HALFORD AT GODS OF METAL FESTIVAL (MONZA, ITALY)
June 8th 2001
Yeah…so the great day came! Finally, on Saturday 8th June 2002, Rob Halford and his bandmates played on the stage of italian festival “Gods of Metal”. Actually one year ago, they should perform a concert in this same festival (2001 edition) but, because of also Judas Priest featured the bill (as headliner), Halford had to delete the italian date of the “Resurrection Tour”.
Anyway…this was my first Rob’s concert and it was totally amazing!! Trust me: Rob & c. blew our minds away. But, let’s take it slow…here begins my review:
After My Dying Bride’s concert, the roadies have been running here and there thru the stage for a short while to preparing Metal God’ set. Truly they did a great job: the sound was mixed very well and no problem happened during the concert.
At 18:40 o’ clock Rob and the band entered the stage by the left side (I had got a photo-pass, so I stayed out of the crowd, nearer to the stage and I could see much more than others). Rob was in shinning studs and black leather, wearing the hat and the whip (yeah, again!). On the back and on the left-chest as well, his jacket got a cross made of studs (like the Crucible’s cover). My heart pounded like a hellish hammer when I saw him…what emotion!!
Even if it was raining very strongly, there were many many many fans roaring “Halford! Halford! Halford!”. The rest of the audience set down on the covered-tiers of Brianteo Stadium. I think that we were almost 15.000 (or maybe a little more) people. First of all, He was laughing to seeing such welcome and then He put his right hand near his ear (meaning “say it louder!”), so the audience roared more strongly “Halford! Halford!”. Then Rob walked from the right to left and back again many times, saying on the microphone “Ooooyeah!”. The audience answered screaming it immediately. So He repeated it “Ooooooyeah!”. The fans roared it again. So, this “dialogue” went on for many times…until Rob took a pause and screamed “YEEEEEEAAAAAAHH!”. We all shouted it for several times and he said “Oh, yeah” and then…”PAINKILLER!!!!!!”.
I SAW THE ARMAGGEDON BEFORE MY EYES!! The band entered quickly the stage and started playing fast as lighting “Painkiller”, the red-yellow lights stormed the scene and Rob begun to scream as loud as hell. I did never head his voice as loud and powerful in any bootleg, studio album or what else. Yes, in concert several effects always improve the vocals, but I realized how huge is Rib’s skill in singing and breathing without losing the control of the vocal lines. I’m pretty sure that He gave a great lesson (about how to sing Heavy Metal) to all the bands in that festival both days (8 and 9 June; ManOwaR, Running Wild, Domine, Virgin Steele, Doro, Blind Guardian, Slayer, etc…).
After the Painkiller’s awful last scream (“PAAAAAINNNN!!”) which shook the entire Stadium, with no break the band went on playing “Jawbreaker” from Priest’s “Defenders of the Faith”. Since then the band mates (above all the axemen, Pat and Mike) ran as devils thru the stage, never stopping for a while. The rain was so violent that Rob was troubled by water’s splashes brought on the stage by the wind blowing quite slowly. Anyway the Metal God was able to cop with this situation, stepping back from the stage’s border. I also appreciated how Rob moved thru the stage, being always sure and exact in his actions.
After that, Rob said that the band was going to present some songs from forthcoming “Crucible”’s album, but before doing this He wanted to recall us the powerful majesty of “Resurrection”…so, He started singing slowly “Resurection…ReEEsurrection..REESURECTIIOON…REEEESUURECTION!” and then He kept on screaming very high all long the debut’s titletrack.
So, Rob thanked the audience for its hot support in that cold day and soon the band played “Exciter” and afterwards “The Sinner”!! We’ve got another thing comin’..ahaha! “Exciter”’s legendary drumming involved the entire crowd, which rocked on during all the length of this unbelievable song, singing the refrain with Robert. “Into The Pit” and “Nailed to the Gun” are more lively live than in studio…but those two songs did not add nothing more to the show.
And here we are: “Betrayal” is the promotional song of “Crucible” and it kicks ass!! Even if Rob did not sing in screaming, He used weird tones not low not high. This song drove us mad!! The guitars-solos worked in perfect synchronicity, without any problem: hell yeah! “Golgotha” is a very pretty song as well, but I don’t remember anything about this, ‘cause Security brought all the “journalists” into the crowd (I still ask myself why)…so I haven’t been attentive in listening this brand new song. Argh!
As someone told users in the Metal God Quorum (hi guys!), Rob played the Heavy Metal Jewel “Freewheel Burning” going mad, singing faster than usual. There He showed He’s the Ultimate heavy Metal singer in the world: no one, except him, is able to scream quickly “Frewheel..”’s bridge.
Metal God Rules!! The show at last ended with “Cyberworld”, “The Hellion/Electric Eye” and the thundering “Riding on the Wind”: in all the three songs the all audience roared and took part in each refrain very powerfully. Really the Halford band gave the best of itself in this show by choosing the setlist and playing truly Heavy Metal for 70 minutes about. For sure it has been one of the best performance of this Festival.
Halford setlist: Painkiller - Jawbreaker - Resurrection - Made in Hell - Exciter - Sinner - Into the Pit - Nailed to the Gun - Betrayal - Golgotha - Freewheel Burning - Cryberworld - The Hellion - Electric Eye - Riding on the Wind
Gods of Metal bill 8th June 2002 Slayer (headliner) - Halford - My Dying Bride - Kreator - Sodom - Soil - Ill Nino - Mushroom Head - Node
9th June 2002 ManOwaR (headliner) - Blind Guardian - Running Wild - Symphony X - Domine - Virgin Steele - Doro - Blaze - MetalliuM - Time Machine
Written by Leopoldo “LeatherKnight” Puzielli [www.TrueMetal.it ]
Many many thanks to: Roberto “Keledan” Buonanno (for his kindness and the photo-pass), David “Enkidu” Bossi (for his kindness and hospitality), Vincenzo “Enzo” Ferrara (great mate!) and the owner of Judas-Priest.com (you know why…thanks again!).