Judas Priest Concert Review, Austin, TX, November 7, 2014
The shows just keep coming. I’m tired but musically satisfied and it’s always completely worth it. Priest is an odd beast for me. Been a fan since the 70s and prefer that era much more than the 80s to now stuff. When Rob’s voice started leaning towards screeching for vengeance instead of the clean falsettos of the 80s, I was turned off. I first saw Priest in 1998 with Tim Owens on vocals. Blech. Didn’t like his albums or his Anselmo like stage presence, but the band sounded great.
Flash forward to 2008 and I went to the Priest/Heaven & Hell/Motorhead/Testament show but left before JP came on. I had seen footage of Rob from that tour and it was awful. Immobile, hunched over, a slave to his teleprompter, much like when I saw Halford (solo) in NYC. I didn’t want to see how much the mighty had fallen so I left. I sort of regret it but oh well.
Flash forward again to 2014 and Fun Fun Fun Fest announced that Priest and King Diamond would be headliners on their black stage. I wasn’t going to miss Rob this time. I got to the venue around 7PM and the line to get in was about 3hrs. I did a little hocus pocus and only waited about 15 minutes to get my will call wristband. Hung with some friends until Priest went on and then we rocked out. They opened with Dragonaut from the new album. I’m not a fan of the newer stuff as stated previously but it sounded fine. Then right into Metal Gods, Devil’s Child and Victim of Changes. Overall Rob sounded pretty good. He avoided the notes he knew he couldn’t hit. Some of them he got pretty good when he tried like in Victim. There were some instances where he did try and failed, but whatever. It was what it was…a great metal show.
They played 4 tracks from the new album. A decent mix of the older stuff. Of course my setlist would have been totally different. Richie Faulkner is sort of the star of the show now. He’s out front most of the time and handles all of KK’s old leads just fine. He’s good. The band was very solid as expected. Hard not to be when you have the human drum machine Scott Travis keeping time for you. Beyond The Realms of Death was the highlight for me.
So many childhood memories listening to that one as a kid. It was a fun show but when it ended all I really cared about was going home and going to bed. I went downtown for one beer and could barely drink it. Pure exhaustion. Today I rest up for King Diamond tonight!