Judas Priest @The Pearl- Las Vegas 10/17/15
Judas Priest at The Pearl at the Palms 10-17-15
By: Michael Taylor
Edited by: Leah Burlington
Judas Priest as been rocking the world for a long time, and doing it very well, as I recently discovered at my first Priest show at the Pearl in Las Vegas. My only regret about this show was that I had not seen Priest before this night. Before Priest even came on I could feel the energy rising in the audience and it came to a head as the sound system started playing “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath and the entire audience was singing along. That would not be the last time everyone in attendance was joining in song.
When the curtain finally dropped, the place exploded and everyone was on their feet. I was a bit further back than I normally am for concerts, but it gave me a unique perspective of both the band and the crowd. Priest’s light show was absolutely stunning when paired with the visuals being projected behind the band, there were times I couldn’t tear my eyes away from that instead of watching the band itself perform. To top it off they had album covers projected between songs to show off Judas Priest’s 40 year history. You’d think that they may have lost a step or two in those years of touring and album crafting but you’d be wrong. Rob Halford’s vocal talents defy the laws of time and he can still hit every note, even when performing “Screaming for Vengeance”, for the first time in 30 years, and the newer song “Halls of Valhalla.” Rob’s range is incredible with a plethora of growls and higher pitched screams and he still at 64, has the energy to pull it off. It’s been a long time since a solo gave me chills but Richie Faulkner & Glenn Tipton’s dueling solo’s did just that. These two shredded all night long and the crowd loved every second of it. As for myself I just reveled in the skill and mastery of their instruments while allowing the music to take me its hold on me.
At one point I heard someone shout “Here it comes!”, shortly after hearing a motorcycle start and being revved up, and to my naïve self I had thought it was just over the sound system, but I was immediately proven wrong when Rob drove back on-stage with his Harley, all surrounded by smoke while the band went into “Hell Bent for Leather”. This is where the crowd really lent its vocals to Rob’s and the entire building reverberated with the power and glory of the combined voices. After the first encore Priest teased us for only one more song but ended up playing a few more. By the end everyone was chanting Priest, Priest, Priest, and even the stage lights were pulsing to the beat of the chant. It was a thing of beauty. Learn from my mistakes and get out and see this band live before it’s too late!