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Judas Priest, In Flames

Event: Judas Priest, In Flames
Written by: Pierre Tombale
Published: 12.03.2005

It was just a few moments before In Flames were to take the stage and the hall was not very crowded. About 50 people were waiting in front of the stage for them to kick off the show. Shortly before the band came out more and more people began to fill the place until it was filled to 2/3 of capacity.

It wasn't sold out so that was quite suitable, but it really made everything appear smaller than it actually was. When In Flames went on the stage I wasn't really excited because I knew about 5 songs before and I didn't really like more than two of them. You could see the band was quite motivated smiling at each other and giving everything they had, but against their efforts they terribly failed to connect with the crowd. You could see some 50 people in the crowd banging their heads, but after the songs you could hear a lot of booing from behind.

The sound was clear and the bass was grinding your guts with very thick guitars and loads of effects could be heard. However, that's not what the people wanted they could have done without that part show, without all the technical stuff, effects, shouting, and screaming of the singer to get some soul into the music. In no way could I find a Melo-Death Metal band the right choice to support a classic Heavy Metal band like Judas Priest, not after that. The applause they got was rather pitiful than grateful and after an hour it almost felt like In Flames gave up to make way for what the visitors had come to see - The return of the Priest!

After a break that seemed to set a better mood after the In Flames set they played some classic tunes from Accept, AC/DC, and other bands it felt conciliatory for me and I guess especially for the older spectators too.

From that very moment of the opening note from The Hellion you barely could stop screaming or banging your head a very exhausting show for everyone the band and the fans from that moment Priest did everything to make up for what has been missed before. Though the show was quite static concerning the movements of band-members and especially Rob Halford it was a night to remember. I can't recall a concert I have seen with a clearer and better sound and closer to the album than this one. Less show and higher quality sound seemed the motto. One might think they were only going to promote the new album, but that wasn't really the case. Instead the very old songs from the 70's to the mid 80's were played and only a few songs from the new material. What surprised me was how many breaks they took in between where solos were played for the others to take a short timeout or for Rob Halford to change his clothing. The most movements came from the elevators that brought Halford up and down the different levels of the stage, neither he nor the rest of the band would put many efforts in making a big show except for Scott Travis spinning his sticks like he had nothing else to do. Their age might be an explanation?! The four songs that were played from the new Angel Of Retribution album were Judas Rising, Deal With The Devil, Revolution and Hellrider the rest was old stuff not that this was bad, but I guess it was what the fans expected.

The encore took half an hour although the fans weren't screaming at the top of their lungs, which surprised me but again age might be the explanation. The average fan attending must have been around 40 years old though some people looked much older! But hence the age of the band that should be no surprise, additionally it has to be said that Rob Halford's return to the microphone had to be awaited for a veryyyyyyyyy long time. Last year 14 years had passed since Painkiller. If you have seen Halford touring solo (which I was lucky enough to see in 2000) you could say that he had more energy back then maybe it wasn't his day this time, but he first seemed to wake up from his static standing around or walking slowly cross the stage in the time during the encore. I am not complaining because luckily he was able to hit most of the high-pitched notes perfectly; although one song or another might have been tuned down I don't know. The very peak was reached with Breaking The Law where everyone who knew the words were and was screaming as much as possible. Breaking the what? LAW! Breaking the what? LAW!

Here is the setlist:

01. The Hellion
02. Electric Eye
03. Metal Gods
04. Riding On The Wind
05. The Ripper
06. A Touch Of Evil
07. Judas Rising
08. Revolution
09. Hot Rockin´
10. Breaking the law
11. I´m A Rocker
12. Diamonds & Rust Acoustic Version
13. Deal With The Devil
14. Beyond The Realms Of Death
15. Turbo Lover
16. Hellrider
17. Victim Of Changes
18. Green Manalishi
19. Painkiller
20. Hell Bent For Leather
21. Living After Midnight
22. You´ve Got Another Thing Comin´

All in all a great event; so great I was in the mood to buy my first metal shirt. It was a rather cheap Angel Of Retribution tour shirt and not from the expensive merchandising they were selling inside of the Grugahalle.


Guest article disclaimer:
This is a guest article, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

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