Red Rocks Amphitheatre Morrison, CO


  On August 11th, Judas Priest came to the mountain town of Morrison, CO at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheater to give fans a taste of the old and a taste of the new, performing the bands landmark album, British Steel in its entirety. After 30 years since it's release, British Steel has become a fundamental album that ushered in a whole new genre of metal. It is an album that truly has stood the test of time, by a band that sounds as epic as they did 30 years ago, and is just as relevant today.

 Opening up was Pop Evil, a five piece post-grunge band from Michigan, brought in a different sound, but proved to be a good fit on this tour. Pop Evil could not have been happier to be playing with Judas Priest at Red Rocks and it truly showed. Performing songs of their 2008 debut record, "Lipstick On The Mirror", they quickly gained attention from the crowd and did a bang up job playing with heart and soul.

 Once Pop Evil finished their set, 80's glam-metal rockers Whitesnake hit the stage for what would be a futile set and the last stop on the tour. After only four songs, David Coverdale ended the show, abruptly claiming he has had laryngitis and would not be able to perform any further. He sounded fine to us, until  Coverdale made his announcement. We have seen bands pass out, vomit, and play with 103 degree fevers onstage. We once were at a show where the drummer had a broken collar bone, but, despite that, he did his best. Coverdale should have pushed though, or entertained the crowd one way or another, when people paid their hard-earned money to see Whitesnake. Coverdale's lack of professionalism and respect for his few fans just goes to show he still thinks it's 1988 and he can act like a diva. Coverdale's work ethic reflects his star, barely glimmering. Goodbye and good riddance.

 After an extra long set change and as the sun set over the rocks, the sold out crowd of 10,000 + anticipated the arrival of the true metal gods.The crowd ranging from what looked like 5 year olds to 75 year olds went crazy for what was going to be a night to remember for all. The PA rang with Black Sabbath's War Pigs, and, halfway through the intro, the curtain dropped with the guitar riffs of K.K. Downing and Glen Tipton that filled the amphitheater with the first song off British Steel's, Rapid Fire. Once the stage cleared of smoke, vintage Priest had brought a stage set that was right out of 1980; complete with a British Steel backdrop, platform, and of course, the band dressed in full metal attire.





 As the true metal gods ran through a slew of hits, it was apparent Judas Priest was at the top of their game. With a driven bass line from Ian Hill and signature leads and rhythms from Downing and Tipton, they could have not been more tight. We were a bit skeptical of Rob Halford playing at an altitude of 6,500 feet and were not sure how it would affect his nearly five octave vocal range. But that goes to show us, never underestimate the metal god; a true professional. He had some help from the audience with such choruses as United and Metal Gods that echoed and were over-powering. Along with playing the entire British Steel album in its entirety, they also played Prophecy, off their 2008 critically acclaimed release Nostradamus. For the three song encore, the revving of an engine roared and Halford rolled out on his Harley to close the set with You've Got Another Thing Coming.



 Priest still has it and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. If you missed this once in a
lifetime tour, Priest will be recording their August 17th show in Hollywood, FL for an upcoming DVD.
Check back soon for details. 


   Photos and Review by: Suzanne Drager & Brandon Marshall



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