Son-of-Futheron and I went to the Priest Feast at Wembley Arena on Saturday. Firstly, excellent value for money. The show started at 6:30 and finished 10:30. First up were Testament, who I have to be honest I know little about, remembering them a bit from the old days. Alex Skolnick having recently returned to the line up – they are back to pretty much the “classic” Testament line up and put out an album for the first time in some years. Basically Skolnick is a stunning guitarist but the mix on the night let him down with much of his shredding lost in a bass/drums heavy mix.
Next up – Megadeth. This was a pretty typical Megadeth set played very fast. S-o-F remembered an interview where Dave Mustaine said he intended to fit 2 hours of material into a 1 hour set and Download and it did feel a little like that at times on Saturday. Latest guitarist through the ever revolving door that is side man to Dave M is Chris Broderick who was pretty impressive, although to be honest I thought him maybe too much like Glen Drover who departed last year, however maybe my issue here is that Marty Friedman was the top guy in Megadeth for many years and maybe I just hanker after him being back.
Judas Priest! So I first saw Priest at Hammersmith around the Unleashed in the East tour and remember it being frankly a bit of a shambles of a performance actually. Gladly this wasn’t the case this time around. It was all very Spinal Tap at times which is partly Priests trademark, at one point Lord Halford of metal was wheeled out through the dry ice sat in a huge throne. And the bike was there for the encore of Hell Bent For Leather. A pretty classic Priest set with a couple of good quality numbers of the epic latest Nostradamus album, which is quiet good but overly long and ridiculously contrived (but again that is no doubt the point). Even Green Manalishi was stomped through in Priest manner reminding me that they also made me as a teenager realise Fleetwood Mac was far more than just the Rumours album and Albatross and led to my discovery on the masterful Peter Green.
KK Downing and Glenn Tipton frankly have written more chapters that they have disgarded on how to play twin lead metal than most people will have read in their lives. Some of the classic harmony twin leads just were brilliant and made me wish that there were new bands out there taking that on somewhere – remember Lizzy, Wishbone Ash etc. Now if a band has two guitarists it seems to be a duel over who can sweep pick of tap the fastest. Also particularly Glenn Tipton is a master of tone – his sound on Saturday was excellent throughout. Over the top of this (pun intended) is Halford’s voice, he still has one of the best and most distinctive metal voices ever, and can still hold his own in that department.
Great night all round.