Judas Priest Article

05.08.2011 Judas Priest

Wacken Open Air XXII

Wacken (Germany)

(Pentax k-x with Tamron SP AF 17-50mm 2.8 XR Di II LD Asp IF and Sigma AF 50-150mm 2.8 EX DC APO HSM II)

What was following now was something very special. At least Judas Priest was looking back not onto a very successful 40 year lasting carreer but were also allowed to play the by far longest set on this year's Wacken Open Air with 140 minutes.
The new band member Richie Faulkner replacing the bailed out foundation member K. K. Downing was principally the "nestling" on stage as he was born only in 1980 where the band was already successful in business for a long time. But that did not do anything on his skills and so he could spot out once in a while with great solos. Priest front men Rob Halford was pressing every button of his musicianship and proved that with his roughly 60 years still is vocally on the tops. The show itself was quite decent kept under the motto of "British Steel". A screen at the background with simple video scenes, enlightened Priest logos pulled out of huge melting pots, subtle and very few pyro technic usage. Only the appearance of Halford with a motorbike on stage to "Hell Bent For Leather" and his changing stage outfits were somehow standing out a little bit. Be it the leather suit or a priestly looking twinkling hooded cloak with a priestly stick in form of the band logo, permanently something different fitting to the songs that you could admire. Also inbetween the songs the pleasant Brit told short anecdotes and memories out of the long band history.
Of course there was also music. It was a bombastic best-of, based on the fact that there is really enough material to choose from. And so there was one hit after the other, starting at songs like "Painkiller", the terrific "Victim Of Changes" or also the before mentioned "Hell Bent For Leather". The climax was reached when "Breaking The Law" was played and Halford did not sing one note. That part was taken over by the powerful-voiced and goosebumps creating audience.
The tour was called Epitaph-tour. An epitaph is a monument remembering of deceased persons. What I saw that night on stage showed me in my opinion that Judas Priest is not dead at all although there have always been crys of naysayers criticising Halford's vocal skills and K. K. Downing leaving the band shortly before the tour start due to differences with band and tour management. They all proved that they still are one of the tops and took the wind out of their critics sails. However this should be the last great world tour but for several time they will survive.


  • Rapid Fire
  • Metal Gods
  • Heading Out To The Highway
  • Judas Rising
  • Starbreaker
  • Victim Of Changes
  • Never Satisfied
  • Diamonds and Rust (Joan Baez Cover)
  • Dawn Of Creation (Intro)
  • Prophecy
  • Night Crawler
  • Turbo Lover
  • Beyond The Realms Of Death
  • The Sentinel
  • Blood Red Skies
  • The Green Manalishi (With The Two Pronged Crown) (Fleetwood Mac Cover)
  • Breaking The Law
  • Painkiller


  • The Hellion / Electric Eye
  • Hell Bent For Leather
  • You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’
  • Living After Midnight