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JUDAS PRIEST, QUEENSRYCHE In Houston, TX With Photos!

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Saturday, December 3, 2022 @ 10:51 AM


Final Leg Of The 50 Metal Years Tour Comes To A Close At The 713 Music Hall

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All Photos By Larry Petro/Petrofyed Photography

The sands of time are always moving and in the case of legendary, iconic heavy metal act JUDAS PRIEST, it seems that those sands are rapidly running out. Having started their '50 Metal Years Tour' about two years ago we in the Bayou City got the distinction of being not only the final stop on the third US leg of that tour, it also represented the band's 100th show on said trek and with fellow metal mainstays QUEENSRYCHE in tow once again, it was sure to be a night of unforgettable metal music at the 713 Music Hall, a relatively new venue in town that's only about a year or so old, built in the location of the original main downtown post office, and what a beautiful venue it is.

Now whether you agree or not with the band still calling themselves QUEENSRYCHE after all of the drama that has transpired over the past decade plus, one undeniable fact remains: This band has put out some of the best new music with the past several releases since the early days of their careers with vocalist Todd La Torre at the front and, armed with a brand new album Digital Noise Alliance that was released recently, the band soldiers on, adding to their legacy as one of the best metal bands in history.

Kicking off their hour long set with the blistering "Queen Of The Reich", QUEENSRYCHE, bassist Eddie Jackson, guitarists Michael Wilton and the returning Mike Stone (who replaced the departed Parker Lundgren), along with drummer Casey Grillo and La Torre, rocked the Music Hall with a great set of classic material including "Warning", "NM 156" and the title track to the Operation: Mindcrime album. And even though this was the final show of the tour the band was still fresh and in great spirits as La Torre even took time to fist-bump several of the photographers in the pit during their first 3 songs, yours truly included.

Of course QUEENSRYCHE included a couple of songs from the new album in "Behind The Walls" and the first single and video released from it, "In Extremis". I have to say though that despite these new songs being some of their best in years, it seemed that most of the crowd was very lackluster in their response to these songs, which is a shame. The band then closed things out with the triple attack of "Take Hold Of The Flame", "Screaming In Digital" and "Eyes Of A Stranger", which was then followed by the instrumental finale of . What a great opener this was, but the best was yet to come!

Setlist:

  • "Queen Of The Reich"
  • "Warning"
  • "En Force"
  • "NM 156"
  • "Behind The Walls"
  • "Empire"
  • "Operation: Mindcrime"
  • "In Extremis"
  • "Take Hold Of The Flame"
  • "Screaming In Digital"
  • "Eyes Of A Stranger"
  • "Anarchy-X"
As the stage was cleared you could begin to see the stage setup was like that of an industrial complex and as the giant JUDAS PRIEST pitchfork/cross descended from the rafters to a spot a center stage you could feel the anticipation building in the arena. That anticipation reached a fever pitch as the sounds of the classic BLACK SABBATH track "War Pigs" began to play over the PA system. Once it finished the crowd exploded to the opening sounds of probably one of the greatest show openers ever created, "Hellion"/"Electric Eye" as the band took the stage to melt the faces off of those in attendance. We were treated to a fantastic cross section of material encompassing the band's entire career. From the second song Riding On The Wind" to "Jawbreaker" and "Beyond The Realms Of Death" they had the fans eating out of their hands throughout the 18 song total set. Digging deep into their catalog we got tracks like "Genocide", "Steeler" and ones I had never heard live before, "Between The Hammer And The Anvil" from 1900's Painkiller album and "Halls Of Valhalla" from Redeemer Of Souls. Closing out the pre-encore portion of the show with "The Green Manalishi (With The Two Pronged Crown)" and the title track to the seminal album Screaming For Vengeance it seemed like the band could keep playing for hours with the energy they had. The Metal God himself, vocalist Rob Halford, sounded as good as I've ever heard him and at one point he did something I have never seen him do...he sat down on the stairs on the side riser during one song, but at 71 years of age no one in the crowd minded, or cared for that matter.

With virtually no time between the band leaving the stage, the Harley motorcycle revved up and was driven to center stage by Halford and the band launched into "Hell Bent For Leather" and then straight into "Breaking The Law" without Halford doing his normal 'Breaking the what?' several times to introduce it. The finale of the evening was "Living After Midnight", which included a huge inflatable bull, much like the iconic one on the Merrill Lynch logo, positioned onstage which did have more than a few people scratching their heads as to what relevance it had to either JUDAS PRIEST or the show in general. As the band took their final bows I soaked in the history we had all just witnessed. And guitarist Ritchie Faulkner, who miraculously survived death onstage not long ago when he suffered a ruptured aorta while performing the solo to "Painkiller", showed no ill effects whatsoever from that ordeal and even carries the large mark on his chest, a battle scar as an everlasting symbol of what occurred.

Rob Halford has said in recent interviews that the band had given thought to the Firepower being the band's swan song but after such a great reaction to it they decided to record a follow-up album which is only vocals shy of being completed. So how much longer will we have JUDAS PRIEST around to grace our stages? Only time will tell but if I were you, don't miss any upcoming appearances because who knows when it might be the last opportunity you have.

Setlist:

  • "War Pigs" (over the PA)
  • "Hellion"/"Electric Eye"
  • "Riding On The Wind"
  • "You've Got Another Thing Coming"
  • "Jawbreaker"
  • "Firepower"
  • "Never The Heroes"
  • "Beyond The Realms Of Death"
  • "Judas Rising"
  • "Devil's Child"
  • "Genocide"
  • "Steeler"
  • "Between The Hammer And The Anvil"
  • "Halls Of Valhalla"
  • "The Green Manalishi (With The Two Prong Crown)"
  • "Screaming For Vengeance"
Encore:
  • "Hell Bent For Leather"
  • "Breaking The Law"
  • "Living After Midnight"
Check out some more photos from the show!
All Photos By Larry Petro/Petrofyed Photography


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