The Metal Gods Return to Phoenix: Judas Priest & Heaven and Hell

August 29, 2008 at 2:35 pm | Posted in Concert, Metal, Rock | Leave a comment
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Metal Gods

Metal Gods

As the storm broke above our heads, The Priest rolled onto the stage in all of their studded-leather glory.

Just moments before, Dio and his bandmates from the Black Sabbath days; known on this tour as Heaven and Hell, had rocked the venue hard.

Dio, seemingly still as spry as ever mesmerized the crowd with his vocal stylings and his mystical, theatrical gesturing. Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinnie Appice all showed that age is not a factor when you are a metal god. They rocked as hard now as they ever have, and all of those years together have created one tight-sounding, polished-looking stage show.

But, I digress…back to The Priest.

The clouds above our heads darkened as lightning flashes filled the sky. Onstage, the backdrop of a huge Nostradamus face glowed red, whilst electron blue light beams scanned the stage. The band took their places as smoke poured forth in true metal show fashion. Halford, as usual made his entrance from a point high on stage, off to the side just to keep the crowd guessing. Tonight, he was dressed in a full length leather (possibly pleather to appease PETA) adorned with more studs than I think even he is used to wearing. From where we were standing (way, way out on the lawn)  I couldn’t tell if the studs themselves were golden, or if they just lit him in a shower of golden light causing his studs to glow like Tut’s gold.

The show ran like any great metal show should. They introduced some new stuff throughout the night, and played some more obscure stuff that only true metal fans would know. Luckily everyone in attendance, was a true metal fan and sang along. Then, just as the skies poured forth buckets upon the crowd – the real fun began. Halford played his little vocal coaching game that he seems to love so much.

He sings something easy like “whoa whoa yeah” and the crowd repeats. This continues on for quite awhile, each phrase getting longer and more complex. By the end of it, if you haven’t passed out from stretching your lungs like you haven’t done in 20 years, you should be covering at least an octave and a half, maybe two! Voila… voice lessons from the Metal Master himself, and you didn’t even realize you were learning something in the process. I’m sure that as individuals, we were all pretty off-key, but as a crowd we sounded damned good! For those of us that have attended Priest shows before, we all knew what was coming as Rob reeled around, and pulled the microphone close to his mouth…and we shouted in unison “You’ve Got Another thing Coming” as KK and Glenn started the opening riffs of the song.

Yeah, of course at some point (perhaps after the vocal lesson, perhaps before I don’t recall) he fired up the motorcycle and rode it out on stage. You really can’t tell from the photo above, but between his jacket and that bike you could have been blinded if you were to stare too long. It took quite a bit of Photoshop to get that photo toned down from the blinding light that occupied the middle!

Once the bike is on stage, and the vocal lessons are done, the Priest likes to play some hard, pounding anthems. They did. The heads banged, the band rocked, the lights flashed, the rain poured. The Metal lived on…

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