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House of Blues; Las Vegas; 02/01/03

Reviewed by Richard Fenkel

Mr. Halford goes to Vegas.

One of the godfathers of Metal took center stage recently at the House of Blues in Las Vegas. It was none other than the former frontman of the legendary Judas Priest, Rob Halford.

Halford, dressed in black leather, of course, opened the show with the classic Priest tune "Painkiller." Old school Priest fans (including myself and my friend James) were singing along with Halford. Halford hit every high pitched note and scream. His legendary vocal style dazzled the crowd. Halford began the show in true Metal form.

Then it was onto the next high octane tune, "Freewheel Burning" This Priest tune gave the audience a heavy metal show a boost like a shot of expensive tequila. Old Priest is always well-received among the faithful. Halford's performing of classic Priest tracks brought back fun memories. James and I were screaming the lyrics back to Halford who was obviously enjoying himself.

Halford moved around the stage and interacted with his bandmates. This was the beginning of another classic Las Vegas HOB concert. 

Just to digress for a moment, James and I were listening to old Priest albums the week before the show. The eighties were fun times for most Heavy Metal fans. Therefore, it was no surprise that Halford gave back to the community by giving the crowd what they wanted. He pleased the audience with his high-energy songs and performance. In addition, Halford interacted with the audience when he talked about a visa problem when trying to get into the States. Halford had to cancel a previous show back in December. But, in traditional Halford style, he was here to make up for the cancellation of his Vegas show back in December. And make up for it he did.

Halford's gracious attitude and incredible performance had the fans pumping their fists in the air, screaming loudly during Halford's solo material. Performing songs with a sharp attitude, Halford brought heavy metal to an all new level. Performing songs from his latest project "Crucible," proved Halford is still on top of the underground Heavy Metal scene.

It's been a while since old school Metal was brought back to Vegas. But "Crucible" is a throwback to pure heavy metal. Songs such as "Wrath of God," "Park Manor," and "Crucible" all contain kick ass guitar tracks, the classic Priest ... and Rob Halford ... trademark. 

Needless to say Halford's current lineup is loaded with talent. Mike Chlasciak and Roy Z are both kick ass guitarists. Jason Ward on bass and Bobby Jarzombek on drums round out the group.

Halford and his band brought the show to a kick ass finish when he closed the show with "Electric Eye" and, of course, "Breaking the Law." As the concert ended, the heavy metal fans screamed and threw the horns sign in the air as they left the HOB. 

It was obvious that Halford took fans down a metal memory lane. I, for one, enjoyed reliving a special moment in time. A time when music was hard and heavy. This show proved that Metal lives on and Halford is still the king.

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Copyright 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:16 -0400.