Judas Priest/Queensryche 07.10.05 Cricket Pavilion in Phoenix, Arizona
The stage and the lights and the amps are ablaze, watch them burn
From all this insanity the Metal Gods will return
Anyone who heard this line from Halfords Resurrection CD and immediately didnt
think a Priest reunion was inevitable is just plain slow. And they better not burn my
fries next time!
The bill tonight is one of the best for the summer, behind only Gigantour and Ozzfest.
This double header started with Queensryche. The band is as subject to change visually as
they are musically. At last count, guitarist Mike Stone was blonde, but now he has a
mohawk. Not to mention the tattoos. While both are no big deal nowadays, especially for
musicians, still kinda seems odd seeing it from a squeaky clean (image-wise) band like
The energy at the Cricket Pavilion was high as the excited crowd waited for the bands to
come on. There was a lot of speculation as to what Queensryche would play. Rumor had it (a
rumor generated by an interview with Geoff Tate a few days before) that in order to keep
all of the Judas Priest fans out of the beer line the Ryche boys would only play music
from the pre-Mindcrime era - so the anticipation was definitely elevated.
The first few chords of The Whisper off of Rage for Order played and sure enough, the beer
lines cleared. People left their beloved place in line and ran for their seats as if they
were being chased by bulls in Pamplona, Spain. The Whisper was followed by En Force, Neue
Regel, NM 156 and Screaming in Digital which definitely kept the beer lines empty and the
Just when we thought the premonition of nothing newer than Rage for Order music would be
played they broke out with Open and Desert Dance off of Tribe and it truly was a great
compliment to the older genre of Ryche music. The band was extremely energetic and seemed
thrilled to be on this tour with Judas Priest. They definitely were having a great time
and that energy radiated to the crowd in Phoenix, even in the 115-degree heat!
The band then launched in to some of the classics with a Queen of the Reich/Nightrider
medley followed by Walk in the Shadows and The Needle Lies, all of which sounded amazing
and brought the crowd to nothing short of a frenzy.
Geoff then introduced a new song off of the Operation Mindcrime II (working title) album
called Im American. Everyone seemed to like it, but again, it is hard to introduce a
new song at a show like this when nobody knows it and everyone wants to rock out on what
they are familiar with. It did sound good though and I for one and very much looking
forward to the new album.
As the lights dimmed and the crowd exploded, the mighty Judas Priest came roaring out with
The Hellion/Electric Eye. The symbolic Metal Gods was next, reminding the crowd that the
Priest is back.. The new material Judas is Rising, Deal with the Devil and
Hellrider fit seamlessly in to the setlist. A little surprisingly, the first single from
Angel of Retribution, Revolution, didnt do much to get the crowds attention.
It was probably 115, give or take, when Priest hit the stage, and only God knows how
Halford was able to keep that big ass black leather jacket on for 90% of the show. Being a
resident of the valley here in Arizona, Im sure he is used to the weather, but
. He prowled the stage like he owned it. And tonight, they did. After all,
Priest with Halford hasnt played the valley since 1992.
As great as they sounded and even having the joy of Halford back in the band, I
couldnt help but think it was the same show I saw 15 years ago. Aside from a few
songs off of Angel of Retribution there was almost no difference. As I looked around the
venue towards the end of the show, and people looked downright bored. I think part of what
dampened the shows momentum is the set list, at least in part. With the catalog
Priest has, they could have picked better songs than Im A Rocker and Turbo Lover.
While the acoustic Diamonds and Rust was a great addition and highlighted the bands
talent even more, I dont think many fans come to see Priest play ballads.
Regardless of the stalls in momentum here and there, Judas Priest still puts on one loud
heavy metal show.
Additional reporting by LdyWoreBlk
Photos © 2005 David Svendsen
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