APRIL 15th 2018

Review By: Metal Mom
Photos by: Char Tupper

Judas Priest “Firepower” tour kicked off March 13th and has been leaving its mark ever since. If you are lucky, you want to witness this over the top, kick ass tour package. If you haven’t seen it, don’t make a mistake by missing out, there are still a few dates left. For me, this was a first for me, to see Judas Priest and Black Star Riders for the very first time, as well as Saxon a second time. Safe to say, I wasn’t disappointed.

First off tonight, BLACK STAR RIDERS. Wow, they were so good, you just have to see them to really appreciate their sound and talent. I was blown away, I haven’t seen them before, and I don’t like to listen beforehand, just in case the CD is over produced and nothing like what you see/hear.  I had nothing to worry about, holy geez, these guys are truly amazing, they did an incredible 40-minute set, and by no means was this long enough for me. This is a band you might say has some DNA from Thin Lizzy, however, they have developed into a true rock machine. Excellent choice to open the night, I am hooked, just couldn’t believe the talent, the phenomenal performance and energy from them all. It was a set that had you hooked from the first sound and didn’t let you go until they were finished with you. Fine by me. I was astounded though looking around the room, and there were not many people standing, or cheering, clapping or anything, they were lumps in their chairs. I wanted to shout at them, “what is the matter with you?”, these guys are magnificent, awe-inspiring. Not often I can say, a band holds my interest for their whole set, but with them they have perfected their sound, stage presence is full of energy. I am a fan, I appreciate great music, and I will be there again in Seattle, or Vancouver when they decide to return. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to come and review this show, I wish I could put it, so others could really grasp what Black Star Riders is all about, best thing to say, just go check them out next time they’re in your neighborhood.

Check out the interview we did with Damon Johnson earlier this month:

Next is the mighty SAXON, I have seen them once before in Vancouver, BC (Oct.10, 2013), quite a while back in fact. I knew what to expect, the guys played a lot from the new album ‘Thunderbolt’, plus some great oldies “Denim and Leather” and more. From my seat, and I was up close, it was hard to see them, everyone was standing, and of course everyone had their cell phones up in the air filming. GRRRR!!! For all concerned, everyone was enjoying their performance up there, it was well done, fun and most enjoyable. Saxon delivers, you want fast and furious, you got it, dark and brooding, you got that too. After all, they give their all, consider they have been doing this since 1970. They got their sound nailed down. What a great performance overall and they had their fans captivated from that first note, right to the end. However, I think I was a little anxious to see the next performance.

The headliner tonight, a heavy metal group from Birmingham, England, a band that will knock your socks off, or rock your world … JUDAS PRIEST! We all know what to expect, but still, it is Judas Priest, and this is my first time experiencing them live. Their 40-year career is responsible for some of the most influential albums in metal history, and not to forget one of the greatest live bands also. It has been said they are one of the first metal bands to wear leather and studs. Last year they were nominated for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and I would say that they ‘should’ have been inducted, in my opinion. The Showare was sold out, in other words, jam packed! I was trying to move around to see everyone up there on stage. Finally got into a good spot, watched and listened. No one tonight was disappointed, they played a variety of songs, new and old, but for me, it’s the thrill of seeing first hand the legendary firepower of Judas Priest. Of course, the motorcycle made an appearance, so I got to witness that. Notably on this tour, Glenn Tipton was not going to be on ‘most’ of this tour because he recently got diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, which makes it difficult for him to perform. Tipton's place onstage will be taken on by Andy Sneap, who co-produced the band's upcoming Firepower album, let me tell you, he did an incredible job.  Everyone on that stage was unbelievable to watch. I was tempted to leave early, long drive back to Vancouver, BC (3+ hours), but I thought, what if, just what if Glenn Tipton was to appear, I mean he has performed on one other date, you never know when his next might be, so I decided that I had to stay, just in case. My first time, I couldn’t miss it if it happened. Well my heart beat a little faster, and I had a huge grin, because I made the right decision, Glenn walked on-stage for the encore songs, and finished off the night with “Breaking the Law”, “Metal Gods” and “Living After Midnight”. What a memorable way to end this show, one that I was lucky to see, and one with Glen Tipton. WOW, spectacular, impressive, extraordinary, and filled my heart with awe-inspiring thrills. This will never be forgotten.