Friday 28 November 2014

Judas Priest at the Tacoma Dome – November 22, 2014

Saturday night on the 22nd of November, Judas Priest played at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington and was the last show in the US for 2014. February 21st 2015 the band heads to Australia to play the Soundwave Festivals, then to Japan, UK, and Europe.

The doors promptly opened at 6pm with a long line of people of all ages, from young couples holding babies, to teenagers, to senior age metal heads. It was awesome to see so many supporters of Heavy Metal music and Judas Priest fans.

We took our seats which were a little off to the side, but a perfect view to the stage! The show started right at 7:30pm with the opening band Steel Panther. This show was outrageous and hilarious, probably more appealing to men due to the type of humor, but as long as you’re not offended easily it’s pretty entertaining and they did a great job pumping the audience for Judas Priest.

8:30 sharp, behind the giant blue Judas Priest backdrop, Ritchie Faulkner (guitarist), Glenn Tipton (guitarist), and Ian Hill (bass) played the opening metal anthem to Priest’s new killer song, “Dragonaut” until the curtain finally dropped to the floor with an audible—BOOM! Scott Travis (drums) kicked the song into high gear and my eyes instantly started searching the stage for Rob Halford. Rob started singing, but I still couldn’t see him. After a few more seconds Rob charged onto the stage totally immersed in metal awesomeness!

Judas Priest went on to played a few songs from their 1980 chart topping
album, ‘British Steel’ and it was during the second song on the setlist, “Metal Gods” that I got to hear, for the first time live, the infamous Rob Halford’s high pitched scream! The power of that scream moved through the crowd like lightening and everyone responded loudly with a collective roar with their horns in the air!

Glenn Tipton has been with Judas Priest since 1974 and he and Ritchie Faulkner totally gel together as the two guitarists. They stood side by side at the front of the smoky blue stage harmonizing the opening chords to, “Victim of Changes” from the 1976 album ‘Sad Wings of Destiny’. Then with perfect timing Ian Hill and Scott Travis jumped in, adding the thick background to one of my favorite Priest tunes. Scott Travis is an amazing drummer and really bangs it out on this performance using his speed and complexity talents and, of course, the double bass drums pounding loud and clear throughout the Dome. Rob Halford ended the song with the loudest, most piercing scream I’ve ever heard and my ears exploded with delight!

Fourty years of singing his ass off and “Proud to be a classic metal band from the UK playing for the world,” Rob Halford goes on to say, “The next song is very special to the band, a song with a beautiful ballad and powerful message, “Beyond the Realms of Death.” We all agreed with Rob’s statement and fired up our Bic lighters and waved them high in the dark air for the band to see. Rob has such an impressive vocal range and he really showed off his unique vocal skills for this metal classic. Following the light to dark patterns of the riff, Rob sings in his lower vocal range until the chorus hits and the song awakens and Rob’s high pitched voice becomes the central force. Glenn Tipton played a stunning guitar solo with perfect tone adding a great deal of feeling and emotion to this epic performance.

Throughout the show, Rob Halford was arrayed in his finest leathers and shiny metallic clothing, giving every bit of flair to his performance. Some of the best things about rock n roll is flamboyance and being over the top, so when Rob came out from the back of the stage on a Harley for “Hell Bent for Leather,” it was one of the purest rock n roll/metal moments in my personal concert experience. At this point in the show, and for the last three songs, there was lots of audience participation as Rob held out the mic to the audience to help sing the chorus’s to “You Got Another Thing Coming,” and the encores, “Living After Midnight,” and “Defenders of the Faith.”

Judas Priest has come a long way since 1970 when Ian Hill started putting together one of the most influential and best metal bands in the world and from my experience of the ‘Redeemer of Souls’ show, Judas Priest’s metal glory lives on!


1. Dragonaut

2. Metal Gods

3. Devils Child

4. Victim of Changes

5. Halls of Valhalla

6. Love Bites

7. March of the Damned

8. Turbo Lover

9. Redeemer of Souls

10. Beyond the Realms of Death

11. Jawbreaker

12. Breaking the Law

13. Hell Bent for Leather

14. You Got Another Thing Coming

15. Living After Midnight

16. Defenders of the Faith

Tour Dates: 


Review by:
Jill Maciel
West Coast Correspondent

Photos by:
Scott Banning

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