Great Review of the Nassau Coliseum Gig
- Created: Tuesday, 20 March 2018
We have a great review from New York Daily News of the Nassau Coliseum gig. It's a long read but here you go: (edit: stock photo)
Judas Priest: metal gods bring 'Firepower' to Nassau Coliseum by Kevin Coughlin
"We saw a little bit of 'Heavy Metal Parking Lot' out there, with the buses rumbling in!" exclaimed Judas Priest drummer Scott Travis, referring to the cult documentary of heavy metal concert tailgating escapades from a 1986 Priest concert in Landover, Md.
Thirty-two years later, the spirit of heavy metal madness was alive and well Saturday night, on St. Patrick's Day, when the beer flowed and a mixed crowd of near-retirement aged metalheads converged upon the NYCB Live at Nassau Coliseum. The triple bill was a metal maniac's dream: show openers Black Star Riders, middle liners Saxon, and the undisputed kings of heavy metal, Judas Priest.
Black Star Riders, a hard rock band featuring former touring members of Thin Lizzy and Alice Cooper, got things started with the title track off their debut album "All Hell Breaks Loose."
Lead singer and guitarist Ricky Warwick amazingly channeled the late Phil Lynott on Thin Lizzy classics "Jailbreak and "Whiskey in the Jar." Former Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham kept the solo breaks loud and clean while quietly celebrating his 67th birthday on stage.
The band played with a lot of energy and fury for a group of guys in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. Their latest album, "Heavy Fire", reached No. 6 on the UK charts when it was released last November.
Next up was Saxon, the purveyors of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) scene that gained traction in the early 1980s. Led by singer Peter (Biff) Byford, guitarist Paul Quinn, and veteran drummer Nigel Glocker, the band was — by far — the loudest band of the night. Quite possibly, the loudest band I have ever heard! Even while wearing earplugs, one can feel the ground move and air shift from the bone-crushing shear volume.
Saxon opened their set with the title song of their latest album, "Thunderbolt," which Byford announced was their best-selling album since 1984.
The old Brits got the crowd of teenagers with their parents and some grandparents rocking and fist-banging, waving their "metal-horns" sign, to songs such as "Power and the Glory," "Princess of the Night," and their anthem to the '80's metal generation, "Denim and Leather."
Byford, 67, with his long white mane of waist-length hair, is showing no signs of stopping. Formed in 1977, Saxon is a band that has seen its share of ups and downs and has somehow managed to sell upward of 23 million albums worldwide, according to Wikipedia.
Come 9 p.m., the time machine in the newly renovated NYCB Live Nassau Coliseum turned the clock back to 1986 as the Priest hit the stage.
Parents made sure their small children had their hearing protection on as Priest launched into "Firepower," the title track off their latest effort, which currently holds the No. 5 position on the Billboard Hot 200. It is also Judas Priest's highest charting album ever in their career.
"Firepower" — the band's 18th studio album — sold 49,000 units in the week ending March 15, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 48,000 were in traditional album sales — the act's best sales frame since 2005's "Angel of Retribution."
Judas Priest's album sales were bolstered from a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer in association with the band's tour that began on March 13.
However, this is a much different looking Judas Priest.
The only founding members of the quintet are lead singer Rob Halford and bassist Ian Hill. Just last month, co-founding guitarist Glenn Tipton, 70, revealed that he has Parkinson's disease and that the rigors of touring were too much to handle.
In Tipton's place, playing only his third show with Priest, is Andy Sneap, who is also the producer of "Firepower." Rounding out the band is 38-year-old Richie Faulkner, who replaced original guitarist KK Downing in 2011, and veteran drummer Scott Travis.
Halford, 66, the self-proclaimed "Metal God," paced himself a little slower and smoother than he had in decades past, but he still has a range that can shatter a glass behind the stage.
Digging deep into their catalog, classics such as "Running Wild," "The Ripper" and "Sinner" bore their sonic resemblance from the 1970s. Their 1980 American breakthrough, "British Steel", featured the most cuts of the night.
Songs such as "Grinder," "Metal Gods," "Breaking the Law" and "Living After Midnight" got the security force working overtime, wrestling some out-of-control senior citizens out of the coliseum.
Halford, ever the showman, changed from silver leather to black leather, back to silver outfits as fast as Cher ever did between numbers. Never to disappoint, Halford rolled onto the stage atop his silver Harley Davidson for the regular set closer "Hell Bent for Leather."
Judas Priest are as real as heavy metal gets and like Saxon, also show no signs of stopping. Catch them again Tuesday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.