Monday, August 19, 2002 @ 1:58 PM
Priest Rips Apart the HOB in B
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REVIEW BY: Mr. & Mrs. Spiderdan
You haven't been to a Judas Priest show until you've seen them from the front row. I realize this after comparing two shows, Las Vegas and Anaheim. Las Vegas is now my third House of Blues to attend and I say it's the best venue out of LA and Anaheim (being the worst).
We began by staying next door at Luxor (it is less expensive than Mandalay Bay) and taking the five-minute stroll to the House of Blues for lunch. House of Blues has a great front of the line access deal, which is how we got front row against the barrier. Lunch was made even more memorable: as we're eating Glenn Tipton walks right by our table and strolls into the gift shop for some shopping. My wife was ecstatic and nearly went into shock, cause she's the true Judas Priest fan. She grabbed a pen and Glenn enjoyably signed her ticket and spoke a few words with her. Moments later Scott Travis strolled on by and out to the casino.
With the front of the line privileges, we parked ourselves on the Tipton side of the stage and rocked the hell out of the place. The set list has changed a little from the last time through with Anthrax, and the volume was cranked up more. We could feel Scott's kick drum move through us. The Vegas venue just rocks; the vibe was better. We were flown plenty of picks, and my wife made enough contact with Ian to have him autograph her ticket stub, too.
Priest opened the show with “Bloodsuckers” and moved right into “Metal Gods.” Some changes in this tour versus the last time through were adding “Exciter” and “Devil's Child.” The older favorites mixed well with the new stuff (I'd love to hear more of it). The new material sounds great live and gives Demolition a more familiar feel. The new stuff is powerful heavy metal, and a crowd pleaser.
For Anaheim House of Blues, we didn't go through all it takes to get to the front and got stuck in the oversold and often too-crowded venue. We're locals from Anaheim and both feel it should have been built better. Anaheim locals Lit opened the show and stunk up the place. It just wasn't their crowd to open for and they knew it. There may have been 3-5 people that showed a sign of movement to their music, but otherwise the crowd just stood there and waited for it to be over.
As for my editorial comment on Ripper Owens vs. Halford, I say keep Ripper. Ripper kicks ass and brings some new life to the band. Rob quit the band and nearly left the band for dead. Judas Priest lost seven years between albums because Rob wanted to do his own thing. As long as Tim wants to be a part of Judas Priest, he stays.
(The wife's perspective)
The boys' performance was great. Glenn was crowd-oriented, as always. He made eye contact with everyone he could and made you feel like he was playing to you. Scott clowned a bit during “Diamonds and Rust” (ladies, look at that man when he has his shirt off, Oh Wow. He's ripped, cut, muscled; there aren't enough words to describe). Ian was solid, reliable, and friendly. He handed me his pick, put it right in my hand and signed my ticket stub (Happy Birthday to me). Ripper, oh my! I had the neatest experience. In the song, “One On One,” the lyrics are "I am the cross you bear and the one who dares to return your stare" -- Ripper was pointing and staring right at me. I got goosebumps. It was so cool. KK played his ass off.
Yes, Ripper kicks ass. Yes he's brought some new blood, fire, spirit, and any number of other things into the band. He should stay on as the band's front man. It's good to see Ripper being Ripper, and not just Rob Halford's replacement. True fans accept Ripper as his own character and let him do his thing. (But there is that part of me that would love to see the old gang together just one more time.)
Here's a set list from both shows:
One On One
Victim of Changes
Diamonds And Rust
Hell Is Home
Breakin' The Law
You've Got Another Thing Comin'