Judas Priest & Steel Panther rock the Tacoma Dome

November 26, 2014
Categories: 

Flashback May 18, 1986 in the Tacoma Dome. Me a young 19 year old metal head there to witness Judas Priest with Dokken opening. Not in a million years would I have guessed I'd be back there in 2014 to see them in concert again.The Metal Gods still to this day deliver the goods.

Celebrating their current 17th album release "Redeemer of Souls" (the band's first top 10 charting album in the US ever landing at #6 on Billboard) is a perfect mix of Judas Priest over the years. The classic rock sound of the early 70s meeting the molten metal machine they've became from the 80s till now. In their 16 song set, a fourth of the set was new songs including the show crushing opener of "Dragonaut". The remaining third of the set included many of the Priest classics we've grown to love, but I was a little bummed no "Electric Eye", "Screaming For Vengeance", "Green Manalishi" or "Freewheel Burning" in the set. With 40 years of music to choose from I can't be too picky cause look at the final awesome setlist: Dragonaut / Metal Gods / Devil's Child / Victim of Changes / Halls of Valhalla / Love Bites / March of the Damned / Turbo Lover / Redeemer of Souls / Beyond the Realms of Death / Jawbreaker / Breaking the Law / Encore: Hell Bent for Leather / You've Got Another Thing Comin' / Encore 2: Living After Midnight (Joined onstage by Steel Panther) / Defenders of the Faith. Pretty bad ass setlist still!

Highlight for me goes to the Metal God himself Rob Halford. How in the hell at 63 years old is this guy still amazingly singing some of these songs? "Beyond The Realms of Death" was beautifully mind-boggling perfect. Definitely one the greatest singers ever in any music style. (Check out KISW's Men's Room audio interview 11/20/14 with Rob - Click Here)

When original guitarist KK Downing left the band in 2011 and was replaced by Richie Faulkner, it was like a energy infusion to the Priest lifeline. His crazy good guitar skills and energy onstage was an undeniable catalyst with Judas Priest continuing on touring and recording new albums when they originally announced they were done after touring in 2011/2012. It was super bad ass to see Richie come out and play his custom D'haitre' Stealth V! A guitar company based right here in Washington State by former Zakk Wylde guitar tech Andy Beech. His energy and style just fuels the fire of the guitar master himself Glenn Tipton. These two twin guitars rip as good as the old days with KK.

The Tacoma Dome nearly lost their mind as soon as they heard the roar of the Harley motorcycle coming onstage for the encore. We all know what that meant. The classic "Hell Bent For Leather" was here to fill our ears. Definitely one of the Top 5 favorites of all-time with fans in the Priest catalog. The Metal Gods live on and this show proved there's no stopping Judas Priest, the defenders of our faith...METAL! Thanks to YouTube channel Raphaefeli for the live videos! To view my full set of Judas Priest live photos click here.

Opening the show was Steel Panther, the 80s Sunset Strip butt-rock parody act with heavy over the top XXX overtones. They might look like they are stuck in 1984, but these guys play like rock masters and lead singer Michael Starr has the voice 100% of those 80s rock acts wish they still had. Well David Lee Roth at least, ha!

A definite crowd favorite to those there that knew them and a complete shocker to those that had no clue who the band was. I'm sure parents there with their kids plugged their ears and blindfolded their eyes, especially when the crowd of girls were invited on stage to strut their stuff on the last two songs of the night. Opening their set with the awesome "Pussywhipped" (off their new album "All You Can Eat") sent the crowd into fist pumping, head banging, hair metal frenzy. Their hour long setlist was a non-stop barrage of classics in the Steel Panther catalog: Pussywhipped / Party Like Tomorrow Is the End of the World / Asian Hooker / Just Like Tiger Woods / Community Property / Eyes of a Panther / 17 Girls in a Row / Gloryhole / Party All Day (F**k All Night) / Death to All but Metal. One thing most people don't know is Steel Panther guitar wiz Satchel (aka Russ Parrish) use to be Rob Halford's guitar player in his band Fight in the early 90s!

Steel Panther are back to Seattle January 17th at the Showbox Market. Buy tickets here! My biggest personal highlight tonight (besides Michael Starr trying to pull me up on stage numerous times from the photo pit - thanks Mocha Charlie for photo below of one of those moments) was with Steel Panther.

We've done many end-of-show shots over the past years, but to actually be on stage looking out to the thousands in attendance like so many musicians I've seen there for the past 30 years was a moment I'll never forget!! To view my full set of Steel Panther live photos click here.