Judas Priest and Steel Panther
Nov. 16, 2014
City National Civic, San Jose

Forefathers of the metal genre, Judas Priest celebrate their 40-year reign with the 2014 release of Redeemer of Souls,  and its subsequent tour is proof that there is no end in sight for these Metal Gods. Their music raised a generation, woven into the fabric of the lives of those who grew up in the metal era. Their music could be heard playing on the stereo at every kegger party and blaring from the speakers of Mom and Dad’s four-door, packed with raging teens dressed in leather and proudly sporting the Judas Priest logo on their chests.

Over the years, I have seen Priest at least five times and they were always flawless. Being the seasoned, consummate professionals that they are, the Nov. 16 concert was no different – they were ripping!

If metal had a superhero, it would be Rob Halford. Adorned in studded leather atop his trusty steed, a chromed Harley, he dominated the stage with his imperious presence and searing vocals from pipes of steel. New on the stage was guitarist Richie Faulkner, replacing the retired KK Downing. Faulkner even looks a lot like KK in the early days. He was so impressive, his performance honored the legacy KK Downing built.  Fellow guitarist Glen Tipton was up to his normal solid shredding, but he left the door wide open for the new guy to jam on in. Founding member bassist Ian Hill is a rock, solid and steady, matching the mechanical, human-metronome style of drummer Scott Travis. Their set was a fair mix of new and old, done brilliantly.

Touring with Judas Priest on this stint is Steel Panther. For those unaware of the band, it might have been a bit off-putting to see a “hair-metal band” x 10 take the stage – until you give it a few minutes, and begin to catch on to what they are all about. Steel Panther is a group of excellent musicians who have chosen to direct their career path down a road never traveled, unless Spinal Tap ever decides to dust off their spandex and cucumbers to hit the road again. Steel Panther is a parody metal band that writes its own original music. Did I mention parody? Just checking, because singer Michael Starr enunciates so well that even if you missed a word here or there, you could still follow the racy, inflammatory stories/visuals. With titles like “Gloryhole,” “Asian Hookers,” and “Party Like Tomorrow is the End of the World,” these guys are a riot to watch, and they will keep the slightly foul-minded wondering and intrigued. Do not get me wrong. Steel Panther may be a parody band, but the guys are serious musicians with excellent skills – musically, I mean. On their instruments, of course…the ones they play on stage…I mean, the ones with necks and skins…um, you get the picture? If you are still reading and sporting a smile on your face, you need to check out Steel Panther! They are hilarious, but no joke.

Judas Priest Set List: Dragonaut |Metal Gods |Devil’s Child | Victim of Changes | Halls of Valhalla |Love Bites |March of the Damned |Turbo Lover |Redeemer of Souls |Beyond the Realms of Death |Jawbreaker |Breaking the Law |Hell Bent for Leather |Another Thing Coming |Living After Midnight |Defenders of the Faith

Steel Panther Set List: Pussy Whipped | Party Like Tomorrow Is the End of the World | Asian Hookers | Tiger Woods | Community Property | Eyes of a Panther | 17 Girls in a Row | Gloryhole | Party All Day | Death to All Metal

Click here to check out the In the Days Before Metal – An Interview with JP’s Ian Hill

 

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