i mean no disrespect to the priest, but this entry will be ‘deth-centric. sedikit.

i grew up as a teen at a time the priest had their defenders of the faith and turbo records out, missing out on their british steel era. so, it was no surprise that i didn’t jump at the chance of getting a ticket for their priest feast tour. until some colleagues at my lab told me that it’d be fun as there’d be testament and megadeth as well.

strangely enough, i felt on entering the arena that this gig sounded louder than slipknot’s when i was here last! managed to catch testament‘s penultimate song of their set list. damn, chuck billy is huge. i’m sure he was half that when i last saw the photos in the cassette inlay for souls of black. i didn’t recognise neither tune (despite muat turun-ing the formation of damnation recently, heh) but i was ecstatic to see alex skolnick onstage. it was a good thing that he was around for this leg of the tour (he was busy with the trans-siberian orchestra tour during the recent north american leg).

megadeth got onstage with sleepwalker from their current united abominations record. dave mustaine had his angel of death dean flying V and my friend was gobsmacked to see it being wielded live in front of his eyes (he has one, you see). the last time i saw the ‘deth was like 11 years ago at the rock city in notts when they had 75% of the classic lineup (nick menza had already been replaced by jimmy de grasso then). nevertheless, megadeth played a flawless set and it didn’t really matter, in my opinion, who was in the band! wake up dead was a pleasant one to see/hear them play and in my darkest hour was just fantastic. my favourite was segue-ing the mechanix in the bridge section of peace sells. now, i sacrilegiously felt at that moment in time megadeth easily kicked metallica’s ass, and to think hetfield and co. are only coming to this very same arena in a fortnight’s time. the chunking riffs were dead fast and the drumming was pure precision. i was also chuffed that they didn’t forget to play holy wars which was the encore. compared to my previous megadeth experience, the notts gig did feel subdued due to the tensions between mustaine and friedman during the risk (aka the shite album, in my books) era. and i also wondered if dave really had the wrist problem that led to the short hiatus he had thereafter. wrist problem or not, tonight’s performance was not sort of incendiary. hey, check out this short vid i took (i was surprised that my camera’s [bukan mobile!] mic can’t handle the decibels):

megadeth, sheffield arena 13.02.09 set: sleepwalker | wake up dead | take no prisoners | à tout le monde | ? | she-wolf | in my darkest hour | hangar 18 | symphony of destruction | peace sells [the mechanix]|| [encore] holy wars

judas priest had a grand set – with the highest drum riser i’ve ever seen in my life! i’ve only heard war from their current record, nostradamus. thus, when rob halford appeared on stage on one of the towers (you’ve got to be there!) singing dawn of creation all hunched in a glittering silver cape, i just stood back and enjoyed the music. it was kinda weird to see three blokes (ian hill looked like bill bailey from where i stood) from the west midlands with a total age of approximately 180 years playing flying V’s and gibson explorers. why do i say that? in true priest-style, they’ve not abandoned their leather gear. at 57, halford could still pull it, vocals-wise. i liked the style halford addressed the crowd (you need to have listened to their live tracks – in fact, check this out), which was none of this mumbled ‘howyadoin‘ crap.

the first tune i recognised was metal gods which i thought wasn’t as anthemic as the title would make you imagine. halford then reminisced on his previous gigs in the 70’s in sheffield which then went on to an account of their album british steel. “breaking the what?!”, and yes, we were then entertained by their classic breaking the law, which is my fav judas priest tune. if i had more floor space, i’d play the air guitar working my way with the power of mr, err.. rock. yeah!

halford did the harley bit of the show (i think it was rock hard ride free then. oo-er). they ended the show with you’ve got another thing from screaming for vengeance. for the uninitiated, the set may be a tad hilarious but that’s what a priest show is all about – grand theatrics in the true british heavy metal sense.

judas priest, sheffield arena 13.02.09 set: dawn of creation | the prophecy | metal gods | eat me alive | between the hammer and the anvil | devil’s child | breaking the law | hell patrol | messenger of death | ? | angel | electric eye | rock hard, ride free | the sinner | painkiller || [encore] hell bent for leather | the green manalishi (with the two-pronged crown) | you’ve got another thing coming