Arriving at the Bomb Factory, an hour before doors opened, I was greeted with a line that spread down Canton Street and wrapped around the corner almost all the way up to Main Street. To say that anticipation was high for Judas Priest’s return to Dallas a year after their last show here would be an understatement. This was my second Priest show ever and I was beyond excited because this band has a cemented reputation from decades of touring and putting on a killer live show. Entering The Bomb Factory I passed many people dressed in leather and wearing shirts from previous tours showing their long held devotion to everything Judas Priest. To further the experience, there was branded Harley Davidson in the lobby that attendees were able to sit on and get photos taken. Further into the main room the crowd was starting to get in their places and prepare for what Uriah Heep frontman would announce as over 100 years of combined band history between the two bands.
It is very rare for a venue to be almost at capacity from the get-go, but people were in place and cheering as Uriah Heep took the stage and began the evening of classic English metal. They began their set with “Grazed By Heaven,” from their 2018 album Living The Dream, and proceeded to move through the decades from the 70’s to the present covering hits “Too Scared to Run,” “Gypsy” and “Easy Livin’.”
As the lights went down on Uriah Heep there was a audible excitement knowing that the Metal God’s were up next. As Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” blasted out of the P.A. the anticipation rose as it was time for Judas Priest. Richie Faulkner and Andy Sneap soon hit the stage playing dueling guitars to start off the show. The band soon all arrived on stage with Rob Halford entering the stage dressed as a witch doctor holding a cane topped with a skull. Judas Priest had arrived musically and theatrically to reinforced to everyone in attendance that there is a reason they are revered as the preeminent metal band of their time.
The hits just kept coming and there were only brief gaps between each song and very little filler included, they were on a mission and they were no taking prisoners tonight. Rob Halford’s ability to hit every single note after touring for 50 years in an amazing accomplishment. Along with Halford, the band was filled out by longtime bassist Ian Hill, guitarist Richie Faulkner, drummer Scott Travis, and recent addition Andy Sneap filling in for Glen Shipton who took leave of the band last year after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. I never saw the classic lineup of Judas Priest, but I am extremely happy that I was able to see this lineup because it surpassed all of my expectations and was a shining example of what any concert should be.
– Robb Miller
– click to enlarge photos –