It may have been a Sunday night in Cincinnati, but Monday morning was the furthest thing on the minds of the heavy metal faithful at The Horseshoe Casino. You see, heavy metal icons, Judas Priest was in town and the band was delivering the goods to their loyal fans. The last time that the British Metal Pioneers played Cincinnati was back in November of 2011 as a part of their Epitaph Tour. At that time, that tour was believed to be the band’s last. Three and a half years later, it was clear that Priest were far from being done.
The band blew through a seventeen song set that laced classic songs like “Devil’s Child,” Electric Eye,” and “Pain Killer” along with songs from their 2014 release, “Redeemer of Souls.” While new material sometimes gets swallowed up by a bands classic tunes, the songs from Redeemer blended into the set seamlessly. The mix made for one solid set, and one great night of heavy metal music. Perhaps the most ironic moment came when the band broke into their song, “Breaking the Law,” as the Cincinnati Justice Center was in view just off to the right side of the stage.
Like every classic band that is still playing after being around for decades, there is always the question if they still should be doing it. Judas Priest is not different. Considering they have been doing it over forty years now, it would be perfectly reasonable for them to call it a day and rest on the work of their past. Given original guitarist, K.K. Downing’s departure in 2011, it seemed that was exactly where Judas Priest was heading. But after watching the show they put on at The Shoe on Sunday night, it is obvious that Priest is still one of the best bands out there today. Sure, lead singer Rob Halford may not have the same high notes in him as he did in the beginning, but he is still better than most of the guys who have come out in the last ten years. While many of the guys have to resort to stunts and costumes to get the people’s attention, Halford doesn’t need the smoke and mirrors and circus acts. Give him some leather, his shades….and maybe a Harley Davidson to ride out on stage and he will have the crowd in his hand by the end of the first number.
As good as Halford is, a singer is only as good as the band behind him. And based on their performance on Sunday night, Priest is one of the best in the business. Ian Hill and Scott Travis laid down a heavy rhythm section while guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner played some of the most famous riffs in metal. Faulkner, who replaced K.K. Downing in 2011, proved to be a shot of adrenaline to the band. While Tipton and Hill stayed mostly in one spot during the band’s set, Faulkner was a burst of energy that seemed to get a little something out of his lead singer, as well as the fans.
Make no mistake about it,Judas Priest are not relics of the past. They are treasures that the hard rock/metal community is still very fortunate to have around. There are only a handful of bands to fall into the same league as Judas Priest. Those who were in attendance at The Shoe this past Sunday night did not just attend a concert, they saw a piece of history.
Judas Priest Set List – Cincinnati, OH – 5/17/2015
– 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
– Breaking the Law
– Hell Bent for Leather
– Electric Eye
– You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’
– Living After Midnight