With KK Downing retiring from Judas Priest a couple of years ago they brought in Ritchie Faulkner. Faulkner is a young, British, player who was unbelievable. I was more impressed by his constant engagement with the crowd from pointing to many in the audience, to encouraging them to fist pump to Judas Priest classics, to his incredible playing ability.
This was the second show in two nights for Judas Priest and was only 80% full but as always metal fans are awesome and very down to earth. That was proven throughout the evening when many fans on the floor picked up a fan in a wheelchair and lofted him above their heads so that he could have a great view of the show. You don't get better, more courteous, fans than at rock/metal shows. They are all first class.
For this show, Judas Priest couldn't have crafted a better setlist they played songs like "Screaming for Vengeance" that have not been played in over thirty year all the way to many track off their awesome new album "Redeemer of Souls".
Intro - War Pigs (Black Sabbath song)
- Battle Cry
- Metal Gods
- Desert Plains
- Victim of Changes
- Halls of Valhalla
- The Rage
- Turbo Lover
- Redeemer of Souls
- Beyond the Realms of Death
- Screaming for Vengeance
- Breaking the Law
- Hell Bent for Leather
- The Hellion
- Electric Eye
- You've Got Another Thing Comin'
- Living After Midnight
Outro: Beginning of the End
rating for show....
Outstanding! Big props to Ritchie Faulkner (guitar) who has replaced the retired KK Downing. Faulkner was super enthusiastic and really got the crowd going with tons of interaction. Also, a big compliment to Scott Travis (drums) who has played with Judas Priest for around 25 years he's the unsung hero. Him and Ian Hill (Bass) are often overlooked for how great they are. They were both rock solid and it was also great to see Travis get the crowd into it by singing background vocals, asking the crowd what they wanted to hear, and with his FANTASTIC playing ability. He makes playing the songs look so effortless. What a great surprise to have "Screaming for Vengeance" played! The song has not been played live by Judas Priest since the early 80's.
A metal crowd is one of the most down to earth crowds you will ever meet no egos or attitude - except for the music. At one point of the show the crowd lifted a fan in a wheelchair above the crowd so that he could enjoy the show - that's why metal fans are the greatest fans. The crowd, very enthusiastically, sang along with all the big hits and cheered all night for Judas Priest. Considering that this was the second show in a row at the Hard Rock it was a pretty good turnout as the theatre was about 80% full.
If you ever get a chance to see Judas Priest live - DO IT. Was totally an awesome experience.
Audience Interaction & Engagement: A+
Quality and Diversity of Music: A+
Stage Presence of Band A+
Energy from the Crowd: A+
Notable Exceptions: Delivering the Goods, The Ripper, Exciter
Overall Rating for Show: A+