Judas Priest

Royal Arena, Copenhagen - 2018

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Back in 2011, Judas Priest made headlines around the metal community, as they announced and performed their final tour. A farewell.
Well, like basically every other band on the planet doing this, they came back again, possibly because the bills still had to be paid - who knows?
While I may have reserved some doubts as to how good this would be, there was no doubt that the band was going all in at least. Recently, and to much critical acclaim, they released their 19th studio album, Firepower, and this was followed up by a tour, this tour, with a strong special guest, a large stage setup, and more leather and studs than ever before!

“Good evening, Copenhagen! The priest is back!”
- Rob Halford (vocals)

Yes, the stage was definitely set for something big. Well, we didn’t see this at the very start, as the entire stage was covered by a curtain, painted with a large Judas Priest symbol in the middle, and then covered with different Judas Priest lyrics for the rest of it. While deciphering this, we got to hear Black Sabbath’s War Pigs as an intro song - a surprising, yet welcome choice. After this, there was a second intro, something I didn’t recognise played on keyboards, and the curtain fell as soon as the first song began. Out came two young guitarists (well, younger than the original Judas Priest members at least), one of which we recognised from the farewell tour, and another whom we recognised, but not in connection to this band. To the left, we had Richie Faulkner, and to the right was noone less than Andy Sneap, whom we’ve seen with Sabbat years ago, and later in Hell. It was a bit odd to see this classic band without the two guitar heroes who made it famous, K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton. On the other hand, this younger blood gave a much needed vitamin injection, that benefitted both band and crowd in the end, so it’s hard to complain. You’ll remember that Faulkner’s appearance about all that I found positive about the Priest’s farewell appearance back in ‘11.

On a positive note, Halford had managed to up his game in the tour-free years between then and now, and was moving more freely around the stage as the show progressed. Scott Travis had some fun with the drumsticks again, and was standing for the intro of The Ripper, but Ian Hill was hard for me to see, as he was always at the back of the stage. Can’t really understand why, there was plenty of space for him in the front, but yeah, I suppose that’s some kind of band dynamic that I don’t understand. He seemed happy enough in those few glimpses I got of him.
While this line-up was enjoyable enough, the band had an ace up its sleeve. Come Metal Gods, Glenn Tipton made an appearance, and played with the band for the remainder of the set. I must admit, this setup worked much better for everyone involved - having Faulkner and Sneap rip through the show the way the music deserves it, and letting Tipton give it all he had in a limited amount of songs, instead of half-assing it through an entire show.

“Copenhagen! Denmark! How are you doing tonight?”
- Scott Travis (drums)

There was no doubt that this was the crowd’s and the fan’s show. Everything was set up to entertain, right from the stagebuild, and the video productions playing on the large screen (too bad it broke down for a couple of songs in the middle of the set), to Halford doing his classic motorcycle entrance for Hell Bent For Leather, the sing along section in Turbo Lover, and Tipton’s appearance at the end. And Royal Arena was filled with dedicated fans, who were screaming and applauding along to every song. Not the young, wild crowd that you’d meet moshing at festivals and the like, but seasoned metal men and women, who knows how to appreciate music for the sake of music. Not that there’s anything wrong with the other type, this just wasn’t the place for it.

“How are you doing, metal maniacs?!”
- Halford (vocals)

We’re doing just fine, thanks for asking.
Despite my initial hesitation towards the band, they delivered a show that started out good, and ended in all-out party greatness! This was in no small part due to the new guitar duo, whom I can’t praise enough, but it was also the older gentlemen that were working for it again. The farewell tour pales in ridiculousness compared to the magic created here this night. If the band should make headlines in the metal community, it should be doing this, not that other silliness. Horns up to one of the bands that started it all, and apparently are still going strong.


War Pigs (Black Sabbath song)
The Ripper
Lightning Strike
Saints In Hell
Turbo Lover
Night Comes Down
Freewheel Burning
You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’
Hell Bent For Leather
Rising From Ruins
Metal Gods
Breaking The Law
Living After Midnight
We Are the Champions (Queen song)

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