D V D's
So I am shuffling through the DVDs and I discover this little gem. Wow! I didn't realize Priest had released a new live DVD. Unfortunately, due to the fact that it was nearing Christmas I didn't really have any extra cash to spend, I let it rest. Fortunately I have family that knows what I like and to my delight, this DVD showed up in my Christmas stocking.
"Live in London" was recorded live on 19th December 2001 at the Brixton Academy, London. Of course this disc showcases current lead singer, Ripper Owens who does an outstanding job on both the classics and the newer material. Ripper isn't as captivating a stage presence as Rob was, but he certainly can sing which kept my ears and eyes glued through the entire disc. The man can shatter glass. The rest of the band remains faithfully intact; the twin guitar attack of Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing as well as the powerful rhythm section of bassist Ian Hill and drummer Scott Travis. As usual, the guitar work is incredible from these two legendary guitarists. Overall the sound quality is excellent, but since I don't have the greatest TV in the world, it seemed the K.K.'s guitar leads were a bit lower in the mix than Glenn's. Of course this could be attributed to the fact that I don't have stereo output on my television. The 90-minute live performance features many songs that were not released on "'98 Live Meltdown," which is cool. I was surprised to see the inclusion of "Turbo Lover" and the obscure British Steel track, "United". Being that this show was recorded as part of the "Demolition" tour, there are a few songs from that album performed. There were only two songs from the excellent "Jugulator" CD included. If I had my choice, I would have rather have heard "Bullet Train" or "Cathedral Spires" off that CD rather than the lackluster "Burn in Hell." The lyrics on that song are just so juvenile and, well, Spinal Tapish, in my opinion. Despite these minor complaints, "Live in London" is a recommended disc for Priest fans. Also included are a 20-minute feature titled "Demolition Time," that includes band-member interviews and 25 minutes of sound-check footage, including versions of songs not part of the actual concert, "The Sentinel" and "Lost & Found."
Judas Priest - Electric Eye (Sony) 2004
BBC Television Performances:
Outstanding DVD release featuring most of the band's videos from the past, including the entire "Priest...Live!" video that was previously only available in VHS format, as well as 13 promo videos, BBC TV performances and a complete discography. Digitally remastered in 5.1 Surround Sound, except for the BBC performances, which are Dolby 2.0 Stereo. Seeing those old "Rocka Rolla" performances was a trip. Not use to seeing old Halford with long hair. The real highlight here, however, is having the "Priest...Live" video on DVD. 19 classic songs performed live in Dallas, Texas, during the 1986 Fuel for Life tour. ("Metal Gods" plays underneath the credits and isn't part of the concert.) Excellent sound quality and a great performance from the band when they were at their commercial peak. I was sort of hoping that the Ripper-era video(s) might be included as well, but alas they were not. Will have to wait for a separate DVD release for those I suppose. Otherwise, an outstanding DVD collection. Essential to any Priest collection.
If it weren't enough that the Priest reunited, emabared on a world tour and gave us a new studio album, they also have recorded an entire live show filmed in May 2005 at Tokyo's famous Budokan. Priest were the main attraction at the '04 Ozzfest and then even embarked on a headline tour to support "Angel of Retribution" the following year. With so much touring, the band is tight and sound as good as they ever did. Rob sounds spot on, KK and Glenn are vicious and the rhythm section of Ian Hill and Scott Travis are tight. Most of the classics are here, although as with any fan some of my personal favorites were left off. It was very cool to hear resurrected classics such as "Exciter" revisited for this DVD. As the band has been doing for the last few years, the acoustic version of "Diamonds & Rust" is fantastic. I also found the inclusion of new tracks like "Judas Rising" and "Revolution" to be quit good. The sound quality is great as well. The DVD is recorded in surround sound. This DVD is an excellent testimony to Priest's timeless catalog and a great reminder of a killer tour from the reunited Priest. Here's looking forward to more in the future.
1. Battle Hymn
2. Rapid Fire
3. Metal Gods
4. Heading Out To The Highway
5. Judas Rising
7. Victim Of Changes
8. Never Satisfied
9. Diamonds And Rust
11. Night Crawler
12. Turbo Lover
13. Beyond The Realms Of Death
14. The Sentinel
15. Blood Red Skies
16. The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown)
17. Breaking The Law
19. The Hellion
20. Electric Eye
21. Hell Bent For Leather
22. You’ve Got Another Thing Coming
23. Living After Midnight
Epitaph. n. A brief literary piece commemorating a deceased person. The band, having announced that this would be their final large-scale world tour, celebrated their final shows with an incredible career-spanning set list. "Epitaph" is the first high definition video release from Judas Priest chronicling the band's 2012 Epitaph tour. The DVD (or Blue Ray) was recorded live at Hammersmith Apollo, London, England, May, 26, 2012.
First of all, the set list is much of what anyone would expect from Priest with all the usual suspects, "Living After Midnight", "Breaking the Law", "You've Got Another Thing Coming", etc. Most true-blue Priest fans are going to be more hungry for the deeper tracks. On this DVD the band offers some rarely played songs such as "Never Satisfied", "Rapid Fire", "Starbreaker" and, especially, "Blood Red Skies". Opening up with the super-charged "Rapid Fire" is pure brilliance. Of course Priest is one of the most professional live bands ever, so the performance is near perfect. The band masterfully tears through 22 songs. Rob Halford sounds as good as he ever has and gives an inspirational performance throughout the entire concert. Despite the fact that 'ol Rob is now over sixty years old, he can still shatter glass with his primal screams and sings with as much aggression as anyone could expect. Really the only weak spot in his performance was in "Painkiller". If it would have been my choice, I might have added a song like "Bullet Train" or "Cathedral Spires" to the set. I've always wanted to hear Rob belt out one of those Ripper-era songs.
Of cours the biggest disappointment to most Priest fans is that KK Downing is missing from the stage, instead replaced by look-alike Richie Faulkner. He seems quite comfortable on the stage and blends in perfectly. If anyone didn't know better they may have assumed it was KK up there, blonde hair swaying back and forth.
The biggest complaint I have read about this recording is the quick MTV style of editing. The multiple cameras jump around constantly rarely staying on any one shot for more than a second or two. While I have to agree that this can get annoying after a while, I still find it a minor complaint. With many concert DVDs like this I find myself paying more attention to the music itself than the video. Actually there are times when I'll put on a live DVD and not pay attention to the video at all and just listen to the music. Since the sound quality is so superb, the quick editing doesn't bother me all that much.
"Epitaph" shows Judas Priest giving the fans their all. Though this band is getting up there in age, they still put on a top notch performance than many younger bands can only aspire to. They simply dominate the stage and still seem to have a passion for it. If this recording truly is their epitaph, then it's a fitting testimony to a band whose music has inspired countless other bands and helped to shape an entire genre of music. (Thanks Eric.)