Sunday, August 31, 2008

Metal Masters Tour Review!

Metal Masters Tour

Bands: Judas Priest, Heaven And Hell, Motorhead, Testament

Venue: San Manuel Amphitheatre, Devore, California

Date: August 30, 2008

The amount of legends all on the same bill makes this tour an absolutely must see. With that in mind, I was willing to shell out a few bucks for a seat about 100 feet or so from the stage, and drive 75 miles out to the desert’s edge in Devore, California, a suburb on the far eastern edge of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The list seems to be endless: Rob Halford, Tony Iommi, Lemmy, Chuck Billy, and so on. Needless to say, anticipation was in the air as the amphitheatre was filled to capacity.

Starting right on the dot at 5:30pm just as I arrived in the broiling heat, first up were Bay Area giants Testament, who have made a strong statement with “The Formation of Damnation”, the band’s recent, highly regarded full-length (the band that Metallica should’ve become, but that’s a whole other Oprah). Playing a short set that drew heavily from that album, Testament were obviously giddy to be included on this bill, and were energetic and focused for their half hour slot. The theater was already filling as they began, and the crowd formed a pit all the way up on the lawn, hundreds of feet from the stage. I now make it a point to see Testament in a more intimate setting.

Next up were Motorhead, whom I haven’t seen since about 1984 or so (I know, I’ve been remiss). Fellow scribe Chris Davison was on my mind as a hugely invigorated Motorhead blew through a great set that drew from all over the band’s career. Lemmy’s son Paul joined the fun on stage as a second guitarist for a rousing rendition of “Killed By Death”. Set closers were “Ace of Spades” and “Overkill”.

Graciously playing below Judas Priest were the Dio-fronted version of Black Sabbath, Heaven And Hell. Drawing from the three full-lengths with a mammoth stage set, highlights included “Heaven And Hell”, “The Sign of the Southern Cross”, and the encore “Neon Knights” (“Voodoo” was absent, however). An excellent set as Dio’s pipes were on full display and he shows no sign of diminishing.

Opening with “Dawn of Creation” and “Prophecy” from the double album “Nostradamus”, Rob Halford and Judas Priest take the stage amid smoke and huge lighting effects. Keeping the banter short, Judas Priest were focused as they mostly hit a string of classics and generally stayed away from “Nostradamus”. A huge highlight for me was the inclusion of “Dissident Aggressor”, which I absolutely did not expect. A large amount of older material was included, with “Metal Gods”, “Electric Eye”, “Painkiller”, and “The Green Manalishi (with the Two Prong Crown)” being highlights. The expected “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin” closed out the evening.

How often do you get a chance to see so many legends, essentially artists that started the art form that we all worship, all in the same place? Enough said.

Crap pictures...



Heaven And Hell

Judas Priest

Judas Priest

The t-shirt haul...

Even worse video...


Heaven And Hell

Next up (probably)...

Speaking of Motorhead, the trio's latest full-length, "Motorizer", has been getting critical acclaim. An invigorated Lemmy and company continue to release high quality album after album, and that continues with "Motorizer". Hell, even the album cover artwork kicks ass, as usual. I urge you to read Chris Davison's review here.

Motorhead Official


Sorry, song removed.


Invisible Oranges said...

Oh hell yeah, "Dissident Aggressor." I've been hearing that Halford's been having problems hitting high notes, and that one is classic high-note Halford. Did he do alright on that?

Nice score on the classic Motorhead shirt. I've been listening to nothing but Motorhead for the past few days, and it's been quite blissful. And, yeah, the new record is pretty solid.

dschalek said...

Yeah, Halford seemed fine. What comes to mind now is the fact that he seemed quite pleased with himself after "Painkiller". Also, he did a vocal warmup "sing along", if you will, prior to "You've Got Another Thing Comin".

I wanted a "classic" Motorhead shirt. I haven't had one since I was in high school.

Todd said...

I saw this in Chicago (well... Tinley Park, but who's counting) and I had a blast. I thought all the bands were pretty solid.

On top of that, a bunch of old metalheads came about a hair's width away from beating the fuck out of a bunch of snotty fourteen year-olds about two rows ahead of me.

dschalek said...

Yeah, there are always a few assholes at a show. Luckliy, the screwball/asshole white supremacist skinheads that I've mentioned in previous posts were absent from this show.