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JUDAS PRIEST in Moscow!!! (27-11-2005)

As a rule I start my live reports with a brief representation of the group, its history and major creative work stages. In this case I won’t do that. The reason is pretty simple – telling the history of JUDAS PRIEST on a metal-music portal is vulgar, the development of heavy metal is essentially entwined with this band. It is their creative work which was first called “Heavy Metal”.

I don’t think I have to tell that the group has never come to Russia until 1999. In succeeding years after the break of the Soviet Union neither JUDAS PRIEST together with Ripper, nor Rob Halford with his solo projects came to our country. After Halford’s return to the band last year, the “sold out” notices were waiting for them all over Europe and once again Russia was left aside. Then the OZZFEST (a North-American tour basically) and the recording of the new album. If you looked at the tour schedule, then you’d certainly see that there was no respite for them since the end of February. The rumors about the coming of the great group to our country kept appearing and disappearing all the time. Like a bolt from the blue were the publications of the official dates of concerts in Kyiv, St.-Petersburg, Moscow and Baltic capitals. Admittedly, there still were 3 months left and everything could have changed a great many times. However, the tickets were sold out in the last week of October. The fan-zone was gone in two weeks, the stalls weren’t far behind. On the concert one could have seen that the closer to the stage the more occupied the seats were. The closest were 95% full, the farthest – 60%. It’s difficult to say how many people came to the show, nevertheless, I’d put a total of 7000: 3000 standing, 4000 sitting (and maybe more).

The group came to Moscow from Kyiv in the evening of November 25 and gave a 30-minute press-conference. TheMetalList portal was represented by your humble servant and a photographer – you can check the material out here.

On the 27th of November at about 7 o’clock in the evening lots of people are heading in the general direction of PS Luzhniki, one of the biggest sport areas of Moscow, which has also held more than a couple of rock-concerts. An enormous hall, the stage is divided into two parts (two floors, to be accurate). The second floor is actually a couple of narrow pathways on the left and the right sides of the stage. Loud cheering screams, blue-green light and the intro - “Hellion” – from “Screaming for Vengeance»” which passes on to the “Electric Eye”. Four people appear on the stage: the tall figure of Scott Travis hastily placing himself on the percussions, Ian Hill to the right (relative to the stalls), Glenn Tipton in the front, KK Downing to the left. A couple of words about the background: it’s one-colour with a circle in the centre which disappears and the audience can see Rob Halford rising on a lift. In a minute everybody is singing “I'm elected electric spy/I'm protected electric eye”. Next are “Metal Gods” – Rob brilliantly sang the first words of the clover walking on the second floor.

Right after that comes another song from the “Screaming for Vengeance” – “Riding on the Wind” and the group leaves the stage, the lights go off, the decorations are being changed and an Angel appears, the one from the cover of last album of JUDAS PRIEST – “Angel Of Retribution”. Soon the band reappears on the stage, Rob is wearing a different coat now (he changed coats at least 10 times during the show – black ones, black with silver rivets, silver, steel ones…). A famous 1990 obscure composition – “A Touch Of Evil” and the band leaves the stage again but not for long.

The speakers proclaim the next song to be the first from the last album – “Judas Rising”. It’s a pity many people didn’t listen to the last album and thus didn’t know the song. At the same time quite a number sang along with the clover. The song ended and Halford (standing in the middle of the hall) pointed at the angel and said “Retribution – Revolution” thereby naming the next composition (on the album it’s the following track after the “Judas Rising”).

A short and famous song “Breaking The Law” – during the clover Halford just turned the microphone away and nobody was left aside, every single person in the hall recited: “Breaking the law, breaking the law/Breaking the law, breaking the law/Breaking the law, breaking the law/Breaking the law, breaking the law”.

After that Rob loudly and clearly announces the next song “I’m A Rocker”, one of the most solemn composition of the group with an outstanding solo by Tipton.

Ian Hill leaves the stage to appear in the final part of the acoustic version of “Diamonds And Rust”. To tell it was beautiful means to tell nothing at all, the song touched out hearts. Rob’s vocal on this composition is absolutely clear, measured and has an extraordinary timbre tinge. In the end of the song Tipton and KK remember about their electro-guitars, so does Ian Hill. Halford produces a speech to the audience, in which he thanks everybody for the support, for the long years of waiting and announces the “The Green Manalishi”, in the end of which he performs choral singing with the audience.

