Gig Review by Kirsty Hillyer with Gig Photos by Lee Allen

Judas Priest

This is my first gig post the tragic events in Paris at The Eagles of Death Metal gig. I can honestly and naively say I hadn’t considered the impact upon gig security moving forwards. Others may or may not choose to write about this; sadly this is the lasting impact upon me from the show.

Judas Priest

Wolverhampton’s Civic has seemingly had metal detectors in for a while but combine that with full pat downs, a full venue and people were still pouring in after the support had finished. Somehow I don’t think those intent on harming others tend to buy tickets, or that any of these measures would effectively stop anyone with a gun or bomb. Does it make you feel safer or is it all about covering asses? Or does it simply ruin the gig going experience when you miss half of the evening standing outside in the cold posing an easier crowded target? I understand the necessity of such security measures, sadly I’m not convinced of the reality of their effectiveness vs. the detriment to gig going culture, is it a futile increased expense?

Michael Schenkar’s Temple of Rock

Michael Schenkar’s Temple of Rock

Michael Schenkar’s Temple of Rock

So back to the purpose of my ramblings and what of Michael Schenkar’s Temple of Rock, I’m personally not someone who bows down to a great guitar player or the ego required for such a band name. The current lead vocalist certainly has some pipes on him and they deliver a classic metal set complete with synchronised guitar playing swaying. They are the perfect opener for tonight’s proceedings with a firm fan base amongst the crowd.

Judas Priest

I had a few expectations for tonight; I wanted to see a mass of leather, denim, battle vests, and a combo of receding and excessively long rock hair. Midlands metal fans delivered in abundance. I take comfort from seeing so many original aging metal heads in force, still with metal music at the heart of their identity. I hope I continue to be the same with punk and hardcode regardless of my age. I salute you and your battle vests of so many awesome patches.

Judas Priest

Local lads Judas Priest certainly know how to play to a home crowd. The stage is shrouded in the best curtain I have ever seen; showing an industrial skyline at night of the factories that inspired the genre it simply stated ‘Welcome to the Home of British Steel’ in the corner. Before the curtain drop the lighting changed to red illuminating the sky on the curtain to reflect the origins of the Black Country name.

Judas Priest

Opening to Sabbath’s ‘War Pigs’ the whole crowd sang along and it set the perfect tone and homecoming The hero’s return was magnified with Rob Halford wearing the Black Country Flag on his jacket and the stage adorned in matching bunting. As my first time seeing Judas Priest it wasn’t the band or the setlist that made this a great show but the awe and camaraderie amongst their fans. This didn’t feel like a Civic show but rather a gig in the local pub with a band surrounded by their mates who welcomed in the new kid to tell them how great they are. They really are, they deliver every ounce of old school metal you can imagine and play up to all the clichés in exactly the way you want. Anything less would have been disappointing.

Judas Priest

See the complete photoset here.

Judas Priest

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