Firepower Tour – 2019
With guest – Uriah Heep
Toyota Arena – Ontario, Ca – 6/2819
Review/Pictures: Diane Lynn
Judas Priest – Still have the Firepower!
I don’t think I’ve seen so much leather and spikes in one place and that was just on the fans coming into the Toyota Arena to see legendary heavy metal group – Judas Priest.
The Mighty Priest made a stop at the newly named arena on Friday night and nearly brought the house down with their powerful performance. I arrived a couple of hours early and so did a lot of the fans. There was already a line started two hours before the doors opened. They came dressed in their leather pants and miniskirt and of course there were plenty of vintage Judas Priest tees – some were worse for wear, but these were dedicated Priest fans and they were proud to show it!
As I came into the photo pit, I noticed that it was a large stage. There was a huge video screen directly behind the stage that flashed clips of scorching flames, the band’s name and the occasional live shots of the concert and their fans. There were strategically placed partitions that covered the audience’s view of the backstage area but that also doubled as a quick gear changing area for the band. They also had two square risers on either side of the stage. Rob Halford made use these to occasionally step on to show the fans some love!
The lights quickly dimmed and after a short rumble from the stage the intro to “Necromancer“ began as the band appeared and took their places on stage. Immediately following was the main man himself Rob Halford, dressed in a vibrant purple floor length coat and top hat to match over his traditional studded leather pants and vest. He carried a cane that was topped with a large rhinestone covered skull and he appeared larger than life as he made his way out on stage! For a photographer who also happens to be a fan this was such a rush…your heart is racing as you prepare to “go to work” all while trying not to stop and just watch in awe.
The set list was a total of twenty song’s and they tore into it like it time had stood still and Heavy Metal ruled the world! They played a long list of hits stretching way back to the 1976 album Sad Wings of Destiny and came around full circle with four of the songs coming off of their most recent album Firepower. It was certainly a nice mix of fan favorites and they ended the night with three killer classics!
Heading Out to the Highway
(Take These) Chains
Out in the Cold
Halls of Valhalla
Victim of Changes
All Guns Blazing
Hell Bent for Leather
Breaking the Law
Living After Midnight
Judas Priest Line Up
Rob Halford – Vocals
Ian Hill – Bass
Richie Faulkner – Guitar
Andy Sneap – Guitar
Scott Travis – Drums
Although The Metal God is moving just a bit slower these days, and let’s face it after fifty years of performing/touring who wouldn’t be, his voice is still in top shape! There’s no denying that one of a kind metal scream!
Accompanying Rob on tour is a killer lineup, Richie Falukner and Andy Sneap tearing up both sides of the stage with their Flying V’s. They used the stage risers to spotlight their killer shredding skills which brought a huge roar from the already electrified crowd. Ian Hill keeping the bass heavy just a step behind Sneap and seeming content with letting the young guns do their thing. To round it all out was Scott Travis pounding the drums on the riser just back but center stage even standing for a moment in between songs to acknowledge the crowd and soak in the roar of the fans.
Judas Priest is celebrating their 50th anniversary this year! I know it seems unbelievable, fifty years of pure metal and with the way they sounded on Friday they will probably be around another fifty more!
Opening for Judas Priest was a band that by name was unknown to me however I did recognize a couple of their songs as their set continued. Uriah Heep formed in London in 1969 and like Judas Priest are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year. Although they have had their share of lineup changes it seems original member and lead guitarist Mick Box along with the rest of current lineup are keeping this band going strong as they performed a killer set!
Mick Box – lead Guitar
Bernie Shaw – Lead Vocals
Russell Gilbrook – Drums
Phil Lanzon – Keyboards
Davey Rimmer – Bass
All in all it was a great night of music and I was able to see an iconic band once again after about 30 years, and had the great pleasure of capturing the night in photos!