A week or two ago Jerry asked me if I wanted to go to see Judas Priest with him. I said "they are playing the same night as the first Cowboys pre-season game!" Looking back on that statement I freaking laugh, because what I saw tonight was the pioneers of metal, and what I missed in the Cowboys game was basically nothing. Thank you Jerry for "making" me go.
This tour for Judas Priest represents the 30th anniversary of their breakthrough album British Steel, which includes their hit song "Breaking The Law." Even Beavis and Butthead know that song. The band played the entire album, front to back, to start the show, and oh my goodness what a way to begin.
I am astounded at how current the songs on this album sound, and the guitar players (Kenneth "K.K." Downing - age 57, and Glenn Tipton - age 61) must have downtuned since this 1980 release, because it sounded heavy as f*ck. There is also no doubt that they have influenced every single thrash metal band that has come out after them, because the hard driving, chugging riffs sound very familiar to me. Certain songs, like "Living After Midnight," have been completely stolen (listen to Motley Crue's "She's Got Looks That Kill" and tell me they didn't rip Priest off), while the general sound of the band has become the format for everyone from Metallica to Quiet Riot.
I would also say that the band is not just a one hit wonder, because their new(er) songs sound relevant and hard. Even the lead singer, Rob Halford, now 57, delivered an extremely entertaining show, while the dualing guitar players are clearly the backbone to this dynasty. I barely even drank during the show because I was too focused on head-nodding, and that is saying something.
One minute after entering Nokia Theater, and at our first beer stand, a woman with zebra pants is standing in front of us. Nothing says 80s metal more than that.
Nokia Theater in Grand Prairie, Texas, holds a maximum of 6,000 people. I would guess that the crowd was around 4,000. Jerry and I paid $15.00 each, plus Ticketmaster (rape) surcharges, but I managed to find a way to get us to the $60 seats without a problem.
The entire show was full throttle, including the sound (my ears were cloudy at the end), and the stage theatrics. Clearly bands like Slipknot and Marilyn Manson have borrowed a thing or two from these guys.
As always, the classy ladies of metal decided to wear their skimpiest. This picture was taken as I was walking back from the restroom, and all I asked was "ladies, could you pose for a picture?" It was like no one had already asked them this question.
Near the end, after they already told us "goodnight," yet failed to turn the lights on, Rob Halford rolled out on a cruiser to play the last few songs.
All in all, I would give this show at least an 8 out of 10. It really was awesome.