Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-08-15
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



BENT NIGHTS Judas Priest
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Vern Hester

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

As the years tick on into the new century, out rocker Rob Halford and his band, Judas Priest, look more and more like Mount Rushmore.

In this era—when rock icons are dropping like flies ( everyone from Fats Domino to Chris Cornell ) and a dwindling trickle of "classic" rock stars dutifully wheeze through town filling arenas for perhaps the last time ( Stevie Nicks is 70 while the cumulative age for the still touring Rolling Stones is 290 years old ), amid announcements of impending retirements ( Elton John )—"The Priest" is on the edge of celebrating 50 years as an institution without showing much wear and tear. Granted, the latest version is not the original line up and it says something that star guitarist Richie Faulkner wasn't even on the planet when the group formed ( having been born in 1980, while the original band started in 1969 ). But with the release of Firepower ( on Epic Records ), the group's 18th full-length and a recent show at The Venue at The Horseshoe Casino, the band made it clear that it has no intention of quietly heading out to pasture.

The new one pretty much sounds like everything which came before it, which is by no means a complaint. "Necromancer" and "Lightening Strike" are pretty much high-octane battles between Faulkner and Andy Sneap's snarling dual guitars and Halford's operatic wail. The songs are less songs and more like walls of sound with the intent of imprisoning the listener. After all, Judas Priest has never been about just listening to them and all about experiencing them, which explains that rabid fan base and the long history of the band.

Onstage at The Venue, Judas Priest displayed a stripped-down attack that was light on the stage craft ( no pyrotechnics, no belching nuclear reactors ) and light on frivolity. Halford made his entrance wailing through "Firepower" with that operatic shriek of his adorned in a gold leather jacket with fringe ( !!!! ). With Faulkner and Sneap on either side of him, they looked like an advertisement for International Mr. Leather—but that's where the glam factor stopped.

I was a bit surprised that only three songs from Firepower made it onto the set list but, really, at this point these guys have forced themselves to make a game attempt at nodding to the classics. "The Ripper," "Bloodstone," "Metal Gods," "Some Heads are Gonna Roll," "( I'm Your ) Turbo Lover," "Painkiller,"... the hits and classics were mostly here ( well, no "Rocka Rolla," but that's a small quibble ) but therein lies the rub. Halford didn't need to drive out on that chrome plated Harley for a rendition of "Hell Bent for Leather" since for all the years Judas Priest has performed, it has always been an un-gimmicky, straight-up rock 'n' roll band. And that's just what the fans wanted and from the looks those attending this show ( the age seemed to skew from the mid-40s to the early 60s ) that's what they got.

I found the whole show incredibly entertaining and loads of fun. For all the pedigree and hype surrounding Judas Priest as the best heavy metal band ever, and with all that imagery ( the black leather, the numerous crucifix', the flames, the end-of-the-world style lighting ) and the heaviness suggested by some of their music ( "Necromancer?" "Evil Never Dies?," "Saints in Hell?" ), they never seem to take themselves too seriously. Still, with bassist Ian Hill and Sneap whipping out those turgid Tilt-a-Whirl dance steps, Faulkner sticking his tongue out at the audience like some 6-year-old who got away with raiding the cookie jar, and Halford shrieking and waving his arms and fringe like a modern-day Prospero, this is a band that seems designed for the ages.

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

NUNN ON ONE MUSIC Sugarland's Kristian Bush, 'Bigger'and better 2018-08-16 - The country-music duo of Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush, known as Sugarland, have just released their sixth studio album. The group made it ...

Gay News

Aretha Franklin dies at 76 2018-08-16 - Aretha Franklin— the long-reigning "Queen of Soul" who had countless hits ranging from "Respect" to "Freeway of Love" to "I Knew You Were ...

Gay News

NUNN ON ONE MUSIC Beth Ditto goes from Reba to Sam Smith 2018-08-16 - Mary Beth Patterson, more famously known as Beth Ditto, recently headed to Chicago as an opener for a massive Sam Smith show. ...

Gay News

Sam Smith in Chicago 2018-08-15 - As part of his "The Thrill of It All" tour, singer Sam Smith will perform at the United Center, 1901 W. Madison St., ...

Gay News

PASSAGES Women's music leader Esther Anne Fuller dies 2018-08-15 - Esther Anne Fuller, 82, of Whitestown, Indiana, has died. She was a past president of Women In the Arts, a former National Women's ...

Gay News

Northalsted Market Days 2018 2018-08-15 - The Northalsted Business Alliance continued its annual tradition of presenting the largest outdoor street festival in the Midwest on Aug. 11 and 12. ...

Gay News

Cher to release ABBA covers CD Sept. 28 2018-08-15 - On the heels of appearing in the film Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again—which features ABBA songs—Cher will be releasing Dancing Queen, a ...

Gay News

BENT NIGHTS Panic! at the Disco; The New Pornographers 2018-08-14 - Panic! at the Disco vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and one-man band Brendon Urie ( who recently came out as pansexual ) looks exactly like what ...

Gay News

Martha Wash, singer of 'It's Raining Men,' to star in WaistWatchers The Musical 2018-08-13 - The production that has had audience members "burning off pounds just laughing," according to the Los Angeles Times, WaistWatchers The Musical! makes its ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Lena Waithe, Adam Rippon, Tim Cook, Lady Gaga, 'Bears' 2018-08-08 - Out Master of None co-writer/actress Lena Waithe is gearing up to expand her entertainment empire by collaborating with comedian Kid Fury on a ...


Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.