Concert Review: Judas Priest Live In Auckland

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As I mentioned in my previous review for Slayer, it’s been a bit of a rough weekend. But this weekend also saw metalheads unite to see some awesome live bands and have a good time. This show was originally an Ozzy Osbourne headline show, however, Ozzy had to cancel due to illness. So it changed to the opening act, Judas Priest, headline instead.

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It was awesome to see that’s as the outcome rather than an overall cancellation. And to make it more exciting Halestorm, who had done a couple of their own headline shows in NZ this week, became the opening act.

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It seemed the crowd had quite a few Halestorm fans, as the lights went out and the crowd went off. A few people in the crowd garnered Halestorm shirts and to be honest, how could you not like them. The female-led 4-piece just came out with a bang. You could have thought it was their show. Lzzy Hale’s voice is incredible. It is so raw and powerful.

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Her voice had clearly taken a bit of a beating from all the shows but it didn’t phase her at all and it added to the grungy sound they have. The rest of the band harmonised well with her brother & drummer Arejay Hale, guitarist Joe Hottinger and bassist Josh Smith. There is something about the energy of Arejay Hale. He just seems to have positivity and a bit of craziness. His solo really brought that out, especially when he used an extra large stick to finish it off.

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It’s almost infectious. This band is a powerful force in itself and I’m glad I got to see them again. They put on an epic performance and I honestly I just want to be Lzzy Hale. She’s a badass.

Finally, Judas Priest took the stage. As they took the stage, the stage lit up in a wash of red, yellow and orange, as if it was fire. The visuals changed throughout the night including blue visuals. The back changed from a draped backdrop to an LCD screen that changed colour and had a range of visuals from albums, to music videos and other messages linked to the songs.

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Rob Halford disappeared a few times for an outfit change but that was particularly just a jacket change. Though emerging on an actual motorcycle was crazy! Guitarist Richie Faulkner was definitely a favourite for me as well as he just seemed to have the most energy the way he interacted with the photographers and especially the crowd.

I also have to give them props for mentioning what happened in Christchurch, though this was done by the LCD displaying the NZ flag and “Kia Kaha” written across it.

I think people get a bit worried about these older bands touring because their old and probably don’t have it anymore. But the past couple of nights, this has not been the case. Judas Priest put on a show and it definitely was that.

HALESTORM SETLIST:

Black Vultures
Love Bites
Mz. Hyde
Amen
Do Not Disturb
(Drums)
Freak
Uncomfortable
Misery

JUDAS PRIEST SETLIST:

Firepower
Delivering the Goods
Sinner
Lightning Strike
Desert Plains
No Surrender
Turbo Lover
Rising From The Ruins
Freewheel Burning
You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’
Hell Bent For Leather
Painkiller

ENCORE

Electric Eye
Breaking The Law
Living After Midnight

– Reviewed and Photographed by Shelley Te Haara
www.instagram.com/art.by.shelley
www.shelleytehaara.com

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