Live Review: Judas Priest [Apollo, Manchester] July 16, 2011

By July 28, 2011 July 24th, 2016 Live

With this, the final world tour from metal legends, Judas Priest, anticipation is high within the crowd tonight. And with a crowd mixed with old bikers and young metal heads alike, it is proof that Judas Priest are as powerful now, if not more so, than they ever were…


Openers Rival Sons are pleasant enough with their style of modern hard rock and Robert Plant-styled vocals but playing to a not yet full room of Judas Priest fans would intimidate any band. Queensryche are very well received and play a strong but short set, they too seem excited about the arrival of the headliners.


Whilst the crew members assemble the intriguing looking set design from behind a screen, the crowd push forward eagerly. Judas Priest have a lot to live up to but as most people know, Priest know how to put on a show. And, that they do as they start with a bang, kicking off with ‘Rapid Fire’ and ‘Metal Gods’ in front of a very well-crafted backdrop. The beginning of the set is mired by technical issues but these are overcome quickly and very professionally and do not dampen what is an incredible show.


It is clear very soon that Judas Priest have not slowed down in the slightest. Rob Halford is on fantastic form, not only is his voice sounding great, but he strides around the stage like a man half his age. Ex-Lauren Harris guitarist, Richie Faulkner does a brilliant job in the difficult role of replacing KK Downing. In between crowd interaction and blistering guitar solos, he has a great stage rapport with the rest of the band and is a great addition to the show.


Priest bring their A-game with them on this tour with fire, lasers, lights and a fantastic album cover display at the back of the stage. The whole effect combined with classic after classic hit is breathtaking to witness. The set is great mix of rarely played classics and old favourites with Halford stepping off between most to have an impressive amount of costume changes. Even though his entrance on the Harley during ‘Hell Bent For Leather’ is expected, it doesn’t fail to be spectacular. ‘Breaking the Law’ is just as awesome with the Halford not singing a note, leaving the audience to lift them up and belt out every single word.


This is certainly the perfect celebration of an amazing career and as extremely well-executed as you would expect from the metal masters – they leave the crowd stunned, amazed and with giant smiles on their faces.


For more information visit the official Judas Priest website.