Photos by Micah Gummel
Review by Dale Jr.
Judas Priest Show photos HERE
Steel Panther Show photos HERE
Recent interview HERE
The Priest was most definitely back as they rocked the Tsongas Center in Lowell. Touring in support of their new album, Redeemer of Souls, Judas Priest looks a little different since the last time you’ve seen them and they also have an opening act that you might not expect.
The opening band for Judas Priest on the Redeemer of Souls Tour is Steel Panther. If you’re not familiar with Steel Panther, Panther is a glam metal band that is known for profane and hilarious lyrical content, and when they are on stage, they play over-exaggerated characters that make fun of the 80s hair metal scene. Bassist Lexxi Foxx even Aqua Nets his hair in a mirror on the side of the stage and the amazing drummer’s name is Stix Zadinia. Get it? Steel Panther has their share of critics and when it was announced that they would support Priest on the tour, the selection had critics as well. But to the fans of the band, which are called Fanthers, this is a match made in heaven, despite others not “getting it”. Most might not be aware of the connection between Priest and Panther, but Panther’s guitarist, Satchel, used to play in Rob Halford’s band, Fight.
The band took the stage, and don’t be fooled by the ridiculous lyrical content; this band can play and melt your face off while doing it. Opening their set with “Pussywhipped”, the band showed why Loudwire has named them Live Act of the Year in back-to-back years. In between songs during their set, the band would break into some comedic shtick with lead singer Michael Starr trading dirty banter with Satchel that would have the arena in stitches. Playing material off of all three of their albums, Panther played for about an hour and provided the crowd with hot licks and belly-aching laughs. The act wouldn’t work if the musicians couldn’t play, but they can more than just play. There is a reason why Panther has a following because they are that damn good, and Judas Priest deserves props for having the balls to take a band like Steel Panther on tour with them despite all of the critics. Panther should not be missed.
Now on to the main course. Lowell saw something that most maybe thought that they’d never see and that Judas Priest on tour again. The band has had a very publicized few years with a farewell album and tour, which was soon followed with a line up shake up after founding member and guitarist, KK Downing, decided to leave the band and retire. The band decided to carry on and KK was eventually replaced with Richie Faulkner. Faulkner was said to have rejuvenated the band and that then led to the new album, “Redeemer of Souls”. That then led to the legendary Judas Priest finding their way to the stage in Lowell.
Rob, Glenn, Ian, Scott and Richie took the stage in Lowell and opened with the ripping opening track off of the new album; “Dragonaut”. Throughout the set, the band played some classic Priest tracks like “Metal Gods” and “Devil’s Child” while throwing in some cuts off of the new album. While the band was out supporting their new album, they were also out celebrating the 30th anniversary of the “Defenders of the Faith” album. To celebrate, the band played one of the singles off the album, with “Love Bites” while scenes of the movie “Nosferatu” were playing on the screen on the stage. The band would make their way to the hits like “Breaking The Law” and then the Metal God, Rob Halford, came out on stage on a motorcycle to kick off “Hell Bent For Leather”.
The band closed the show with an amazing encore of an extended version of “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’” and “Living After Midnight” that had everyone in the crowd in the palm of Priest’s collective hands and then finished with some “Defenders of the Faith”.
Priest still puts on heavy metal show that no other can rival. Rob, Glenn and Ian still have it because they’ve never lost it and Scott has been with the band some time now as well. The big question mark was Richie Faulkner and he quickly silenced any and all doubts that the audience may have had. You don’t get into a band like Judas Priest if you can’t pull it off and Faulkner fit right in and seemed to have a chemistry with the rest of the band that takes years to establish. The band delivered a great mix of hits, deep cuts and new with a show that can be chalked up as another classic Priest show. The only downfall of seeing Priest is that you wait too long to see the legendary act the next time, but they are more than worth the wait. Long live metal!!!
Photos by Micah Gummel