Saturday Night: Judas Priest At The Woodlands
Saturday night, at 10:15 or so, a euphoric chill went up Aftermath's spine. Coupled with the cool weather, standing in the presence of Judas Priest at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion was overwhelming, so much so that it didn't quite feel real. It felt surreal, like we had time-traveled back to the group's heyday (or were having one hell of a trip).
In fact, someone unfamiliar with the band might have thought that Judas Priest were currently in the Top 40 charts with the way everyone sang and chanted along in unison for the entire evening.
The "Metal Gods" have still got it, and they're as lively and capable as ever.
For nearly two hours, then for 30 minutes more during the encore, Judas Priest took us all back in time to the glory days of metal, when rock music was flashy and manly, had the ability to make women swoon and extravagant performances weren't a question. Can you imagine a stripped-down Judas Priest performance? Neither can we.
When it was all over, it wasn't even 11 p.m., but Priest had owned the Pavilion's stage and had held the crowd's full attention for nearly two and a half hours, giving fans one hell of a farewell with a set list comprised of material spanning their 40-year musical history, finally finishing their set with "You've Got Another Thing Coming."
(To clarify, however, the band is not breaking up; they're just settling down.)
Maybe attending all of these shows has finally done damage to our ears, but our one gripe with Saturday's show is that it sounded a bit subdued. Not on the band's part, mind you, but it wasn't as loud as is could have (or should have) been.
Volume-level issues be damned, Judas Priest tore it up all night with screaming, shredding and filling fans' hearts and eyes with more fire and pyrotechnics than any band other than KISS could pull off. And the audience never showed any signs of being tired, either.