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Judas Priest @ Auditorium Shores, Austin, Texas, United States

Judas Priest
in Saturday, 8 November 2014 at Auditorium Shores
by Jim Wilkinson

On November 7th, 2014, I was sent by Metal-Temple to cover  one thing, and only one thing, Fun Fun Fun Fest’s  Friday night headliner, Judas Priest. Fun Fun Fun Fest , in its ninth year,  is an annual festival held at the Auditorium Shores park in downtown Austin, Texas. You will find a wide variety of musical acts, of various styles playing over a 3 day period. Everything from Rap, Pop, Rock, Punk, and Metal, on 3 open air stages.
Even though many consider Black Sabbath to be the godfathers of Heavy Metal, in my mind, Judas Priest are the ones who set the standard for what Heavy Metal is. I also consider them to be the start of the NWOBHM era. Where Black Sabbath set the standard for what Heavy Metal sounds like, Judas Priest set the early standard for bringing, and creating a show of music AND spectacle.

 On this typical Austin warm fall night, Judas Priest certainly brought the show. With the Judas Priest banner hanging at the front the stage lit up with spot lights, stage lights off, with the Black Sabbath song War Pigs playing as the intro, the packed crowd was itching to see and hear the mighty Priest bring the Metal. Just before the first chorus of War Pigs started, BOOM, the banner dropped as the pyrotechnics went off!

Opening with the song Dragonaut off of their latest release “Redeemer Of Souls”, the night would see a set that was a mix of fan favorite hit’s/anthems, along with cut’s from their latest release. Even at his age, and thankfully, with a better, and a shorter touring cycle, the self proclaimed (and trademarked) Metal God, Rob Halford sounded really great on this night. The band was in top form, as K.K. Downing’s replacement guitarist Richie Faulkner has brought a fresh breath of air into the band. You can say he’s even provided a spark that has been missing in the band for a while.

Ever the showman, Rob Halford roams the stage dressed in his leathers,  while belting out the songs, and continually sparks the crowed into singing along on so many songs. Or as the case would be,  just about every song on this night. There is nothing better than hearing a large crowd singing every word to songs like “Hell Bent For Leather” and “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming”.

What Judas Priest show would be complete without Rob Halford riding out onstage, on a big Harley Davidson motorcycle just before the band kicks in Hellbent For Leather, which happened to be the last song of the opening set, and the crowd went completely nuts. Due to noise control ordinances set by the city, the band managed to do 2 encores, ending the night with Defenders Of The Faith. Even though there was construction at the festival location, which caused the size of the festival setting to be smaller than in years past, the opening night ended with a bang!

1. Intro - War Pigs
2. Dragonaut
3. Metal Gods
4. Devil's Child
5. Victim of Changes
6. Halls of Valhalla
7. Love Bites
8. March of the Damned
9. Turbo Lover
10. Redeemer of Souls
11. Beyond the Realms of Death
12. Jawbreaker
13. Breaking the Law
14. Hell Bent for Leather

1st Encore

15. You've Got Another Thing Comin'

2nd Encore

16. Living After Midnight
17. Defenders of the Faith18.
Outro -Beginning of the End

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