Article and photos by Glenn Woodell
The fans who came out to see rock and metal powerhouses from yesteryear, Deep Purple and Judas Priest, braved the rain and humidity and showed their loyalty. Local favorite, and drummer for Judas Priest, Scott Travis, brought out plenty of the area musicians who either played with him in years past or who remembered seeing him play the local circuit.
The show was almost postponed by severe storms that spawned at least one waterspout and flash flooding, and left the air hot and thick with moisture. But it went on as planned and the weather gave way to a full-length concert.
War Pigs started playing before the curtain came down in front of Judas Priest, getting the crowd pumped up. They shook the arena and kept everyone on their feet. Although Rob Halford has aged over the years, his vocals were amazingly powerful as he hit the high notes with ease. All the old favorites sounded like they always have as he screamed and belted out the high end throughout the evening.
Lead guitarist, Richard Faulkner was the musical eye candy with his wild moves with his guitar, even playing it with his teeth at one point. Much to the excitement of the bikers in the crowd, Halford rolled out on a beautifully customized Harley motorcycle, parked it center stage, and sang Hellbent for Leather while seated on it, holding the microphone in one hand and a leather crop in the other.
Deep Purple held the crowd until the end, saving the all-time favorite of many, Smoke on the Water, for the finale. Although they lacked the big, ever-changing backdrops that you see so often these days, they had a huge screen which showed some vintage video clips and extreme closeups of the stage action.
- Delivering the Goods
- Lightning Strike
- Desert Plains
- Turbo Lover
- Rising From Ruins
- Freewheel Burning
- You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’
- Hell Bent for Leather
- Highway Star
- Pictures of Home
- Strange Kind of Woman
- Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming
- Uncommon Man
- Knocking at Your Back Door
- Perfect Strangers
- Space Truckin’
- Smoke on the Water