Masters Of Metal Tour - Judas Priest, Heaven & Hell, Motorhead Live In Southern CA
Review and Photos by: David Priest © 2008 On Track Magazine.com
Perhaps the most anticipated
Mr. Lemmy Kilmister! You gotta love Lemmy, he strolls onto stage just as he always does, no qualms about his roll in rock and asks the audience how they’re doing, which gets the hyped up response of GREAT! To which he then states, “We’ll change that in a moment”! Fucking brilliant! Announcing to the crowd, we are Motorhead and we play Rock and Roll the band slammed headfirst into a solid set of their most heinous tunes sending the fans into a vicious frenzy. The classics were all there and the guys even managed to work in a couple of new songs from their latest CD Motorizer (which in my opinion is one of their best to date). By the end of their set the crowd was supercharged and rearing to go with the headlining duo of the night.
The magical and overtly macabre incarnation of the Ronnie James Dio fronted Black Sabbath, now known as Heaven & Hell delivered an absolutely flawless performance in every single aspect. Their gloomy gargoyle infested stage set was the perfect accenting for their seriously dark musical persona. Opening with “The Mob Rules” they struck a monster chord within the hearts of all those in attendance and set the pace for every song that followed. Dio’s voice was intense as ever with a beauty and passion that transcends the boundaries of any normal Metal vocalist as was evidenced in the much appreciated classics “The Sign Of The Southern Cross”, “Falling Off The Edge Of The World” and “”Children Of The Sea”. Iommi’s playing was equally impressive sending chills through every headbanger present with his monster riffs and powerful Metal prowess. The crowning jewel of the night of course came during the extended rendition of the band’s theme song and title track from the first Dio era Sabbath LP “Heaven and Hell”. The theatrics of the gargoyles breathing fire and all the smoke with the ghoulish Dio’s face bathed in dark red light was enough to bring a tear to my eye and scare the shit out of me at the same time.
All hail the Metal Gods! By far one of the most famously celebrated Metal bands in history is the British born Judas Priest who having received their start in the 70’s are still going incredibly strong today. The band recently released their first ever concept album titled Nostradamous and pulled out all the stops to make this one of their most controversial projects ever. The Metal Gods opened their set with the anthemic “Dawn Of Creation/The Prophecy” with frontman Rob Halford appearing as the very subject in question, complete with robe and staff, a bit more Metalisized though for proper effect. Being that this was a tribute tour to the Master’s of Metal it was only fitting the Priest would spend a considerable amount of their time shelling out as many of the classics that they could and I have to say that I have absolutely no complaints about their choice of songs. Granted, I’m sure I would have enjoyed another hour or more of the songs I grew up listening to but I was satisfied with what I did get. I can’t say that everybody held the same feelings though as after the band finished fans didn’t want to accept that it was over and insisted on waiting toil the very last moment when security kicked them out in the hopes that the Metal Gods would do another encore. For a bunch of old guys they truly kicked all of our asses. Halford was spot on in every vocal delivery only straining the slightest during the song “Painkiller” but as for every other tune, “”Heading Out To The Highway”, “The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown)”, “Breaking The Law”, “Hell Bent For Leather”, “Metal Gods” and “Electric Eye” among others Halford and the rest of the band were right on with the sound of utter perfection. The magnificent tag team of guitarists Glenn Tipton and KK Downing were intoxicating and made me remember why I love Metal so much. All I can say is I hope that we see more of the Metal Master come forward next year to deliver a second chapter in what was one of the best package tours I’ve ever had the pleasure of attending.