The show goes on and now the background is an enormous symbol of the group, which resembles a trident. We hear the song which is considered by many to be the most beautiful song of the group. It is from “Stained Class” and the times, when the musicians turned to the leather/rivet image which later became the genuine image of most of the heavy music bands. Regretfully, it was the only song from that album on the set-list – “Beyond The Realms Of Death” (which was later rehashed by BLIND GUARDIAN). The hall is all working lighters, in the end of the song Tipton produces a usual brilliant solo.

The next song is again announced by Halford – it is the “Hellrider” from the new album. The audience reacted calmly, in contrast to the previous one. “I'm your turbo lover/Tell me there's no other/I'm your turbo lover/Better run for cover” – the hall is singing unanimously, laughing at the same time. “Turbo Lover” is just great.

“Victim Of Changes” – is a long song (for JUDAS PRIEST), an epic work, it was even longer than on the record. In the middle of the composition Tipton was left alone on the stage and was repeating the three notes all over again, doing it faster and faster and finishing his solo with a wild speed. The group reappeared on the stage and finished the song.

And finally, the last song of the planned set-list. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to guess what it was. Rob roars “It’s The Pain…” three times and three times he hears “...Killer” in return. He exclaims “It’s The Painkiller” for the last time. To say the truth, quite a number of people sang along with Rob from the beginning to the end of the composition. The frontman himself brilliantly sang this extremely difficult song: the vocal cords are in constant tension on this track.

The band leaves the stage but the break is not for long. The background changes to become the abbreviation of JUDAS PRIEST, the musicians appear on the stage again, everybody but Rob. The latter emerges on a motorcycle and performs the “Living after Midnight” on it. He descends to sing the “Hell Bent for Leather”, after which we are happy to hear another couple of minutes worth of choral singing. Easy motives in the beginning, something more difficult later, after that Rob declaims “Judas”, “Judas Priest”, “Judas Fucking Priest” and the concert of the forefathers of heavy metal ends with “You've Got Another Thing Comin'”, in the middle of which Rob starts running between the musicians. In general, the encore was pretty standard for them. “Spasibo, Moscow”, a bow, kisses blowing, the show is over (1 hour 50 minutes total).

It’s hard to believe that the youngest member of the band is 44 years old (Scott Travis). All the others are long 50+ already. They performed in a way, which many young musicians would envy. Tipton and KK produced amazing solos and were in perfect harmony on the stage. Hill was in the back almost all the time which didn’t stop him from sublime bass-guitar playing. Rob Halford: clear voice in the ballads, unusually strong and beautiful, high notes in the second octave, ordinary screaming – everything is perfect highest-level work.

The sound was great during the whole concert, a special thank you to the light engineer, the light was very beautiful, especially the obscure red-green stage during the encore.

There is one negative fact I can’t put aside. There were a lot of drunk people in the hall. However, they didn’t disturb anybody much, which I can’t say about the police, their loutishness was absolutely unbearable. But in general it's a very small thing. It’s not a secret for anyone that the members of police are animals.

The concert should be rightly considered to be one of the best shows in the previous couple of years. A number of attendants were waiting for the show for many long years. The average age of people on the concert was 25 to 30 years old. There was also a respectful number of people with gray hair, well it’s been 30 years since the first album of Judas Priest was recorded and there’s nothing astonishing in it.

What else to say – I want to hope and believe that this is not the last visit of the great group here in Russia


Reported by Alan, translated by ArceON

A big gratitude to «SAV Entertainment» for given accreditation.


The Hellion/Electric Eye
Metal Gods
Riding On The Wind
A Touch Of Evil
Judas Rising
Breaking The Law
I'm A Rocker
Diamonds And Rust
Green Manalishi (With The Two Prong Crown)
Beyond The Realms Of Death
Turbo Lover
Victim Of Changes

Hell Bent For Leather
Living After Midnight
You've Got Another Thing Comin'

Reported by: Alan
Translated by: ArceON

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