Judas Priest-Rising In The East (DVD Review)

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Reviewed: December, 2022
Released: 2005, Rhino
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: JP

Judas Priest has been in the news quite a bit lately. Halford has just published his second book (BIBLICAL), as of time of writing the band is enjoying a 50th Anniversary tour and of course the band was recently inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. I feel this is a good a time as any to look back at a pair of Judas Priest DVD’s, in our eternal quest to review every Metal DVD ever released. This month I am reviewing a brace a live DVD’s, LIVE VENGEANCE ‘82 (2006) and RISING IN THE EAST (2005). Feel free to enjoy both reviews in this feature.

RISING IN THE EAST is the bands fourth live DVD. Unfortunately, the band did not release this as a live album for some reason, a situation that remains unrectified over two decades later.

Shortly after Rob Halford returned and the band recorded and released ANGEL OF RETRIBUTION, they hit the road. It was predictable and inevitable that the band would capture the return of Halford and Japan was the chosen location.

THE DVD is bare bones, no bonus features and not even a booklet! The concert was filmed in May of 2005 at the legendary Budokan in Japan.  The show is s as bit longer than the average Priest show running a generous 23 songs across a two-hour show to a traditionally quiet and seated audience.

The production value is most excellent, clear audio and visuals. It is a multi-camera shoot and they add a few tricks in post-production such as the occasional split screen. The stage is ample with tons of lights, smoke, risers and different backdrops.

I’ll admit it, a Priest live show can be a bit dull. They don’t have the big stage presentation of Iron Maiden or Kiss. Halford freely admits in his book that he deliberately avoids excessive stage banter and Ian Hill hadn’t moved from his spot in decades. The band, now 30 + years into their career are starting to ease off the gas in terms of running around the large stage. I believe it was around this time that Halford back was starting to bother him and at times he is just slowly walking around the stage in what looks like a purple velvet bathrobe!

A priest show is well-rehearsed and the band fully admits that. There is not much spontaneity, improvisation, medleys, cover tunes, guests, solos etc. I don’t want to say ‘formulaic’ but the band does what they do best, just put their heads down and crank out the Metal!

In other more positive terms, the band seem pretty hungry, maybe they felt they had something to prove after the only semi-successful stint with Owens on vocals. Drummer Travis adds quite a bit of percussive punch to the older songs as well. The lesser played songs such as ‘I’m A Rocker’ and five cuts off the new album were a highlight for me, as was the interesting acoustic treatment of ‘Diamonds & Rust’. The big audience participation segment right at the end of the show was a good way to wrap it up before ending with the usual closer, ‘You’ve Got Another Thing Coming’.

RISING IN THE EAST almost feels like the first leg in a very long and protracted 20-year victory lap. Halford is back, the bands legacy is assured and they hit all the touchstones. Most Priest fans likely own this as a placeholder until it comes out on CD!

Line Up:

Rob Halford-Vocals
K.K. Downing-Guitar
Glenn Tipton-Guitar
Ian Hill-Bass
Scott Travis-Drums

Track Listing:

1. The Hellion
2. Electric Eye
3. Metal Gods
4. Riding on the Wind
5. The Ripper
6. A Touch of Evil
7. Judas Rising
8. Revolution
9. Hot Rockin’
10. Breaking the Law
11. I’m a Rocker
12. Diamonds and Rust
13. Worth Fighting For
14. Deal with the Devil
15. Beyond the Realms of Death
16. Turbo Lover
17. Hellrider s
18. Victim of Changes
19. Exciter
20. Painkiller
21. Hell Bent for Leather
22. Living After Midnight
23. You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’