September 13, 2021
PNC Music Pavilion
Review by Joseph Hett
Judas Priest Celebrates Heavy Metal In Charlotte
Judas Priest made a stop in Charlotte, NC at the PNC Music Pavilion on Monday evening. This was their fourth show of the 50 Heavy Metal Years tour, which was originally planned for 2020 but later rescheduled due to the pandemic. They would go on to feature a vast array from their catalog spanning five decades.
Metal heads knew it was showtime when the lights in the amphitheater dimmed and Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” began to play followed by a battle hymn. The large Judas Priest pitchfork cross slowly lowered from the top of the stage. Judas Priest then came on stage and cranked out “One Shot At Glory” and “Lightning Strike.”
The metal god himself, Rob Halford, swaggered around the industrial themed stage throwing up the devil horns for all to see. Halford’s screaming for vengeance – pun not intended – never sounded better.
All of the headbangers really got going with “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’,” “Freewheel Burning” and “Turbo Lover.”
Richie Faulkner and Andy Sneap were monsters on guitar all night long – out front riffing and soloing to perfection. All while bassist Ian Hill just stayed back next to drum riser laying down a heavy groove.
A treat came when they pulled out the rarely played live “Rocka Rolla,” which is off of their debut studio album by the same name. They then took everyone on the epic hard rocking journey of “Victim of Changes.”
Before “Invader,” drummer Scott Travis told a brief story about playing “the rockingest f—— city in North Carolina.” Travis tore the kit up all night long. They closed the main set out with the deafening “Painkiller.”
They came back out with “Electric Eye.” As with tradition with Judas Priest, Halford rode out his Harley for the aptly named “Hell Bent for Leather.” After “Breaking the Law,” a large bull was inflated onstage to pay homage to the band’s hometown of Birmingham, England (the Bull Ring Bull sculpture) to close the show out with “Living After Midnight.”
Judas Priest kicked ass all night long. Judas Priest is still going strong with many more years left in the tank of their Harley. It’s amazing how heavy metal really soothes the soul during these crazy times.
A rarity at this venue, the general admission lawn was closed, so patrons were upgraded to reserved seating. All ticket holders were required to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative test to gain entry into the show. That and being on a Monday night probably were factors in the lawn being closed. Hopefully with health checks, more people become comfortable coming back out to shows again.