy can play just about anything on the bass. If you don’t believe me, check out www.uriahduffy.com He’s a bass legend in the making.
The highlights of the Whitesnake set included the sing along to “Here I Go Again” and “In The Still Of The Night.”
Fool For Your Lovin’
Love Ain’t No Stranger
Slow And Easy
Lay Down Your Love
Guitar solos from Reb Beach and Doug Aldrich
Crying In The Rain
Is This Love
Give Me All Your Love
Here I Go Again
Still Of The Night