Concert Review: “Redeemer of Souls Tour” with Judas Priest & Steel Panther @ Main Street Armory, Rochester, NY

“Redeemer of Souls Tour”
Judas Priest, Steel Panther
Wednesday, October 1st 2014
Main Street Armory, Rochester, NY

Our score: 4 out of 5 stars

After a 2 year hiatus from the music scene the metal gods themselves Judas Priest are back on the road supporting their latest album release titled “Redeemer of Souls”. The tour kicked off on October 1st in Rochester, NY before a near capacity crowd and though opening night didn’t go as smoothly everyone was hoping for both Priest and opening act Steel Panther were at the top of their games.

As the doors to the vast Main Street Armory opened fans quickly flooded the venue in anticipation of the evening’s events. As the evenings advertised 7:30 start time rolled around and quickly turned in to 7:45, 8:00, 8:15 etc. It wouldn’t be till almost 8:40 that opening act Steel Panther would take the stage. The band which has been taking a lot of heat since it was announced they would be part of the tour initially didn’t win over the Rochester crowd as they took the stage to a sea of boo’s. It was unclear if the late start was the fault of the bands or of the promoter however despite the unpleasant welcome the band shrugged it off and blasted through an 11 song set which touched on each of the bands 4 releases. Vocalist Michael Starr handled his vocal duties like a true veteran and in between songs attempted to regain the crowds trust through the bands normal joking and goofing on one another.  This seemed to work as the band left the stage to cheers and applause the total opposite of how the night began.

After a few minutes a large Judas Priest banner dropped from the rafters signaling that the wait was almost over. After a brief intro the arena was filled with smoke and lights as Rob Halford and company ripped into the song “Dragonaut” which is also the first track off the band newest album. Halford seemed a little unsteady at first and was using a cane however by the end of the first number it appeared as though it was just a prop as he lurked back and forth with ease the rest of the night. The band played a variety of songs from their vast catalog such as “Victim of Changes”, ‘Turbo Lover” and “Love Bites” which hasn’t been in the set since 1986. The band’s sound was tight and well rehearsed with Rob’s signature scream being in top form. The newest member of the band guitarist Richie Faulkner seemed even more comfortable and certainly did his part to elevate the night’s excitement. Before calling it a night the band treated the audience to two encores which were both greeted with deafening roars and devil horns thrown high into the air.

When the night was finally over and the venue was silent it was easy to say that despite a few small setbacks the tours opening night was a success.  Both Priest fans new and old were given everything both bands had and then some as it was a great night of music. If the tour is coming to your area make sure to get your tickets as soon as you can as there are very few bands out there right now who can rival the power and fury of the one and only Judas Priest.

Steel Panther  Set List:
1.) Pussy Whipped
2.) Party Like Tomorrow Is the End of the World
3.) Asian Hooker
4.) Just Like Tiger Woods
5.) Gold Digging Whore
6.) Girl From Oklahoma
7.) Community Property
8.) Eyes of the Panther
9.) 17 Girls in a Row
10.) Death to All but Metal
11.) Party All Day (Fuck All Night)

Judas Priest Set List:
1.) Battle Cry Intro
2.) Dragonaut
3.) Metal Gods
4.) Devil’s Child
5.) Victim of Changes
6.) Halls of Valhalla
7.) Loves Bites
8.) March of the Damned
9.) Turbo Lover
10.) Redeemer of Souls
11.) Beyond the Realms of Death
12.) Jawbreaker
13.) Breaking the Law
14.) Hell Bent for Leather

15.) You’ve Got Another Thing Coming
Encore 2
16.) Living After Midnight
17.) Defenders of the Faith

CD Review: Judas Priest “Redeemer of Souls”

“Redeemer of Souls”
Judas Priest
Epic Records
Producer: Mike Exeter/ Glenn Tipton
Tracks: 13

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

The Metal God and company are back with 17th studio titled “Redeemer of Souls. The album is the follow up release to the bands 2008 release titled “Nostradamus”. 13 all new tracks make up recorded and is the first studio release to feature Richie Faulkner on guitar. Though the band initially stated it would be retiring after their 2011 Epitaph world tour the band sounds better than ever and “Redeemer of Souls” is a testament to that.

When I saw Judas Priest in 2011 as part of their Epitaph farewell tour I was a bit skeptical that it would in fact really be the last time. With the release of “Redeemer of Souls” and the announcement of the groups subsequent tour this fall my prior suspicions were confirmed. From start to finish the album is a perfect blend of modern and classic Priest elements. The albums opening track “Dragonaught” is a rocking number that spews heavy metal goodness out your speakers while tracks likes “Redeemer of Souls” and “March of the Damned” take a more groove oriented approach perfect for head banging and fist pumping. The album wraps up with the track “Battle Cry” which features Halfords signature soaring vocal prowess before giving away to the song “Beginning of the End” a haunting outro showcasing the bands versatility.

All the material written on “Redeemer of Souls” was done by Halford, Glen Tipton and new comer Faulkner. You can certainly sense a freshness to the material which was certainly missing on the last couple Priest albums. My only hope is that this new found inspiration will continue as it would be a shame to stop now. Priest fans both new and old will definitely want to add this to their collections. For those not so familiar with the band get this album and then go back and experience the group’s massive back catalog. You definitely won’t be disappointed!

Track Listing:
1.) Dragonaught
2.) Redeemer of Souls
3.) Halls of Valhalla
4.) Swords of Damocles
5.) March of the Damned
6.) Down in Flames
7.) Hell & Back
8.) Cold Blooded
9.) Metalizer
10.) Crossfire
11.) Secrets of the Dead
12.) Battle Cry
13.) Beginning of the End


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