October 13, 2022
Photos & Review by Tom Bogus
WALLINGFORD, Conn. – Defending the heavy metal faith for over 50 years, the Priest has come back to Connecticut. Heavy metal legends Judas Priest started their 29 stop 50 Heavy Metal Years North American tour at the Oakdale Theatre. Supporting Judas Priest on tour is 80s metal band Queensrÿche, who had also supported them on the previous leg of this tour this year.
Queensrÿche hit the stage at 7:30pm, opening their explosive set with “Queen of the Reich” from their debut EP Queensrÿche (1983). The stage had a large black backdrop bearing the bands name and logo. Casey Grillo’s drum kit was set in the back and center of stage on a low drum riser, with tapestries on each that looked like church type Stained glass windows. There were also three small risers in the front on the stage, about 6ft back from the edge. The band continued on with more early hits with “Warning”, “En Force” and “NM 156”, all from their debut LP The Warning (1984).
Queensrÿche just released a brand new record on October 7th 2022 called Digital Noise Alliance, so they debuted some new material. They played “Behind the Walls” and “In Extremis.” Both songs were pretty good and was received well by the audience. To round out the set, they played a few more of their hits like “Empire,” “Operation: Mindcrime” and one of my personal favorites “Take Hold of the Flame.” Todd LaTorre once again demonstrated his amazing vocal abilities by hitting every note flawlessly. Guitarists Michael “Whip” Wilton and Mike Stone were great as they traded off leads and harmonies seamlessly. Bassist Eddie Jackson and drummer Casey Grillo worked great together by keeping the tight rhythms as tight as possible and keeping that train rolling. As with all good things, they must end, Queensrÿche ended their set with “Dreaming in Digital” followed with “Eyes of a Stranger.” This was yet another stellar performance from the guys in Queensrÿche.
QUEENSRYCHE photo gallery
After a quick set change over and brief half hour break, the lights went dark. Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” blared over the PA speakers followed by “The Hellion” in which the large red, illuminated Judas Priest cross symbol in the center of the stage came alive. The cross shot out white lights towards the audience. At the end of the intro the cross turned blue and was raised to the ceiling as Judas Priest took to the stage, opening with “Electric Eye”. The Priest stage setup was that of a industrial metal works factory, with dirty brick walls, 55 gallon drums, electrical boxes and smoke stacks. Rob Halford strutted around the stage in his black and gold leather jacket and pants belting out the lyrics as guitarists Richie Faulkner and Andy Sneap shredded up and down the stage.
Judas Priest changed up their setlist drastically since their last visit to Connecticut. They really dug deep and pulled out some serious deep cuts that the band has not played live in years and even decades. They played “Riding on the Wind” (first time live since 3 December 2005), “Jawbreaker” (first time live since 1 August 2015), “Beyond the Realms of Death” (first time live since 17 December 2015), “Between the Hammer and the Anvil” (first time live since 23 March 2009), “Screaming for Vengeance” (first time live since 17 December 2015) and “Genocide” (first known live performance). The band played these songs like they have been playing them all along and the fans really enjoyed it. They also added “Judas Rising”, “Steeler”, “Firepower” and the live debut of “Never the Heroes” to the set.
Judas Priest ended their set with “Screaming for Vengeance” and left the stage. A couple of seconds later Rob Halford rode a custom motorcycle out on to the stage and parked it. The band kicked into “Hell Bent for Leather” as Rob sang the song while sitting on the motorcycle. After the song was over they continued the encore by performing “Breaking the Law” and “Living After Midnight”.
I have seen Judas Priest perform in the past and they have always been great. This time was no different. They sounded amazing, the setlist was great and the stage and lighting was near perfect. It’s safe to say that a Judas Priest show is a guaranteed great time.
JUDAS PRIEST photo gallery
Queen of the Reich
Behind the Walls (Live Debut)
In Extremis (Live Debut)
Take Hold of the Flame
Screaming in Digital
Eyes of a Stranger (With “Anarchy-X” outro)
War Pigs (Black Sabbath song) (playback)
The Hellion (playback)
Riding on the Wind (first time live since 3 December 2005)
Heading Out to the Highway (tour debut)
Jawbreaker (first time live since 1 August 2015)
Never the Heroes (Live debut)
Beyond the Realms of Death (first time live since 17 December 2015)
Judas Rising (tour debut)
You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’
Steeler (tour debut)
Between the Hammer and the Anvil (first time live since 23 March 2009)
Halls of Valhalla
Firepower (tour debut)
Genocide (first known live performance… more )
Screaming for Vengeance (first time live since 17 December 2015)
Hell Bent for Leather
Breaking the Law
Living After Midnight
We Are the Champions (Queen song)