Judas Priest @ The Rabobank Arena, Bakersfield CA 10/25/11

Do you guys remember that George Clooney movie about the Persian Gulf War, Three Kings? I think of that scene where Conrad tells Ice Cube’s character before going into battle “Man this is good music, Judas Priest will pump you up!” Then Cube says “No we’re not listening to that headache music! You need something to calm you…Easy Listening Classics!!” Anyways I thought that was hilarious. And that’s exactly how I felt when hearing this group: PUMPED UP. This tour is supposedly Judas Priest’s “farewell tour,” as they go into retirement after nearly 40 years of metal mayhem. Unfortunately the arena was a little under 2/3 full, but that didn’t deter Priest from giving a faithful and powerful performance. The lower attendance made for a more intimate, easy going show. The band members were enjoying themselves, and the night was made extra special, being it was guitarist Glen Tipton’s birthday. Halfway through the set, Rob Halford announced the birthday news to the crowd, prompting cheers and a Happy Birthday sing along. Tipton looked sheepish, then grinned from ear to ear as Halford said “He didn’t expect me to do that!” Halford was especially talkative, frequently taking time to introduce songs and to recount the history of Judas Priest and Heavy Metal in general. Rob Halford is a class act when it comes to performing and dealing with the fans. He showed great stage presence, a positive demeanor, spoke eloquently and expressively, without the need to shout or sneer at the audience (unlike Ozzy Osbourne). And to top it off, Halford was able to pull of those classic ear piercing shrieks and banshee like wails (especially during Night Crawler and Pain Killer) with ease. He isn’t called The Metal God for nothing. The concert was one big riff fest. The music was dark, heavy, technical, yet other worldly and exotic sounding at times. There were lots of heavy grooves and LOTS of head banging and air guitar to go along with it. Cheesy but fun

Very good show, in fact I was pleasantly surprised. I tip my hat off to this group given they played a full set, 2+ hours in fact, with their complete stage set up for a low attendance show. Very professional. Most PUMPED UP moments: Hearing “Metal Gods.” And Scott Travis’ drum solo leading into “Pain Killer.” It was cool to see so many dudes air drumming. The cover songs were something else. I had no idea Green Manalishi was a Fleetwood Mac song until that night. It sounds like a Priest original, they way they perform it. The Joan Baez song was also very impressive. I read that Joan approached Judas Priest at the Live Aid stage in 1985 and shared her approval of their rendition. Brutal yet beautiful.

1. Rapid Fire
2. Metal Gods
3. Heading Out to the Highway
4. Judas Rising
5. Starbreaker
6. Victim of Changes
7. Never Satisfied
8. Diamonds & Rust (Joan Baez cover)
9. Dawn Of Creation
10. Prophecy
11. Night Crawler
12. Turbo Lover
13. Beyond the Realms of Death
14. The Sentinel
15. Blood Red Skies
16. The Green Manalishi (Fleetwood Mac cover)
17. Breaking the Law
18. Painkiller
19. The Hellion/Electric Eye
20. Hell Bent for Leather
21. You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’
22. Living After Midnight

Promotional poster for this tour

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Posted on October 2, 2012, in Concerts: 2005-2011, Judas Priest and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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