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Judas PriestRockhal, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg
22nd June 2022
Judas Priest - “50th Anniversary Tour”

The British Heavy Metal legend JUDAS PRIEST is celebrating its 50th anniversary and is coming to Europe for concerts. On 22 June 2022, on the eve of Luxembourg’s National Day, the band around frontman Rob Halford will stop in Esch, the European Capital of Culture 2022, as part of their current tour. For their Rockhal performance, JUDAS PRIEST had songs from their current studio album ‘Firepower’ in their luggage as well as a selection of their best-known hits such as ‘Living after Midnight’, ‘Breaking the Law’ and ‘You've Got Another Thing Comin’.

JUDAS PRIEST is an English Heavy Metal band formed in Birmingham in 1969. They have sold over 50 million copies of their albums, and are frequently ranked as one of the greatest metal bands of all time. Despite an innovative and pioneering body of work in the latter half of the 1970s, the band had struggled with indifferent record production and a lack of major commercial success until 1980, when they rose to commercial success with the album ‘British Steel’. The band's membership has seen much turnover, including a revolving cast of drummers in the 1970s and the departure of singer Rob Halford in 1992. Tim “Ripper” Owens, formerly of WINTER’S BANE, replaced Halford in 1996 and recorded two albums with JUDAS PRIEST, before Halford returned to the band in 2003. The current line-up consists of Halford, guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner, bassist Ian Hill and drummer Scott Travis. The band’s best-selling album is 1982s ‘Screaming for Vengeance’, with their most commercially successful line-up featuring Hill, Halford, Tipton, guitarist K. K. Downing, and drummer Dave Holland. Tipton and Hill are the only two members of the band to appear on every album.

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Music & Performance
Luckily, the temperatures dropped a bit on this Wednesday evening, so it wasn’t too hot in the Rockhal. Although events were taking place all over the Grand-Duchy on that day to properly celebrate the eve of National Day, there were however a lot of people at the Rockhal. The reason for this was the English legend JUDAS PRIEST. As soon as you entered the main hall of the Rockhal, you felt as if you had climbed into a time machine for a moment. The stage design took you back to the good old days! Additionally, you could hear older songs from well-known classics before JUDAS PRIEST hit the stage. The audience this evening was a bit older than usual, but there were also younger spectators around. Right before the show started, ‘War Pigs’ by BLACK SABBATH rang through the Rockhal.

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At 9.15pm sharp, the time travel really started: The glowing trident slowly went up and the band showed themselves in all their glory with the instrumental intro ‘Battle Hymn’ which then changed into ‘One Shot at Glory’ from 1990, JUDAS PRIEST started the evening. We continued with a newer song ‘Lightning Strike’ from the 2018 record ‘Firepower’, which was well received by the audience. Then we jumped back in time again with ‘You've Got Another Thing Comin'’ from 1982. Here the glowing trident fully went up in the air and the audience knew: Now the show really took off. The time travel went on for the whole evening: Songs from the 1980s and 1990s were fired at the audience, who were of course very pleased. From ‘Freewheel Burning’ and ‘The Sentinel’ from the 1984 album ‘Defenders of the Faith’ to ‘Hell Patrol’ which was part of the 1990 ‘Painkiller’ album, everything was there to thrill the true JUDAS PRIEST fans.

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Songs from the 1970s like ‘Victims of Changes’ were also included in the regular set and really got the audience hyped. As for the concert on the whole, the audience's eyes got plenty of pleasures, as JUDAS PRIEST managed to keep the audience mesmerised for the whole show. Singer Rob Halford had the audience firmly under his spell and caused curious looks because of his eye-catching black-golden leather suit. Ritchie Faulkner and Andy Sneap were given plenty of room to show off their guitar skills and drummer Scott Travis was drumming the hell out of it. Bassist Ian Hill unfortunately stayed in the background and didn't move much. However, this was less noticeable to the audience, as JUDAS PRIEST were convincing with their songs.

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The cover songs ‘The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown)’ by FLEETWOOD MAC and ‘Diamonds & Rust’ by JOAN BAEZ also thrilled the audience. But when the heavy drum intro and the sweeping guitar parts of ‘Painkiller’ rang out, the audience went crazy. After that, JUDAS PRIEST played one world hit after another at breakneck speed as an encore: ‘Electric Eye’, ‘Hell Bent for Leather’ and ‘Breaking the Law’ shot out of the speakers. Rob Halford gave everything once again to end the anniversary show with the final ‘Living After Midnight’ and then ‘We are the Champions’ by QUEEN rang through the Rockhal and sent the crowd home while singing along to Freddie Mercury.

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Setlist
01. One Shot at Glory
02. Lightning Strike
03. You've Got Another Thing Comin’
04. Freewheel Burning
05. Turbo Lover
06. Hell Patrol
07. The Sentinel
08. Victim of Changes
09. The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown) (Fleetwood Mac cover)
10. Diamonds & Rust (Joan Baez cover)
11. Painkiller
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12. Electric Eye
13. Hell Bent for Leather
14. Breaking the Law
15. Living After Midnight

Rating
Music 8
Performance 8
Sound 5
Light 10
Total 7.8 / 10

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All pictures by Elena Arens

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