Judas Priest -- Cleveland, Ohio -- July 14th, 2009
Thankfully, Pop Evil who has opened the show in almost all of the cities was not on this bill. “War Pigs” was blaring on the p.a. and at 7:24pm, the music cuts and we are greeted by a smiling Mr. David Coverdale who takes us right into “Bad Boys”.
The set list was comprised mostly of the MTV hits. They played one song off their new album “Good to be Bad”. The dueling guitar solos was a perfect opportunity to step away and use the facilities. I can always do without solos of any kind, but at age 58, I’m sure Coverdale needs to get some throat coat some drink a spot of tea.
Coverdale did not wuss out of any of his high notes. Needless to say, he doesn’t have the range of back in the day, but he went of it each time. He left the crowd with these parting words, “Be safe. Be happy. And don’t let anybody make you afraid.”
Now it was time for Judas Priest. They are to play the 1980 album “British Steel” in its entirety. A front drop with a silhouette of the Birmingham, England steel factory was put up during the set change. The lights were killed and a laser show of a mill worker pounding steel was shown. Curtain down, we have “Rapid Fire”. It was intense. The Metal God Rob Halford appeared, dressed in denim and leather and sporting a blonde goatee.
Priest ripped through the album flawlessly, yet found a way to make a heavy album even heavier and more metal than it was in 1980.
But of course, there was more. After Priest got through the nine-song British Steel set, they went right into “The Ripper”. They followed with “Prophecy” from the “Nostradamus” album before closing with an incredible showing of “Victim of Changes”. Halford hit the final high notes dead on. It was amazing.
The band left the stage for a few minutes and then we heard the revving of the Harley (which has only eight stage miles on it). He comes out in all leather and performs “Freewheel Burning” on the bike.
The night ended with “You've Got Another Thing Coming” as security allowed the crowd to get closer to the stage.
As usual, guitarists Glen Tipton and K.K. Downing were tight. Scott Travis makes playing some of the hard and fast song very easy and Ian Hill hung back while laying down the bass.
The stage was simple. Two Union Jacks flanked the drum riser. Travis’ double bass had the British Steel album cover on it along with the backdrop. Part of the rig lighting was shaped like the Priest cross logo which was very cool.
I came into this show with high expectations from both bands and left beyond amazed. I will have to put this up there as one of my all-time favorite shows. Job well done by all.
Whitesnake set list:
Fool For Your Loving
Love Aint No Stranger
Slow And Easy
Lay Down Your Love
Crying In The Rain
Is This Love
Give Me All Your Love
Here I Go Again
Still Of The Night
Judas Priest set list:
Breaking the Law
You Don't Have to be Old to be Wise
Living After Midnight
Victim of Changes
Diamonds and Rust
You've Got Another Thing Coming