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Concert Review: Judas Priest w/ Anthrax 10/11

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What a night, it is going to take a little time to recover from the metal assault. Two bands with a combined 50+ years of making metal music. That is quite a feat. Together they put on a great show of pure metal.

I got to the venue around 6:30, a small crowd was starting to form. The doors opened at 7:00, and the crowd had grown. We all moved through the security check and into the site. First stop was to take a look at the merchandise, the usual array of t-shirts were available. Next walk into the main hall and find my seat. That’s right, my seat. For some reason, the powers that be thought that this show, featuring loud metal acts, would be best to have all the fans in seats. I think it was a ploy to make more money by having different price level seats. Anyway, I had a pretty good seat, I was in the 6th row, center section, I was just a little left of center.

8:00 rolls around, the lights go out, we knew what time it was. The opening of “Among the Living” starts and the crowd went nuts. This was my main reason for going. I am a long time Anthrax fan, but never got to see them in their 80’s prime, now with the reunion of the classic lineup, I have that opportunity. Let me start by saying that they were absolutely incredible. Every song was there, the energy and intensity was as high as ever. It didn’t take long before the rows of chairs got dismantled, the first 4 rows of chairs just disappeared. You could see chairs being handed out of the center area as a mosh pit formed. Where there is a will, there’s a way, the fans want to mosh, they are going to mosh. Security did what they could to make sure the chairs weren’t turned into weapons, but they were good, this was a crowd that seemed to know what moshing was.

Back to the stage. To see these guys back onstage playing again after 13 years is great. Getting to hear all of their classics again is a sight to be seen. Frank Bello was a madman running back and forth on the stage,getting the crowd riled up, Scott and Danny shredding together, after ten years apart, Charlie proving why he is one of the best drummers in the game, and Joey Belladonna leading the charge. They owned the crowd for their entire 60 minute set. They proved that they can still tear up the stage and play tight thrash metal. I was like a little kid in the audience, seeing these legends, singing along with all my heart. I only wish that they could have played longer.

Here is the set list, the order may be wrong, and I may have missed one:
1. Among the Living
2. Time
3. Caught in a Mosh
4. Madhouse
5. Antisocial
6. Efilnikufesin (NFL)
7. Medusa
8. Indians
9. I Am the Law

Between 9:00 and 9:30 the stage was rearranged for Judas Priest. The drum kit was uncovered, the risers revealed, the backdrop came down. While that was going on, security was working on reconstructing the front rows that had gotten dismantled during Anthrax’ set. Chants of “Priest” kicked up a few times while we all grew restless waiting for the main event to take the stage.

At 9:30 the lights went down again. A red light came on at the rear of the stage, moving, as if peering out into the packed house, looking for something. The stage lights came on and KK Downing, Glenn Tipton, Ian Hill, and Scott Travis took the stage. There was one person missing, our master of ceremonies, Rob Halford. Arising at the rear of the stage in the middle of the electric eye backdrop rose Rob Halford, complete in full leather regalia, singing Electric Eye.” The crowd went nuts, me included. The song concluded and Halford descend back from whence he came. The next song came up and Rob appeared in a cloud of smoke on the left of the stage at the top of the risers. Throughout the night Rob would occasionally appear and disappear through the hidden riser lift throughout the night.

This was my first experience seeing Judas Priest live, and not being the most familiar with their music or their live show, I didn’t know what to expect. The music was great. The interplay between Tipton and Downing was unbelievable. These guys have been at it for over 30 years, they have there stage presence honed to a fine science. It seemed to take Halford a little to get up to steam, but once he did he had the crowd in the palm of his hand. There are rumors that Rob is using a teleprompter to keep from forgetting lyrics, I am not sure how true this is, but there were numerous moments that I saw during the show that would lend credence to the possibility. In any case, he sounded great, perhaps not as strong as he once was, but still impressive by any standard.

Seeing Priest live was a great experience, to be amidst so many like minded metal souls is truly inspiring. A great performance by these legends is a sight to behold. The stage, built with Priest crosses, elevated walkways and hydraulics is one of the bigger ones that I have seen on this stage.

The set ended with the classic “Painkiller,” but the show was far from over. Rob returned to the stage atop his trademark motorcycle. They came out for two more songs, “Desert Plains” and “Living After Midnight.” They came back one more time for the second encore, ending the show with “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’.”

Set list, believed to be correct:
1. Electric Eye

2. Solar Angels
3. Riding On The Wind
4. A Touch Of Evil
5. Judas Rising
6. Revolution
7. I’m A Rocker
8. Breaking The Law
9. Diamonds And Rust
10. Worth Fighting For
11. Beyond The Realms Of Death
12. Turbo Lover
13. Hellrider
14. Victim Of Changes
15. Painkiller
Encore 1:
16. Desert Plains
17. Living After Midnight
Encore 2:
18. You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’

Bottomline. Seeing two bands reunited on one tour, who would have thought it? Seeing Anthrax like this was like being in a time warp, the 1980’s are still alive and well kept alive in the still relevant music of Anthrax. Judas Priest continuing to back up the legends of metal tag. Both of these bands are great live. Anyone with the opportunity to see them, do it!

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  • Good review. I haven’t seen Anthrax or Priest in about 15 years, with Priest’s last stop in Winnipeg being the Painkiller tour.

    Nice to see Anthrax playing a fair number of older material. I was an instant fan when the first album came out and only lost interest in them when Persistance of Time came out.

    Priest have such a huge catalogue of great material. The only track in the set list that I’m not crazy about is Revolution.

