Judas Priest & Saxon 4-21-18 Las Vegas

Judas Priest & Saxon: Las Rageous Fest: Las Vegas

Review by: Steven Troy

Edited by: Leah Burlington

I’m gonna geek out on you and ‘fess up… Judas Priest changed my life. I was just a stoner kid, wandering around the beach in San Diego with a guitar around my neck, listening to stuff like Pink Floyd and Rush, when I found a tape on the ground that said “Judas Priest, Unleashed in the East”. May as well have been in Martian, I had no clue. Took it home… and had to buy another one a couple weeks later. A few months after, they came around, and that was it. My whole world had changed. A couple other bands I got turned on to after that were Iron Maiden and SAXON. I first saw them with Accept, their first ever show in the US, and it was awesome… but Saxon stole the show, as I think they did here… awfully close, for sure. Some controversy, a lot of people were miffed because the mighty Priest played on the smaller, F stage, when other bands that many people did not agree with, played the bigger, main, U stage… for sure, Hollywood Undead had no business being there at ALL. But, that’s how it went down. Saxon rolled on just before Priest, and it was UN! REAL! The kick drums were SO insane, I thought the bricks in the street were gonna start flyin’ around, and the whole sound was THAT huge, just MONSTER! Biff Byford has perhaps the most commanding stage presence of ANYBODY! He just rules the world when he’s onstage, like Moses giving the Ten Commandments. And he has lost NOTHING over the years!  He sounded PERFECT! This was my personal fave set of the weekend… but…

Up next was the Allmighty JUDAS PRIEST. I will never forget the first time I saw this band… 9th grade… do the math… ain’t skeered… and, yeah, it was a life changing experience. Tipton and Downing, with their choreographed twin guitar attack, Halford howlin’! They just blew my mind… but gave me a clear path! I saw that and said   “THAT’S IT! THAT’S how you do it!” And they still do. With KK Downing stepping down in 2011, Richie Faulkner has taken over guitar duties for his parts. Some HUGE shoes to fill, but he played and rocked like Downing. On this tour we found out that the mighty Glenn Tipton has Parkinsons Disease so he is touring with them but only plays the last three songs if he is up to it. In his place is Andy Sneap, doing Tipton’s guitar licks like a pro and he also produced the new kick ass album “Firepower” along with their legendary Priest producer Tom Allom. Now, we all know how dry it is in this desert, and its allergy season… when is it NOT? Halford took a couple songs to adjust… but then it was ON! This man single handedly established the way Rock and Metal singers are expected to sound, influencing EVERYBODY since he busted out in the 70’s. Once he got in a groove… yeah… hold on! SUPER difficult vocal songs, like Freewheel Burnin’ and Painkiller, he straight NAILED. They don’t call this dude the Metal God for nothin’. I, personally, don’t even TRY to sing when April and May come around, I have a hard enough time breathing… But Rob Halford is ROB FUCKING HALFORD! Metal God, indeed. I told some friends early in the evening that the coolest thing that could happen that night was Glenn Tipton jammin’ a few songs… and he did! He rolled onstage for the last 3 songs, and it just made that whole night pure MAGIC! SUPER awesome show, and if you missed it… you missed it!

Saxon and Priest still reign as two of the best metal bands in the world!! All we were missing was Maiden to round out the Unholy Trinity of Metal!! One day…

Check out Judas Priest new killer album Firepower: Judas Priest

Check out Saxon’s new album Thunderbolt: Saxon

  • Client: Judas Priest & Saxon
  • Year: 2018
  • Agency: Photography of Leah Burlington