JUDAS PRIEST Live at the Calgary Saddledome
November 2, 2011
Review and pics by Monika Deviat
After over 40 years of crushing metal, Judas Priest are touring the world on what the band says is their last major world tour. The band is over half way through the North American leg of the tour and on November 2, 2011 Judas Priest played the Saddledome in Calgary, Alta.
The venue was only about half filled, but the 5,500 fans in attendance were vocal and as rowdy as they could be considering the floor section was seating. The official set list has been posted for a while and fans were excited to hear their favorite songs played live – possibly for the last time – by one of the most influential and longest running metal bands in the world.
Judas Priest brought chains, lasers, an epic light show, leather and fire, creating a full visual and audio assault. They opened with “Rapid Fire” and “Metal Gods” and then sampled from their extensive catalogue giving fans some of the song they really wanted to hear like, “Judas Rising”, “The Sentinel” and “Turbo Lover”. A curtained off area side stage allowed vocalist Rob Halford to have numerous outfit changes from studded leather to denim jackets to a shiny metallic cape. Occasionally in between songs Halford would give the crowd a history lesson about a song, an album or just the band in general.
Lead guitarist Glenn Tipton played aggressively and with precision nailing the melodic and complex solos he’s known for. Richie Faulkner has stepped in on guitar after Kenneth “K.K.” Downing retired in April of this year. Faulkner was very animated and expressive, moving and strutting all over the stage. He showed off his talent trading riffs and solos with Tipton and he had a blazing solo spot during one of the encores on “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’”. Drummer Scott Travis was twirling and tossing his drum sticks and unleashing his double bass attacks. Bassist Ian Hill didn’t move very much from his spot towards the back of the stage as he laid out his solid bass lines, but he did seem really into his playing.
Halford really showed of his vocal skills on “Painkiller” hitting some of the highest notes of the evening, and for “Breaking the Law” he had the crowd sing the entire song while encouraging them on. Halford rode out on his Harley as is customary (sporting a Canadian flag for the Calgary fans) before launching into “Hell Bent for Leather”. After over two hours, the band closed with “Living After Midnight”. It was loud, unrelenting heavy metal. It was Judas Priest and the fans loved every minute of it.