Return Of The Black Country Metal Gods.


KK & Glenn - Hell Bent For Leather (photo courtesy of Stuart Williams)

KK & Glenn - Hell Bent For Leather (photo courtesy of Stuart Williams)

It’s Saturday night in Birmingham – and The Priest is back!!

So there I was at the NEC (or LG Arena as its now known), Saturday 14th February – and what better way to spend valentines day evening?

 

Having underestimated the volume of traffic on the M6, I completely missed Testament and arrived at the box office only to hear the last notes of Megadeth. Nevermind. It was after all the Metal Gods I had come to worship this evening. After saying “Hello” to Stuart Williams, pleased as punch with his photo pass, I headed for my seat. (Be sure to check out www.metaldog.vox.com for some great pix!)

 

 

The turnout was great, with the air of anticipation being obvious throughout the cavernous venue. Rock fans of all ages were here for a night of metal mayhem, with what looked like whole families out in force!

As 9pm rolled round    the lights dimmed. Over the roar of the crowd came the sound of the opener from the bands latest opus, Nostradamus. As Scott Travis, Ian Hill, KK Downing and Glenn Tipton came to the stage, the crowd went crazy for their local heroes. Then as Rob Halford appeared from knowhere at the back of the stage, clad in a shining, silver cloak (like a Heavy Metal Jedi Knight!) the audience erupted! At first, Dawn of Creation/Prophecy seemed an odd choice of opening track, but it seemed to fit into place perfectly as the band went into Metal Gods. Following that were crowd pleasers Eat Me Alive, Between The Hammer And The Anvil (a personal favourite of mine), Devils Child and then with the help of  a lot of willing audience participation – Breaking The Law!

 

The band were obviously pleased to be back on home turf, with Rob mentioning, amongst others, Tipton, Wolverhampton and Bilston! They continued to shred with a fantastic set which included quite a few surprises and a lot of leather jacket changes from the enigmatic frontman. Dissident Aggressor gave Rob a real vocal workout , before providing a softer moment with Angel. For me Angel was the song of the night – real ‘hair standing up on the back of your neck’ stuff! They carried on cranking out metal classics before coming out with the heaviest song of the show, Painkiller. The band left the stage…

Then there was the roar of the Harley – the Priest Faithful knew Hell Bent for Leather was coming as Rob rode his gleaming bike onto the stage. This is what metal shows are all about! After the Green Manalishi came the closing track, You’ve got Another Thing Comin’ with Rob testing the vocals of the crowd. The band left the stage, leaving many in the crowd wanting more and wondering when their Black Country boys would be back…

The show was awesome – just what a show should be: the lights, the sound, the stage, the theatrics. I did however leave with one slight disappointment. At first I thought it was my fellow metalheads, the crowd, who seemed at times, a little ‘quiet’. But in hindsight and having seen Priest since on this tour, I’ve realised what it was. I’ve been visiting the NEC for over 20 years now and nothing can kill an atmosphere more than that huge arena. I’ve seen so many bands at this venue and where there have been ‘flat’ moments.

That said, the Metal Gods from the Black Country, came, saw and conquered. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one glowing with pride as the house lights came up at the end of the night. These guys are from here. These guys are our own. And moreover these guys still have it. So, if you think they are going to lay down their guitars anytime soon – You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’!

 

 

sw71

 It’s Saturday night in Birmingham – and The Priest is back!!

So there I was at the NEC (or LG Arena as its now known), Saturday 14th February – and what better way to spend valentines day evening?

Having underestimated the volume of traffic on the M6, I completely missed Testament and arrived at the box office only to hear the last notes of Megadeth. Nevermind. It was after all the Metal Gods I had come to worship this evening. After saying ‘Hello’ to Stuart Williams, pleased as punch with his photo pass, I headed for my seat. (Be sure to check out www.metaldog.vox.com for some great pix!)

The turnout was great, with the air of anticipation being obvious throughout the cavernous venue. Rock fans of all ages were here for a night of metal mayhem, with what looked like whole families out in force!

As 9pm rolled round the lights dimmed. Over the roar of the crowd came the sound of the opener from the bands latest opus, Nostradamus. As Scott Travis, Ian Hill, KK Downing and Glenn Tipton came to the stage, the crowd went crazy for their local heroes. Then as Rob Halford appeared from knowhere at the back of the stage, clad in a shining, silver cloak (like a Heavy Metal Jedi Knight!) the audience erupted! At first, Dawn of Creation/Prophecy seemed an odd choice of opening track, but it seemed to fit into place perfectly as the band went into Metal Gods. Following that were crowd pleasers Eat Me Alive, Between The Hammer And The Anvil (a personal favourite of mine), Devils Child and then with the help of a lot of willing audience participation Breaking The Law!

The band were obviously pleased to be back on home turf, with Rob mentioning, amongst others, Tipton, Wolverhampton and Bilston! They continued to shred with a fantastic set which included quite a few surprises and a lot of leather jacket changes from the enigmatic frontman. Dissident Aggressor gave Rob a real vocal workout , before providing a softer moment with Angel. For me Angel was the song of the night ‘hair standing up on the back of your neck’ stuff! They carried on cranking out metal classics before coming out with the heaviest song of the show, Painkiller. The band left the stage…

Then there was the roar of the Harley – the Priest Faithful knew Hell Bent for Leather was coming as Rob rode his gleaming bike onto the stage. This is what metal shows are all about! After the Green Manalishi came the closing track, You’ve got Another Thing Comin’ with Rob testing the vocals of the crowd. The band left the stage, leaving many in the crowd wanting more and wondering when their Black Country boys would be back…

The show was awesome – just what a show should be: the lights, the sound, the stage, the theatrics. I did however leave with one slight disappointment. At first I thought it was my fellow metalheads, the crowd, who seemed at times, a little ‘quiet’. But in hindsight and having seen Priest since on this tour, I’ve realised what it was. I’ve been visiting the NEC for over 20 years now – and nothing can kill an atmosphere more than that huge arena. I’ve seen so many bands at this venue and where there have been ‘flat’ moments.

That said, the Metal Gods from the Black Country, came, saw and conquered. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one glowing with pride as the house lights came up at the end of the night. These guys are from here. These guys are our own. And moreover these guys still have it. So, if you think they are going to lay down their guitars anytime soon – You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’

2 comments on “Return Of The Black Country Metal Gods.

  1. Pete NelsonSUE HALFORD

    Hey Bill, great read, could’nt have put it better myself. relived the evening all over again.Cant wait for the next one!!!!x

Comments are closed.