    The bands play Winnipeg next Tuesday, in the MTS Centre, a year-old arena built with concerts in mind. Priest are one of my all-time favorite bands and I can’t wait to see them. Hopefully, the forthcoming live DVD will have lots of material on it.

    Your comments about the place having seats was interesting, but I looked up the venue on the ‘net and realized that it’s a hall as opposed to a fixed-seat arena. Was the turn out around 3,000?

  • question, though it seems strongly implied > was the Anthrax singer Joey Belladonna?

  • I don’t think it sold out, but it was very close. I’m not sure what the capacity is, but I think it is around 1300.

    Usually for the metal shows it is GA, with the floor open and the bleacher seats in the back. But they pulled out these rows of interlocking folding chairs.

    You should have a great time! The show was absolutely fantastic.

  • Lono,
    “and Joey Belladonna leading the charge.” Yup! 🙂

  • Zof

    I was there – third row. Anthrax was great, but Priest ruled. Halford *may* be a little less physical than he used to be, but the voice is all there, still intact. What an incredible show.

  • Zof

    Yeah, take that “third row” with a pinch of salt. I was crammed between the remnants of the third and fourth row. I still loved it.

  • Andrew

    I was there too. Right in the middle of where the third row should have been. There was a killer party at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel lobby bar before the show. There were probably close to 100 metal heads drinking up and getting ready for one of the best shows ever!! I saw Priest many times in the 80’s as well as Anthrax. Anthrax to this day tops the list as one of the tightest bands live. My ears rang until yesterday. 80’s metal just cannot be beat!!

  • NorthTown

    going to the priest feast in long beach can’t wait going to see my bro.for the 1st time in4yrs..JUDAS IS RISING

  • NorthTown

    fyi the show in long beach is general admission I will be right in front row seen priest and anthrax they both kick azz

  • IAmTheLaw

    Almost a week later, and I STILL barely have a voice. This show was the first time I’ve seen Priest, and my 2nd with Anthrax (First with Joey). I had floor seats (24 rows back, but what the hell), and I wouldn’t trade that night for anything. Disappointing was no songs from Defenders..but everything else was brutal.

  • The Fed

    Thanx for all the great comments, i’m going to see the priest and anthrax tonite, in winnipeg. I think it will be the best show the new building has ever seen. I’ve been waiting to see this show for the entire summer and now it is just hours away, i’m PUMPED. I did see anthrax a month ago in Edmonton for Gigantour which was organised by megadeth. What a show, fear factory and megadeth were great but anthrax stole the show. In ’85 i was only 7 years of age and seeing these guys now is allowing me to time warp back to that time being 27 now where i can appreciate it much more (and mosh much better). I have been too many, many metal show including ozzfest but do think that tonite will be the best i’ve seen yet. If i die tommorow, i’ll die happy, rock on and see ya at or after the show…..wooohooo

  • Green Man

    I saw this awesome show on OCT 2nd in Moline, IL at the Mark of the QC. Anthrax was better than I can ever remember. I’m so happy that Joey and Danny are back!! Wow what a great show. My ears hurt for days after. And Priest was amazing. It was like going back in time and living my dream concert. If you haven’t already, please go buy Anthrax Alive 2 the DVD and you will see what I’m talking about. My only hope is that Anthrax will do a new album with Joey and Dan.
    Thank you Anthrax!!

  • TBJ

    You know, mainstream media, MTV and radio might wanna make people think the 80’s sucked but look at how good these package tours are doing..REAL Metal has no age, be it from the 70’s, 80’s 90s whatever..if it is good, it is good.

    I hope ALL the good metal bands from yesteryear reunite..

  • Man anthrax played the best show i have ever seen it was my first time seening them i have been a hudge fan of anthrax for the longest time seening then was the krazy shit and judas priest big fan of them to play an amazing show both bands blew me right away

  • armrds8nt

    Went to the Long beach show last nite and gotta say that anthrax kicked serious ass , the original line up is strong as ever playing all the classic thrax songs. Pits were breaking out all through the crowd.Then Priest came out and put on a Great show too ,I thought their set in Irvine a couple of months ago was better, but nonetheless they are still the Metal Gods.Getting to see my two favorite Metal bands together was awesome . I’m hoping Anthrax plays some of the smaller venues around town now that there done on the Priest tour

  • jumangie

    anthrax, 6 of april at wolverhampton,it was amazing,5 of us set out,it took over an hour to get there,but it was worth it,the best bit was when we hung around at the end to meet them, they sighned autographs and they were very nice, they even sent out some beer for us, cant wait to see them again,iv bin a huge fan since i was 16 that was 18yrs ago,so happy to finaly meet them,see you next time your in england

  • jumangie

    sorry i meant the 9 of april,still buzzin from meetin them,they were f***ing awesome

  • xxMOOxx

    yeah,.i was there on the 9th,um,with you wernt it jumangie!! awesome set,played around 15 tunes, couldnt of asked for more. simply the best, and very friendly. they didnt have to hang out with us,and sending out the beer was just awesome. just a shame the battery in my phone had died,sods law,an got no piccys,but,my ticket was signed by all.so wot more could i ask for!in one word – AWESOME!!

  • adam kelly

    priest rocks
    did ne one else see scott ian come out with a dime washburn ml model and play a bit of the pantera song, a new level? cuz i doubt they only did it when i saw them, its not like they’d would only do that on one date! awsum concert october 15 2005 john labatt centre london ontario canada! 3rd time seeing priest!not the last