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Review: Judas Priest - Live in London
Judas Priest
www.judaspriest.com
Live in London

Label: SPV
Year released: 2002
Duration: 134 min.

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: November 5, 2002
Reviewed by: Pierre Bégin
Readers Rating
for:
Live in London

Rated 4.67/5 (93.33%) (6 Votes)
Review


Judas Priest recorded their live performance at the Brixton Academy in London on December 19th, 2001, and they released it this year in DVD format. Judas Priest is still one of my all-time favourite metal band in spite of their last two horrible studio albums, "Jugulator" and "Demolition".

Their 90 minutes live gig includes many Priest classics blended with some awful tracks off their last two albums. They kick off their 19 tracks gig with the great "Metal Gods" from the "British Steel" album. What a great way to start up a gig! In fact, this gig includes nothing less than four songs off this classic opus ("Metal Gods", "Breaking The Law", "United" and "Living After Midnight"! This is huge considering the band's discography that spans three decades, but I will not complain on this. Next is another Priest classic, "A Touch Of Evil" from the "Painkiller" album. Very well executed. The new singer Tim "Ripper" Owen however, does not have the stage presence of the mighty Rob Halford, but his performance vocal-wise is top notch, reaching all high pitches.

Ripper announces something more brutal and here is "Blood Stained" from the "Jugulator" album. Yeah, Ripper is right; this is more brutal than classic Priest stuff, but also cacophonous, uninspired and even includes some cheesy lyrics! After this suffering moment, echoes the beautiful melody intro of "Victim of Changes". This song written in the 70s is a classic among all the classics. For me, this is the highlight of the DVD. Next is "One on One" the first song off "Demolition". This song contains a good heavy riff but that's all. The song is linear and contains no guitar harmony.

The middle of the set-list includes the surprising "Running Wild", the classic "The Ripper" and a very good acoustic adaptation of "Diamonds & Rust". For those who don't know, this is a cover song that was originally released in acoustic version. The band recorded a heavy adaptation of it in the mid 70s.

The next three songs are the weakest moment of the DVD: "Feed On Me", "Burn In Hell" and "Hell Is Home", back to back. Oohhhhhhhhh the pain! However, "Hell Is Home" includes some good moments vocally but overall, the song is average.

After this "crucible" (hehehe!), (-: "Breaking the Law" is launched! Wow, even though I've heard and played this song a thousand times, it feels so good to hear it after the last three songs! The band finishes their set-list with all their big classics. "Desert Plains" sounds awesome, "Turbo Lover" sounds surprisingly very good live, "Painkiller" was good except that Glen Tipton modified his awesome long lead guitar solo, which is a shame! "Electric Eye" missed the intro "The Hellion", "United" was a strange but very valuable choice, "Living After Midnight" was good but played a bit too fast and "Hell Bent For Leather" (which should be changed to "Hell Bent For Pleather" according to PETA (-; ) was an excellent final hit.

To conclude my review, I have mixed emotions about this DVD. On one hand, it's Judas Priest, the metal legends, that played many of their classics. All band members played with accuracy. I especially dig Scott Travis on drums, who reproduces very well previous drummers' signatures. Tim Owen did a fine job on the vocals parts. He's an excellent singer. He has big shoes to fill replacing Rob Halford. Another good point is that they played some surprising tracks like "Running Wild", "Turbo Lover" and "United".

On the other hand, the band played five songs off their last two albums, which breaks the tempo and quality of their set-list. I mean, "Blood Stained" between the classics "A Touch Of Evil" and "Victim Of Changes" is like a rotten apple in a basket! (-: Note that they played these five songs near the middle of the set list to minimize their impact on the show. Also, the band played the entire gig one tone lower (D-tuned) than the standard tuning like they did prior to Jugulator. This affected the feeling of some older songs occasionally.

The DVD extras contain "Demolition time", a black and white 25 minutes of interviews with band members, and life on the road during the "Demolition Tour". This shows us that the band is friendly and down to Earth. "Soundcheck" is a black and white 25 minutes of Judas Priest performing some songs during their soundcheck before the gig (in Dolby Stereo 2.0). The "set-list" is "Desert Plains", "Running Wild", "Turbo Lover", "The Sentinel" (unfortunately not complete), "Machine Man" and "Lost And Found". Aaaaaah! Why did they not play "The Sentinel" in their set-list? CHECK out the pathetic first lead guitar solo of K.K. Downing on "Machine Man" and listen the cheesy lyrics of this awful song…

One thing to notice is the production, which is outstanding. The sound quality in 5.1 Dolby Digital is excellent. Also, the picture quality is top notch. Overall, I like this DVD, but maybe they should have put an option to play the entire show without songs off "Jugulator" and "Demolition" (sure, we can skip them with the remote control). (-: Also, it's a shame that there are no songs from the "Defenders Of The Faith" album and only "Electric Eye" minus "The Hellion" from "Screaming For Vengeance". This period was their pinnacle of their career. Despite all my criticisms, I recommend this DVD to every Judas Priest and heavy metal fans in general.

Additional Information

Set-list

  • Metal Gods
  • Touch of Evil
  • Blood Stained
  • Victim of Changes
  • One on One
  • Running Wild
  • Ripper
  • Diamonds and Rust
  • Feed on Me
  • Burn in Hell
  • Hell Is Home
  • Breaking The Law
  • Desert Plains
  • Turbo Lover
  • Painkiller
  • Electric Eye
  • United
  • Living After Midnight
  • Hell Bent For Leather


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Video: Breaking the Law
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