Judas Priest and Saxon proved age is nothing but a number for bands at the top of their game.

Judas Priest took the stage at The Family Arena just outside of St. Louis, and proved that over forty years of hard rocking has only made them stronger. The curtain dropped, with guitarists Glenn Tipton and Faulkner, bassist Ian Hill, and drummer Scott Travis coming onstage first. Vocalist Rob Halford entered slowly, walking with his cane. By their third song, he put the cane away and the swagger returned to his step as he strode from one side of the stage to the other.

Tipton and Faulkner played flawlessly, sometimes trading leads, while Hill stayed in his usual spot close to Travis’ drum kit. Travis provided a steady and inspired beat, working seamlessly with Hill’s bass lines and the searing riffs from Tipton and Faulkner as Halford’s signature operatic acrobatics soared above the music. Since first bursting on the scene, Halford is cited as one of the strongest and most influential vocalists in the metal scene, his range and power legendary. Time has only made his voice stronger.

The band opened with “Dragonaut,” followed by “Metal Gods,” then tore through a multitude fan favorites that spanned the years, including the title track from their newest release, Redeemer of Souls. The crowd at the packed arena sang and screamed along with every word, throughout the night. Judas Priest closed their regular set with “Hell Bent for Leather,” Halford coming onstage in iconic fashion on a motorcycle. Fans demanded more, chanting, clapping, and stomping until the band returned for two encores, playing “Electric Eye,” “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’,” “Painkiller,” and “Living after Midnight.”

Opening the show were fellow British heavy metal band, Saxon, who has been around for nearly forty years. Like Halford, singer Biff Byford is known for his strong vocals, and he hasn’t lost any of that power or range over the years. Byford and two former members battled in court not long ago over the band’s name, with Byford winning those rights and the band continuing with their original name.

Saxon played a thoroughly solid set, built on the capable and steady drums of Nigel Glockler, pounding bass of Nibbs Carter, the heavy-hitting dual guitars of Paul Quinn and Doug Scarratt. Byford’s vocal strength carried over the sound as he strutted around the stage, coming to the front to engage with the audience. The band hit on favorites from across their long career, most of the crowd showing their long-time fandom by singing along.

Judas Priest Set List:
1. Dragonaut
2. Metal Gods
3. Devil’s Child
4. Victim of Changes
5. Halls of Valhalla
6. Love Bites
7. March of the Damned
8. Turbo Lover
9. Redeemer of Souls
10. Beyond the Realms of Death
11. Jawbreaker
12. Breaking the Law
13. Hell Bent for Leather
14. Electric Eye
15. You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’
16. Painkiller
17. Livin’ After Midnight

Saxon Set List:
1. Motorcycle Man
2. Sacrifice
3. Power and the Glory
4. Wheels of Steel
5. 20,000 ft.
6. Rock ‘n’ Roll Gypsy
7. This Town Rocks
8. Princess of the Night
9. Crusader
10. Heavy Metal Thunder
11. Denim and Leather

Judas Priest
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Saxon
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Family Arena
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About The Author

Colleen was always the kid with the camera, taking snapshots of anything and everything she found interesting. Fast-forward to her teen years, where she spent much spare time and money on seeing as many live rock 'n roll acts as possible, both established and up-and-coming bands, and having a camera in hand. Colleen works to capture those moments that draw the viewer in and define the mood and energy of the artists and their performances.

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