Aug 11, 2008

Concert Review- "METAL MASTERS TOUR": JUDAS PRIEST & BLACK SABBATH (with DIO- billed as HEAVEN & HELL)

Heavy Metal is alive and well on the perfectly titled "The Metal Masters Tour". In what was a fantastic fourth show on a short 16 gig American Tour, Judas Priest & Black Sabbath still can rock & reign supreme, just like the great hey days of the 1970's /80's Metal scene. On a cool night on the ocean at the Jones Beach Theater a really kool crowd relived the good old days of Metal. On their feet the whole night, pumping their fists in the air, the crowd rocked to some great music.
Black Sabbath (the Ronnie James Dio years line up) came on just before dark following Testament & Lemmy's Motorhead. After Black Sabbath fired Ozzy Osbourne back in 1979 they hired Ronnie James Dio as their lead singer. It was a transition to a new sound for Sabbath, but it refreshed the band as they went on to release 3 good albums with this line up. For this tour they chose to go under the name " Heaven & Hell" in honor of the classic album & song of the same title.
Ronnie James Dio lost a bit, still has the power in his voice especially behind the mighty heavy force of Sabbath. As the rocked on an extended jam version of "Heaven & Hell" it was amazing to realize they were just a three piece band kicking some heavy ass. Dio's songs always have the same style weather its with Sabbath, solo Dio, or with Elf & Rainbow.But no doubt this line up behind him is the best.
Tony Iommi who's guitar riffs have laid the ground work for all heavy metal guitars was as masterful as ever delivering exceptional leads & heavy chords. Gezer Butler one of my favorite bass players carried the heavy Sabbath sound as he ripped up the bass notes and held down the rythum. Geezer is definitely one of the most under rated bassists of all time.
Vinny Appice (brother of Vanilla Fudge's Carmine Appice- talented musical Italian American NY boys) who also played drums with Dio in the Dio band back in the eighties pounded away and gave us a great drum solo. The set list was short due to the four band line up & the fact that they were opening for Judas Priest. I thought the set list could be a little better but all in all it was done well and the band was fantastic.

The headliner and star of the show was Judas Priest. Priest who are promoting a great new concept album called "Nostradamus" did not disappoint. The band hit the stage with the only new songs played on their set night Dawn of Creation & Prophecy. Rob Halford hidden in a long mesch leather hooded jacket, high on a platform to the left of the stage, covered from head to toe as he screeched out the lyrics to Prophecy. Rob Halford and his 3 octave range voice is still one of the best singers you will ever see live. He belts out his signature high pitch screams that sends chills down your back. The man can sing.

They rode through a set of alot of old songs (their catalog goes back 35 years) not all mainstream stuff but great old Priest songs that the fans know well. Some of the songs I would have thought would be tough to pull off live, but the band was incredible and did a great job with stuff like Painkiller, Eat Me Alive, Dissident Agressor, etc. Again Halford's voice was incredible.

The Priest band has all its original members since 1973 except for the drummer. The classic guitar duo of KK Downing & Glen Tipton were as good as ever, wailing thru guitar leads and dueling it out. Bassist Ian Hill kept the rhythm pounding along with drummer Scott Travis, the new guy on the block-drumming with Priest since 1989.

With smoke machines, big flashing lights, a crowd standing with fists pumped and "rock & roll horns" signs flashing, it was a classic 1980's style Metal show. (Before moshing & stage diving junk, just about the music & feeling good!!) Of course no Priest show is complete without Rob Halford reving up his bike & riding his Harley out on stage for the encores especially "Hell Bent For Leather". Decked out in leather, studs, spikes, & chains Halford delivered. A great show!!

JUDAS PRIEST's setlist
Dawn Of Creation
Prophecy
Metal Gods
Eat Me Alive
Between The Hammer And The Anvil
Devil's Child
Breaking The Law
Hell Patrol
Dissident Aggressor
Angel
The Hellion / Electric Eye
Rock Hard, Ride Free
Painkiller

encores: Hell Bent For Leather
The Green Manalishi
You've Got Another Thing Coming



HEAVEN AND HELL's (Sabbath) setlist
E5150
The Mob Rules
Children of the Sea
I
Sign of the Southern Cross
Ear in the Wall
Vinny Appice Drum Solo
Time Machine
Falling off the Edge of -the World
Tony Iommi Guitar Solo
Die Young
Heaven and Hell