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Judas Priest in Cincinnati

By Tokemaster General, Contributor
Friday, September 30, 2005 @ 10:57 AM


Judas Priest live in Cincinnat

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Submitted by: Redrustler
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It's a Sunday night, and the Priest is back. Judas Priest played to a well attended Riverbend Auditorium in Cincinnati, Ohio, closing out Riverbend's season. I would guesstimate approximately seven to eight thousand in attendance. The stage was a three level affair, and began with a large eye above the third level, in which was a red light. The bank kicked in with "Electric Eye", the red light disappeared, and there stood Rob Halford in the eye, with sunglasses, singing the first verse. After the first verse, a screen closes in front of him, and then he pops out over the left corner of the stage on a lift, from where he sings the rest of the tune.

Then they immediately break into "Metal Gods", where he has deposited himself on the second level of the stage. The third tune, "Riding on the Wind", found Rob on the first level of the stage. The Fourth tune, "Touch of Evil", finds him back to the third level above the crowd. Rob was pretty much all over the stage from that point forward, though he never ran to get anywhere. Some metal singers race around to generate excitement. Rob towers over the audience, never running, but always in command. It is impossible not to watch him when he is on stage.

They then plowed through classic tunes, including, in no particular order, "Breakin' the Law". I know that this is a "classic", but it is pretty much the same as every other performance. How about "Dissident Aggressor". Or I would have liked to hear a newer tune that was missing from the set list. Which I'll get to. They also played "I'm a Rocker". Now, I'll grant that live was better than on the record. But, please, there are better tunes off Ram it Down (Hard as Iron, Heavy Metal, the title track). This one should not see the light of a microphone. They did play "Turbo Lover", which rocked, and thankfully nothing else off that album.

They also played "Diamonds and Rust", two-thirds of which was acoustic. The first time I saw this version was on the live D.V.D. with Ripper. I love the album version, but this needs to be the version they perform live. This version really demonstrates Rob's excellent singing voice. The last third of the tune jams, which makes the acoustic part more exciting.

They then played "Beyond the Realms of Death", which rocked. "Victim of Changes" followed. More aggressive old school metal. Glenn took an extended solo/interplay with the audience. Nothing fancy. Just playing some chords, walking to each side of the stage, and inviting the audience to grow crazy, which they did, before he continued with the solo, and the rest of the band joined him on stage, and finished with the tune.

Last was "Painkiller", which I love, and which rocked. This is where Scott Travis took his feature spot. I saw him years ago in Columbus, Ohio, when he was playing with Fight. I was in the balcony, looking down on the band. He was all arms then, and he is all arms now. Even when he is above the audience. There appeared to be some times when he looked a little bored playing some of the older tunes with standard drumming. Not here. The sticks were moving, the strobe was on him. This tune kicked.

Now, the tunes from the record. They played "Judas Rising", which, though not my favorite, was understandable. They also played "Hellrider", which I like, and was generally well received. They played "Revolution", again with Rob on the third tier, waving flags with Priest designs. Not bad. But they played "Worth Fighting For", not a particularly heavy tune. I guess I should be thankful that "Loch Ness" did not make the set, as was reported from other shows.

But here is my gripe. No "Deal with the Devil." I love the tune, and think that it was can be a Priest classic. It is certainly better than Worth Fighting For, and, I think, would have been better live.

The encore sees Rob riding the Harley onto the stage, with leather hat donned. Much to my happiness, they kicked into "Desert Plains", a tune that I love. The crowd did not seem as energized by this tune as I was. He stayed on the bike during the entire tune. Then came "Living After Midnight", which the crowd really got into. Then came "Another Thing Coming". Rob turned the microphone to the audience, which sang the first verse. After the band left the stage for the last time, the crowd was clearly wanting more, but there was no more.

Rob apparently travels with an assortment of coats, because he went through seven or eight changes through the course of the night. I kept thinking about some comments I read about Cher's concerts, and how many clothing changes she goes through. The best was the simple leather and studs coat. I think that he should have stuck with that one. It was killer when he sang Painkiller wearing that coat. The band left the stage between most songs. Water. And new guitars. The techs do not bring the guitars to Glenn and K.K. They go to get the guitars.

Ian Hill? Yes he stayed in the back. But frequently nodded and smiled to the audience when they were in their typical frenzy. The rest of the band (Glenn and K.K.) seemed to enjoy their time on stage, frequently acknowledging the crowd, and thanking them for their yelling.

Rob was in fine vocal form. It was pretty clear that he could not hit the ultra-high notes that he could in his younger days, but his mid-range and higher notes seem unaffected. He does a better job than I remember from seeing him in Fight of talking and interacting with the audience. As many may recall from the double album Live, he has a place in the show where he growls lines for the audience to follow. Here, he held a "whooo" for a very long time, then asked the audience to do the same. Then he did the same, but ended the "o" high, or low, then asked the audience to follow. He was clearly having fun, challenging the crowd.

Hopefully, they will not wait so long between visits. We need more bands like Judas Priest carrying the gauntlet. Best endorsement: I brought my wife, who hates heavy metal, when asked if she had fun, she replied "Is torture fun?"



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