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Judas Priest, Megadeth, Testament @ Wembley Arena, London (UK)

in Saturday, 21 February 2009 at Wembley Arena
by Josh West

Saturday saw the ultimate Metal gods JUDAS PRIEST play with Thrash legends MEGADETH and TESTAMENT on the UK leg of the 'Priest Feast' tour, and boy was it one hell of a feast.

TESTAMENT opened the night and really set the bar high for the other bands. The guys were on top form that night and with such a short setlist they had to make a good impression from the go and they delivered! From storming the stage with Over The Wall to closing up with The Formation Of Damnation, TESTAMENT destroyed all that dared to listen. Chuck Billy proved why he is one of the best frontmen in Metal by really trying his best to get the whole crowd involved in the Thrash attack; he again seemed really appreciative of crowd's precipitation and this support the crowd gave it back. The only downer was the occasional sound problems that made the guitars getting lost in the mix and the bass sounding muddy; this would be the only complaint I could give for TESTAMENT. They also played Souls Of Black which was the best surprise of the night for me!

MEGADETH then stormed the stage and for one hour the crowd was pure insane. A constant mosh, plenty of headbanging and a hell of a lot of singing made this one the best MEGADETH performances the band has done in the UK for years. With such a short set the band crammed classics into their set ranging from the obvious choices like Wake Up Dead and Holy Wars to some surprises like She Wolf and A Toute Le Monde made it an unforgettable MEGADETH experience. They had taken out Tornado Of Souls for She Wolf and I thought it was actually a good swap on the night; She Wolf was a rare song that I honestly never thought I would get to hear live! The crowd loved the overall performance and you could tell the band did as well. The sound was perfect and all members were firing on full cylinders out to impress a crowd that ranged in ages wildly between under 18 and over 60! Highlight of the set was once again Peace Sells… But Who's Buying?. As the band and crowd fully got into that one…oh, and who could forget Dave telling us that when asked recently by a journalist what the meaning of Skin O My Teeth was, he decided to make up a new meaning to it- just to keep things interesting…and this next one is about going on trip to the dentist!!
JUDAS PRIEST I honestly thought would struggle after the two blinding openers but man was I wrong. Rob Halford owned the stage as soon as he ascended from underneath on a platform with a giant JUDAS PRIEST staff. He was dressed in a sparkly cape for the opener, Prophecy, to the end when Halford rode a bike onto the stage, dressed in the British Steel outfit for Hell Bent For Leather and then walking on for the final encore draped in an England flag while conducting the voices of the whole arena; JUDAS PRIEST were incredible.

The crowd loved it, singing every single word and getting sucked into the world class live act that JUDAS PRIEST is. The sound was incredibly loud but the mix was perfect. KK Downing and Glenn Tipton, possibly the best guitar duo in the Metal world, performed neatly. Playing every solo with finesse, the crowd was treated to the classic in-time body shifts and guitar lifts throughout the night. Rob Halford's voice has improved so much in the last year it really is mesmerizing. Whether hitting the high screams in Sinner and Painkiller or just the deliverance of such classics as Electric Eye and Rock Hard Ride Free, it was a night no Priest fan could be unhappy with.

JUDAS PRIEST really is one of the greatest live acts you will ever see and they showed everyone once again how it's done. They came onto the stage celebrating 35 years of British Metal and showed what the power of the true Metal gods can achieve! If you can see this band headline, quit your job, miss school and university if you have to…It is an unforgettable live experience.

(photos by Adam)




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