50 Heavy Metal Years
Foxwoods Resort Casino
April 2, 2022
Photos & Review by Dan Wenc
MASHANTUCKET, Conn. – It was a tour that felt like it was never going to happen, Covid resulted in the constant delays and rescheduling. It was the moment Judas Priest fans had been waiting for, the tour was rolling in 2022 this night’s stop was night Foxwoods Casino. Metal legend Rob Halford and his Judas Priest metal machine were out on the road celebrating 50 Heavy Metal Years. Priest has entertained millions in their time, generations of metal fans exposed to the music and the live concert experiences all over the world. It is always exciting when iconic music masters like Judas Priest are still out touring, especially five decades beyond their inception. A crowd of seasoned metal fans were ready to take in some Judas Priest.
QUEENSRŸCHE | First up for the night was Queensrÿche with the opening performance. Prior to Queensrÿche achieving their own successes in the early 80s, Michael Wilton, founding member and guitarist along with former guitarist Chris DeGarmo and drummer Scott Rockenfield formed The Mob, a cover band that played songs of Judas Priest covers as well as other metal bands from back in the day. Queensrÿche members have listed Judas Priest as being an influential artist to their music. Now it was their night to open for them and be on the road with Judas Priest celebrating the 50 years. This performance would be the ninth time that I have seen Queensryche live since my first show in 1991 on the Building Empires tour. The members of Queensrÿche performing this night were guitarist and founding member, Michael Wilton, Eddie Jackson on bass, Todd La Torre on vocals, Casey Grill0 on drums and Mike Stone on guitar. Stone replaced longtime guitarist Parker Lundgren. This was not Stone’s first run with the band as he had performed live and appears on several Queensrÿche albums to include Tribe, Operation Mindcrime II, Take Cover and two live albums.
Queensrÿche went on promptly at 8:00 PM started off with the 1983 “Queen of The Ryche”, from the self-titled EP. Next up was “Warning” from their first studio album, The Warning. The night continued with early Ryche to include “En Force,” “NM 156” before venturing off into “Empire”. But that would be as close as we would get to today in the Queensryche music catalog.
Queensrÿche consistently sounds great live. La Torre’s vocal style remains in step with the Queensrÿche sound and has proven track record to be worthy of the Queensryche and has become a great front man to lead them through the next chapter of Queensryche.
The night continued with their twelve song set, “Walk in the Shadows,” “The Whisper” and “Operation Mindcrime” and “The Needle Lies”. The familiar sounds of Queensrÿche were echoing through the venue, filling the seats. This was a deep collection of songs from the Queensrÿche earlier days. There was no “Silent Lucidity” and no material, it was a set list perfectly aligned with the nostalgia of the music of night. The Queensrÿche set closed out with “Take Hold of the Flame,” “Screaming in Digital” and of course, “Eyes of a Stranger”.
QUEENSRŸCHE photo gallery
JUDAS PRIEST | The anticipation of what was about to come next was building as the stage crew made the changeover. Then the lights went down, the sounds of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” amplified. Then comes when you feel that rush of energy and excitement build for what was about to come next. A large red, illuminated Judas Priest cross symbol hung over the stage, with white lights pointing out to the crowd. It was time for the celebration of 50 Heavy Metal Years to commence.
Judas Priest took to the Foxwoods Premier Theatre stage, the seats were filled and the room was energized. The crowd watch on as the stage had been transformed to JP Metalworks, a stage display of props and backdrops with an industrial metal atmosphere. Right out of the gate was “One Shot at Glory” from the 1990 Painkiller album, igniting a stage firestorm energy that would power the rest of the night. Next up was “Lightning Strikes” from the 2018 Firepower album. Rob Halford owned the stage and controlled the crowd with the music, donned in his leather garb traversing the stage all night in the company of Richie Faulkner on his Flying V guitar. At the other end of the stage was Judas Priest founding member and bassist, Ian Hill, along side of Andy Sneap, touring guitarist filling in for Glen Tipton.
The stage was a firework display of lighting, extreme colors, flashing going along with the music and stage set was something well worthy of a metal celebration such as this.
“You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” was next up in the set, followed by “Freewheel Burning”, “Turbo Lover”, “Hell Patrol”, “The Sentinel”, “A Touch of Evil”, “Rock Rolla” and “Victim of Changes”. The night flowed seamlessly from one Priest classic to the next.
Ian Hill maintained his subdued spot towards the back of the stage. Richie Faulkner worked the crowd at the other end of the stage, in line shredding guitar solos, to throwing out guitar picks and interacting with the crowd getting them even more fired up.
The set continued, with “Desert Plains” from the 1981 Point of Entry album, next up it was into “Blood Red Skies” from Ram It Down. Halford and company kept the night going with “The Green Manalish (with the two pronged crown)”, a song originally written by Peter Green and recorded by Fleetwood Mac in 1970, and appears on the 1979 Priest album Hell Bent for Leather. Followed by “Diamonds and Rust”, a Joan Baez cover; originally appearing on the 1977 Judas Priest, Sin After Sin album.
Drummer Scott Travis sat perched high upon his killer looking DW drum set at the back of JP Metalworks, he took a moment to speak to the crowd. Travis asked what they wanted to hear next, the crowd replied with “PAINKILLER”, Travis went right into his familiar and powerful drum introduction into “Painkiller”.
A brief encore brought the Priest back to the stage for “Electric Eye”, followed with Halford arriving at centerstage on a motorcycle, with his iconic leather coat, hat and riding crop, it was time for “Hell Bent for Leather” and “Breaking The Law.” The lights brieflywent down again. The lights went back up and a giant inflatable bull appeared onstage admits the fog/smoke and into “Living After Midnight”.
An evening of great metal was complete. A message on the back screen read, “The Priest Will Be Back”. And now we wait until that time. The Judas Priest legacy and Rob Halford have forever carved their place in heavy metal with their eighteen studio albums, a number of live albums and compilations to the name. Judas Priest helped to form a timeless genre of music, created a lifestyle of metal and has amassed a following of biblical proportions and inspired many other musicians along the way. With that, we say thank you Rob Halford, Ian Hill and the others continue to play their part of the legacy that is JUDAS PRIEST.
JUDAS PRIEST photo gallery
For more JUDAS PRIEST music news, info and tour dates, visit: https://www.judaspriest.com
For more QUEENSRŸCHE news, info and tour dates, visit: http://www.queensrycheofficial.com