BY MISAEL RUIZ | Go Venue Magazine
British heavy metal legends Judas Priest announced their re-scheduled North American tour. Last year, they had to stop halfway through the tour due to guitarist Richie Faulkner needing emergency open-heart surgery where five parts of his chest were replaced with mechanical components. Now that Faulkner has recovered, it was time for Judas Priest to head out on the road once again and continue their 50 Heavy Metal Years tour. Support for this tour was Queensrÿche. The stop on this tour was the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California on Tuesday, March 15, 2022. Even before doors opened, fans were lining up outside as they were excited to see the heavy metal icons blast their ears with metal.
Queensrÿche was the first band up. They recently had a lineup change when their guitarist of twelve years Parker Lundgren left the band to pursue other ventures. His replacement was Mike Stone, who was previously with the band from 2003 to 2008. Lots of Queensrÿche fans were in attendance, and they were happy to see them again since they last came in 2020 just before the whole world shutdown due to the pandemic. It was great hearing Queensrÿche classic like Queen of the Reich, Operation: Mindcrime, Warning and Eyes of a Stranger. A great warmup to the show, it was time for the metal gods to take the stage.
One thing you’ll quickly notice about a Judas Priest show is that you see fans of all ages. From the kids to the young adults to the obvious old school fans. All of them anxiously waited and cheered once War Pigs by Black Sabbath started playing over the speakers. After that, the intro track Battle Hymn came on and the band’s signature trident rose from the stage and went up into the ceiling. The band members came out and started the show with One Shot at Glory. Everyone got on their feet and cheered now that the Metal Gods had taken their place on stage with their classic look with leather jackets. Judas Priest is a powerful band live, and it was only proven as they blazed through a bunch of classic songs such as Turbo Lover, The Sentinel, You Got Another Thing Coming and Victim of Changes. Drummer Scott Travis gave the audience a chance to request a song and asked what did they want to hear. Naturally, he played the drum solo intro to one of their best songs, Painkiller. The floor went absolutely nuts with shoving and mosh pits. One fan even somehow managed to get up on stage and attempted to stage dive. Much to his surprise, fans moved out of the way, and he ended up falling on the floor and was eventually taken away in an ambulance after falling off a six-foot stage. Painkiller played on, and it always gets the fans going crazy with head banging, singing along and horns being raised. The show seemed to come to an end and the stage remained quiet. After a couple of minutes, the intro track The Hellion played over the speakers as the band members came back out for some encores. The first encore was Electric Eye. One thing to notice was that during the chorus of “I’m made of metal”, Faulkner would point to himself while singing the chorus, instigating that he, himself, was made of metal due to the metal plates in his chest. Once that song finished, the familiar sound of an engine revving up filled the venue. Fans knew what was coming next. Metal God Rob Halford came out in a motorcycle to perform Hell Bent For Leather. Halford took a break to thank the fans for 50 years of metal and for supporting them for all these years. He also thanked the man who made the band possible, and he just so happens to here for a few songs. That man was none other than Glenn Tipton who has been with Judas Priest since 1974. As of 2018, he is limited to touring for a few songs due to Parkinson’s Disease. Fans were overjoyed that they were treated to seeing Tipton on stage and were treated to the final three songs which were Metal Gods, Breaking the Law and Living After Midnight. Fans cheered super loud once the show ended. Judas Priest thanked the audience, bowed to their audience and left the stage. The tour was celebrating 50 years of Judas Priest, let’s hope they last for many more years.
All images © Misael Ruiz
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