Review and Photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: Danny Zelisko Presents (https://www.dannyzeliskopresents.com/ )
Venue: Tucson Arena (https://tucsonarena.com/ )
Date: Tuesday November 8th, 2022
Tour: 50 Heavy Metal Years
Well, it only took 36 years for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to pull their heads out of their arses. It is a massive disgrace that this organization has snubbed almost all of the bands in the Metal and Progressive Rock/Metal community. Finally, this year, 2022 they have recognized one of the leading Metal bands that have been around for over 50 years, Judas Priest. Priest band members Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton, Ian Hill and Scott Travis will finally be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
I have seen Judas Priest many times and for me this was the best show yet. Some people might say, “I just saw them earlier this year, why see them again, it will be the same show.” WRONG. I saw Judas Priest back in March in Phoenix, and this show had almost a completely new set of songs in the main set (only 1 was the same). Of course, the Encore was almost the same since it is the mega-hits. The show in Tucson was heavy with songs from the Screaming for Vengeance album.
The stage is the same as I saw in Phoenix, with its industrial look, shades of Birmingham where they are from. There is the giant pitchfork/cross (Judas Priest symbol) that hovers about the stage blasting out different light patterns on the stage and audience. Behind the drummer is a large screen where different movies play during the show.
The only 2 members from the 70s that are still with the band are lead singer and front man, Rob Halford and bassist Ian Hill. Drummer Scott Travis has been with the band since 1990. Unfortunately, guitarist Glenn Tipton has left the group due to illness. Glenn has been replaced by guitarist Andy Sneap. Together with fellow guitar Richie Faulkner, they are one of Metals greatest dual power guitarists.
The faithful were extremely happy to hear a new set of songs. For me one of the highlights of the night was when they played “Halls of Valhalla”. I have never heard this live before. It is one of my favorite songs that is not one of their mega-hits.
t was the typical encore was where Rob comes out on stage in full leather outfit riding a Harley as they play “Hell Bent For Leather”. They then move into “Breaking The Law”. They leave the stage again and the roadies push out something that looks like a mining cart. As the light came up again, out of the cart emerges a giant bull. Priest comes back on stage and sings “Living After Midnight”. They finish the night with an audience sing along of Queens’ “We Are the Champions”. The sound from the audience was deafening. Afterwards the band came out to the front of the stage and throw drum sticks and a lot of picks to the people lucky enough to be in the front.
Judas Priest might not sell out stadiums any more in the USA, by their fans are extremely faithful. I saw a lot of friends at both the Phoenix and Tucson shows. If you go out of the USA, then Judas Priest can sell out very large venues and are usually one of the big-name bands at the Metal festivals throughout Europe every summer. After 50 years they are still producing albums with Firepower being released in 2018. Once the band finishes this tour this year, they plan on writing a new album.
Judas Priest has never had a number 1 hit but has produced 18 studio albums and trilled hundreds of millions of fans over the past 50 years. Judas Priest has sold over 50 million albums with numerous Gold and Platinum awards. But lately, sales have dropped off. There will have to be a new way of ranking songs and albums. The old method of sales is not accurate anymore. Most young people streaming music and sales have gone down dramatically. Looks like we will need to look at rankings based on Spotify/Amazon Music/iTunes/Pandora listening along with sales.
Would I go see them again, HELL YES. If you have never seen Judas Priest then you really need to go to one of their shows, they put on a great show. For the faithful, go see this new show, you will love it. You can see if they are coming to a city near you by checking out their website or Facebook page.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialJudasPriest
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/JudasPriest
Photos by Fred Kuhlman, All Rights Reserved
Judas Priest Setlist: (Album / Cover)
(Intro) War Pigs (Black Sabbath song)
(Intro) The Hellion
Electric Eye (Screaming for Vengeance)
Riding on the Wind (Screaming for Vengeance)
You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’ (Screaming for Vengeance)
Jawbreaker (Defenders of the Faith)
Never the Heroes (Firepower)
Beyond the Realms of Death (Stained Class)
Judas Rising (Angel of Retribution)
Devil’s Child (Screaming for Vengeance)
Genocide (Sad Wings of Destiny)
Steeler (British Steel)
Between the Hammer and the Anvil (Painkiller)
Halls of Valhalla (Redeemer of Souls)
The Green Manalishi (Fleetwood Mac cover)
(With the Two Prong Crown)
Screaming for Vengeance (Screaming for Vengeance)
Hell Bent for Leather (Killing Machine)
Breaking the Law (British Steel)
Living After Midnight (British Steel)
We Are the Champions (Queen song)
Judas Priest initially started this tour in 2019. But due to the pandemic it was postponed until late 2021. They started the tour again, but had to postpone it due to a medical emergency. The tour finally started again in 2022. This time Queensrÿche was added as the other band on the ticket. At first, I was surprised with this grouping, a Heavy Metal with Progressive Metal band. But then I think back to Dream Theater touring with Iron Maiden and how afterwards how Dream Theater had a major breakout. Hopefully this might occur for Queensrÿche.
For many followers of Queensrÿche, they believe their great album was the rock opera, Operation: Mindcrime. In April of 2012 there was a massive breakup of the band that resulted in a legal battle for the rights to the bands name and songs. Once the court fight was over, Geoff Tate got the rights to the full Operation Mindcrime album and the rest of the band got to keep the name and the right to perform some of the songs on Operation Mindcrime. The band also got the rights to perform other songs from the vast collect of albums.
Since the split, the new Queensrÿche has produced 4 albums. Digital Noise Alliance was just released this year. However, tonight’s show was a mixture of songs from the band’s first album, The Warning and Operation: Mindcrime. But tonight, as each of the Operation Mindcrime songs was performed, the audience sang along with Todd.
Queensrÿche current lineup consists of founding members guitarist Michael Wilton and bassist Eddie Jackson. They are joined by new members, guitarist Mike Stone and drummer Casey Grillo. The band is now fronted by lead singer Todd La Torre.
I am a longtime fan of Queensrÿche. Personally, I look at the split just like a marriage falling apart and I am the friend that has to pick between which party I stay with. Well, I refuse. I like both new bands. I have seen this new Queensrÿche every time they have toured since the breakup. I really enjoy their new music and love Todd La Torre as the lead singer. He has a very strong stage presence and I really like his voice. All bands that have been around as long as Queensrÿche have had member changes. But Eddie and Michael provide the grounding with the old and help with the influence going forward.
I highly recommend seeing Queensrÿche. I like their new albums and wish they would play more from them. But the role of the leadup band is to rev up the crowd and you do that by performing your hits. I hope Queensrÿche will tour again soon as a headliner. They are good enough to pull in a good crowd in a smaller venue. I definitely go to that show.
You can see upcoming tour dates and locations on their website and Facebook page:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/QueensrycheOfficial/
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/queensrycheofficial
Photos by Fred Kuhlman, All Rights Reserved
Queensrÿche Setlist: (Album)
Queen of the Reich (Queensrÿche EP)
Warning (The Warning)
En Force (The Warning)
NM 156 (The Warning)
Behind the Walls (Digital Noise Alliance)
Operation: Mindcrime (Operation: Mindcrime)
The Needle Lies (Operation: Mindcrime)
Take Hold of the Flame (The Warning)
Screaming in Digital (Operation: Mindcrime)
Eyes of a Stranger (Operation: Mindcrime)