Judas Priest & Whitesnake Live in Houston, Texas With Photos!

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 @ 5:05 PM

Verizon Wireless Theater

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The Beast that is Judas Priest rolled into Houston, Texas for a show Friday night, July 24, 2009 at the Verizon Wireless Theater at Bayou Place in downtown. Also along for the ride was The David Coverdale Band, also known as Whitesnake in some circles. Lol, just kidding Dave! Due to the graciousness of both bands I was able to review this show for KNAC.COM and get into the barricade to take pictures. Horns up to both of you!

Now, the Verizon Theater has posted on its website that ‘Photography and Video recording are not allowed at any time’ and based on my prior experience with shows there, they have never allowed cameras in, unless of course you were fortunate enough to secure a ‘Photo Pass’. After obtaining my tickets and photo pass from will-call I proceeded to the entry line. I had my new Canon digital camera around my neck and all the contents of my pockets jammed into my hands as well as I could arrange them, still keeping the photo pass handy for the hassle I was sure to get from security. To my astonishment, NOONE said a word to me about the camera I had and I was inside the venue before I knew it without so much as a second glance. Now, I know that in most venues it’s really up to the individual bands and most times now as long as you don’t have some huge telephoto lens that exceeds 4”, they usually let you in. Verizon Wireless appears to follow this policy now but it would be nice if they changed their ‘policies’ page to reflect this new attitude.

Anyhow, the though occurred to me as I entered the venue that I had not seen Whitesnake perform live in about 20 years! Damn, I think the last time I saw them was the ‘Slip of the Tongue’ tour back in the late 80’s, with Great White as the opener. Since that time I have raised 3 kids through high school, God do I feel old! So, needless to say, I was a little excited about seeing them again, even if all the band members had changed since then, saving the mastermind himself, who happens to be pushing the upper limits of his 50’s now. When they took the stage at precisely 7:25, the years were rolled back as Coverdale and Co. came out firing on all cylinders, beginning their set with ‘Best Years’, one of 2 tracks they played from their latest CD Good to be Bad. The band was in top form and exhibited loads of energy during their set. Though Mr. Coverdale can’t quite hit the notes he used to (and who could after this amount of time), he can still belt out a blistering scream and do so on numerous occasions through out the evening. All in all a great set!

Set list for Whitesnake:

  • Best Years
  • Bad Boys
  • Love Ain’t No Stranger
  • Slow N Easy
  • Lay Down Your Love (The other new tune)
  • Cryin’ in the Rain
  • Is This Love
  • Give Me All Your Love
  • Here I Go Again
  • Still of the Night
Now, me personally, I would have liked to see ‘Fool for Your Lovin’ added to the list and maybe drop ‘Here I Go Again’ because radio has absolutely burned the defecation out of that one but hey, that’s just me. The only other ‘oddity’ I had to deal with was the ‘release form’ I had to sign and fax back in order to photograph Whitesnake. It came in late Thursday afternoon and it was ‘imperative’ that I sign and fax it back ASAP, which I did. But it also stated that I was to bring a copy of the release form with me to the venue and ‘…personally hand deliver to tour manager for Whitesnake…’ I made multiple inquiries with venue personnel, especially those up at the barricade, as to whom I was to give this form. No one could give me an answer and soon the lights fell and the show was underway. I guess it wasn’t THAT big a deal.

Then, after a minimal delay (Whitesnake finished at 8:35 and Priest was due at 9:00, although they ran about 10 minutes behind), the Mighty Priest was about to take the stage. Hanging in front of the stage obscuring the view behind was a giant tapestry that depicted old steel working factories and in the lower right corner of the ‘banner’ was a sign that said ‘Welcome to the Home of British Steel’. As the lights lowered a laser animation was projected onto the screen showing an ironworker hammering away on some hot steel. Very cool touch! The crowd was worked up into a deafening crescendo and then the banner dropped and the Priest hit the stage to ‘Rapid Fire’, the first track performed of what would be the band’s entire inclusion of the ‘British Steel’ album. I was so looking forward to hearing this entire CD live and I was NOT disappointed. Song after song, the memories of this classic album came back to me. ‘Metal Gods’, ‘Grinder’, ‘You Don’t Have to be Old to be Wise’, they all were performed with energy and excitement. Early reports of band disinterest in their show seemed to have been a little misguided. The whole band was enjoying themselves and having a great time. The backdrops behind them changed on occasion, switching from the British Steel cover, to one with the Judas Priest logo adorned with American Stars & Stripes on one side and the Union Jack on the other, to still another featuring the cover of Nostradamus. Frontman Rob Halford mentioned the one with the two flag colors on it, saying that we were ‘…allies, in war and in peace…’. And what would a great Priest show be without Rob rumbling out on to the stage on his Harley? A travesty I say! Indeed, he did prior to their first encore of ‘Freewheel Burning’.

Judas Priest set list:

  • Rapid Fire
  • Metal Gods
  • Breaking the Law
  • Grinder
  • United
  • You Don’t Have to Be Old to Be Wise
  • Living After Midnight
  • The Rage
  • Steeler
  • The Ripper
  • Prophecy
  • Hell Patrol
  • Victim of Changes
  • Freewheel Burning
  • Diamonds & Rust (Electrified Version!)
  • You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’
An awesome show! If they come anywhere near you, do yourself a favor and check it out! My only criticism of the show in any fashion was the price of tickets. General admission tickets for the floor area were $64.50 by the time we got to the box office, up from about $57.50 just before. I don’t think I’ve ever paid that much for tickets at this venue before and, luckily, did not have to on this evening either.

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