50 Heavy Metal Years With Judas Priest @ Van Andel Arena
Judas Priest celebrated 50 heavy metal years at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, September 16, 2021.
I attended the Priest show at Van Andel and it was great to see the band again, especially after all these years.
Singer Rob Halford who recently turned 70-years-old, can still hit those ultra high screams he has been know for throughout his entire career. Bassist Ian Hill who is the only original member of the band still doing his thing like a champ. Drummer Scott Travis has been with the band since 1989 and still hammers it behind the kit. Guitarist Richie Faulkner and Andy Sneap have replaced original guitarists K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton. Although Tipton is still an active member of the band as a writer and showing up for a few songs here and there since he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
This was the first show I have been to where I was carded for my proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Glad I had saved a copy of the card in my phone. I have a feeling this will be the way of most shows moving forward until the pandemic gets under control.
Unfortunately the audience was sparse. The whole upper bowl was empty and the lower bowl was no where near to being full and the floor was only half full. It looks like people are still leery of gathering in high numbers especially fans of older bands like Priest. On the other hand, I'm sure there were plenty who did not come because of having to show proof of vaccination or a 72 hour proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
As far as the bands performance, the overall show was great. Both Faulkner and Sneap covered the guitar catalog flawlessly, especially all the dual guitar solos and switching back and forth on lead guitar parts.
I did notice the band had tuned their instruments down much lower for the older catalogue songs which allowed Halford to hit those skyscraper notes.
This current tour has the band playing some songs they have not played live in a long time. This gave lifelong fans a pretty good taste of their entire catalog.
All in all for me, the show was good and it was very nostalgic to get to see these metal legends one more time. I expected more on the show side of things with staging, lighting and video but those who were there for the music, Priest gave you a great list of songs to enjoy.
Here is the set list in case you would like to catch them on another date on the tour:
- One Shot At Glory
- Lightning Strikes
- You've Got Another Thing Comin'
- Freewheel Burning
- Turbo Lover
- Hell Patrol
- The Sentinel
- A Touch of Evil
- Rocka Rolla
- Victim of Changes
- Desert Plains
- Blood Red Skies
- Electric Eye
- Hell Bent For Leather
- Breaking the Law
- Livin' After Midnight
Here are a few pictures from the cheap seats from the show: