Sunday, February 8, 1998, 7:30 pm
Metropol, Pittsburgh, PA
(Note: All pictures on this page courtesy of Todd Silimperi. They are not to be used anywhere else without his written permission. I want to thank Todd for sharing these great photos with us!!!)
I've been a Judas Priest fan since the early 80's, but I've never seen them live, can you believe? I missed the Vengeance tour in 10th grade because my family was out of town on vacation. A week later, Maiden opened up for Priest at the Spectrum in Philadelphia, but i wasn't old enough to drive yet, so I was denied again! That could have been, theoretically, the most ass-kickin' show ever on earth!
Anyway, we pulled into Metropol around 6:00, and proceeded to enjoy our own pre-show warmup in the parking lot. There was already a long line of loyal fans outside. I had been to a club show like this before and I knew we could still get up front if we waited till around 7 to go in. We left the vehicle around 6:50, joining a steady stream of fans walking toward the club. Since we had our tickets already, we didn't have to wait in line, but instead could walk right in...cool!
I noticed the crowd was mostly 25-35 and male; unfortunately, very few "metal chicks". As I had predicted, we were able to walk right up to the second row; my one buddy got right up against the fence, stage left. As I was commenting to him about not having to push our way to the front row, the guy next to him said, "You don't have to do that, come on up." Thanks, man, whoever you are!
There we were: front row, stage left. The crowd was growing impatient. At around 7:50, we began to chant: PRIEST! PRIEST! PRIEST! We couldn't wait any longer.
Suddenly, the lights went out and The Hellion blasted from the speakers as the band came onstage under cover of darkness and the crowd erupted into a frenzy. RAW POWER! I was a little disappointed that they didn't actually play that song (it was pre-recorded) because I'm trying to figure it out on my guitar, and I wanted to get an idea where to start. Anyway, the band was ready to go for Electric Eye and they tore right into it without missing a beat.
|Ripper: What's my name?
Ripper: THE RIPPER! In for surprise; you're in for a shock...
KILLER! If I had closed my eyes, I wouldn't have known it wasn't Halford singing. Ripper was that good!
They finished up the main set with Green Manalishi. This brought back
some memories; I think it was the first Priest song I ever heard (back
in the day!)
When they came back out and the drums for Painkiller kicked in, the place went absolutely nuts! Glen and KK jumped in like clockwork, and the place was abuzz with energy. Again, Ripper sounded exactly like Halford. A couple more mosh pits started up. After that, they went right into another crowd favorite, Another Thing Comin'. They finished up with Hell Bent and Livin' After Midnight.
|Sometime during the show, I pulled out my camera and started snapping away. After a couple shots, the one bouncer told me to stop, but I continued anyway and he didn't bother me again. I wish I had had a shot or two left when Glen, Ian, and KK did their trademark "guitar rocking" thing. I got a couple good shots, though. The one of Glen in the red lights looks like it's out of Hit Parader! There's also a cool shot of KK, Ripper and Glen, but Glen is pointing to the crowd and his hand completely covers his face. DAMN!|