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Judas Priest Bring Their Firepower to Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY

Firepower Tour:

They say it all comes around eventually, and for me that is true since having the opportunity to photograph Judas Priest at one time was only a dream. I have been a fan of theirs since the early 1980’s; they were my first heavy metal love. The first time I had seen them live was in July of 1981 at The Palladium in New York City, and there have been many other times since. Through the band’s rich history there have been some line-up changes, reunions and illness that have affected the band. But their music holds such a strong bond with everyone who has ever loved them, and that is something I can attest to.

One dominant memory from my teenage years took place on March 21, 1984. It was at Nassau Coliseum in the exact spot on the venue’s floor where I would later be in the photo-pit, but I was just on the other side of the barricade. I was with my friend Fran and we had worked our way all the way up to the barricade that night. As Judas Priest was taking the stage Rob Halford made his grand entrance on his motorcycle. I can still see my arm raised high to great them and my hand was lit by the glow of the headlight from Halford’s bike as he put the kickstand down and got off to kick our butts with his massive vocals. There was Glenn Tipton and KK Downing to shred our faces off and Ian Hill keeping them in line with his relentless bass lines and stern manner; at that time Dave Holland was keeping it all in time on the drums. Definitely a great memory and one I am honored share.

So flashing forward thirty-four years, here we were on March 17 at NYCB Live at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum for Judas Priest’s stop on their latest tour in support of their recently released album, Firepower. Getting the night started off rocking was Black Star Riders, a band that was formed in 2012 when several, then current, members of Thin Lizzy were writing new material and decided not to release the recorded songs under the Thin Lizzy name.

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This group of very seasoned musicians Ricky Warwick (vocals, guitars), Scott Gorham (guitars, backing vocals), Damon Johnson (guitars, backing vocals), Robbie Crane (bass, backing vocals) and Chad Szeliga (drums) promptly took the stage at seven o’clock and literally “All Hell Breaks Loose,” a perfect song to really get the night started.

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They continued with a song, which had the audience singing along, Thin Lizzy’s “Jailbreak.” And they just kept the hard rock vibe going with their original songs “Heavy Fire,” “Solierstown,” “When the Night Comes In,” “Kingdom of the Lost,” “Bound For Glory” and they closed out their set with their own version of a song that has been covered by many acts “Whiskey In The Jar.” They gave a flawless performance and the energy they gave was thoroughly soaked up by the audience. If you are not familiar with this group be sure to check them out now.

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As more people were filling the arena during the intermission, so was the energy. It was obvious everyone was ready to rock it hard, especially with the next act, the mighty Saxon. At the stroke of eight o’clock the house lights went down and a roar of cheers greeted Biff Byford (vocals), Paul Quinn (guitar), Doug Scarratt (guitar), Tim “Nibbs” Carter (bass) and Nigel Glockler (drums) as they came out on stage. Without hesitation they electrified their fans with the title track off of their freshly released album “Thunderbolt.”

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Afterwards Byford said, “It’s so great to be back at Nassau Coliseum!” and they took everyone on a journey through the many years of their music, With an astonishing total of twenty-two studio albums dating back to 1979, it would be hard to cover it all in the short time they had, but they did an awesome job of it with “Power and the Glory,” “Nosferatu (The Vampires Waltz),” “Motorcycle Man,” “The Secret of Flight,” “Dallas 1PM,” “They Played Rock and Roll” and “Crusader.”

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But is was when they played their two final songs that the place really went upside down and everyone was singing along to “Princess Of The Night” and “Denim and Leather.” There is no denying the power that Saxon brings to the stage and this performance was proof that this group is stronger than ever. Grab yourself a copy of the new album Thunderbolt now and do everything you can to catch them live, as they never disappoint.

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By now the Coliseum was filled to its capacity, a sea of Judas Priest tour t-shirts from the many years of touring this band has done could be seen flooding the hall surrounding the arena; leather and metal studs included. The crowd’s diversity and the span of the age group spoke volumes about how the music of Judas Priest has touched so many lives. The feeling of the anticipation while waiting for them to take the stage was overwhelming. While I was standing in the photo-pit my heart was pounding and I had a strong feeling that so many others were feeling as excited as I was too.

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While the stage was hidden behind a curtain, everyone knew the time was coming soon for Rob Halford (vocals), Richie Faulkner (guitars), Ian Hill (bass), Scott Travis (drums) and Andy Sneap (guitars), who is filling in on the tour for Glenn Tipton, to come out and blow everyone away. Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” was blaring from the PA system and in unison everyone was singing along practically drowning out the PA, it was sure to be an amazing show with everyone already so clearly in sync.

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Then in the wink of an eye the curtain was whisked away and the band came out to get the show started with the title track off their new album, “Firepower.”

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Without as much as a breath they went right into an old favorite, “Running Wild,” then Halford took a moment to address his screaming fans as he said his hello’s. They kept it classic with “Grinder,” “Sinner,” “The Ripper” and “Bloodstone.” After two new songs “Lightning Strike” and “Saints in Hell” they hit them with “Turbo Lover,” “Angel” and another new song “Evil Never Dies.”

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While many were singing along to the songs they had already played, it was when they did “Some Heads Are Gonna Roll,” “Breaking the Law” and “Hell Bent for Leather” when everyone was belting out the lyrics right along with Halford.

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Then after “Painkiller” it was time for a short break. “The Hellion” was playing over the PA as fans were cheering and screaming for more, Judas Priest was not about to disappoint their fans so the came back to perform not just one, but two encores, with “Electric Eye” and “Metal Gods,” then the played “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’” and closed out the show with the rock anthem, “Living After Midnight.”

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It was a powerful night of music and history as all three acts had so much to tell in their performances. All astonishing musicians, with awesome songs, this lineup was amazing.

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The tour will continue in the United States till May 1, then Judas Priest will be heading overseas till mid-August. With so many opportunities to go out and see them live, do not miss your chance; get your tickets now because this is something you do not want to miss.

See full gallery of the night.

Judas Priest Setlist Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY, USA 2018, Firepower

Catch this tour!

MAR23
Fri 6 PM2,798 guests
Worcester, MA
MAR25
Ottawa, ON, Canada
MAR31
Sat 7 PM5,148 guests
APR2
Mon 5:30 PM CDT3,267 guests
Minneapolis, MN
APR10
Tue 7 PM MDT863 guests
APR19
Thu 7 PM PDTKevin Graft is going
San Francisco, CA
JUN5
Oslo, Norway
JUN10
Sun 7 PM UTC+023,215 guests
royal arena hannemanns allé 20 2300 københavn s
JUN14
Jun 14 – Jun 16249 guests
Gräfenhainichen, Germany
JUN17
Florence, Italy
JUN26
Tue 7:45 PM UTC+022,825 guests
Dübendorf, Switzerland
JUL22
Bucharest, Romania
AUG8
Wed 8 PM UTC+023,286 guests
Dortmund, Germany

 

 

 

 

 

Diane Woodcheke has had her eye on a camera viewfinder since she was very young. She specializes in Fine Art, Event and Concert Photography. She is also a writer of concert and album reviews, as well as contributing to blogs. For more information please visit her website at www.dwoodcheke.com

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