Black Label Society
October 30, 2011
It felt more like a party with old friends rather than a big farewell rock concert, but British metal legends Judas Priest played their final Vancouver concert last night like it was the last one of their tour. The band is calling it quits from touring when the current road trip is over sometime in 2012, so for those that were there, you’ve got a great memory. And for those that weren’t, na-na-na-na-na-na.
Although Rogers Arena was far from sold-out, the band gave it 100% with a show that dipped into the entire Judas Priest catalog for more than two hours. From 1974's Rocka Rolla through to 2008's Nostradamus, Priest played at least one cut from each of their 16 studio albums, and of course the essential concert favs like Living After Midnight, You’ve Got Another Thing Coming, Turbo Lover and Breaking The Law.
Although not as flashy as late 70s or 80s Priest tours, the Epitaph tour is on par with the bands more recent treks and comes complete with flash, flames and vocalist Rob Halford’s many costume changes. This guy has more costume changes than Cher or Celine Dion. From denim to leather and even a cloak for a creepy version of 2008’s Prophecy, Halford had some sort of costume change for nearly every song.
New guitarist Richie Faulkner, although a few years younger than the other band members, fit perfectly with his Randy Rhodes fretwork and visual style. Faulkner joined Halford, Ian Hill (bass), Glenn Tipton (guitar) and Scott Travis (drums) earlier this year when one of the band’s founding members, K. K. Downing, announced his retirement.
To those that decided to stay home, this show might have seemed a little bit old, odd or even cliché, but if you asked anyone that was there, it was an evening of classic metal played by its masters. As the Epitaph World Tour rips through the world and the number of shows diminishes, Vancouver’s dedicated and devoted can say they were there.
More photos by Dan Savoie are in the gallery.