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The Barrowlands, Glasgow
Tuesday 24th November 2015

Johnny Main. Photos by Scott Nathanson and Iain Scott

johnny main

judas priest

Judas Priest have spoken recently about playing smaller venues as opposed to the large arenas that they're used to and it seems that the band are having as much fun during this current European run (if not more) than the fans who turn up every night to see them.

The band's UK tour may only have been half a dozen dates long, but the fact the fans could get up close and personal coupled with the fact they had solid support from Michael Schenker's Temple of Rock made many of the dates sell out very quickly.

With a mere forty five minutes between doors open and Michael Schenker's Temple of Rock hitting the stage, it turned out that as the lights went down, the Barrowlands was barely half full.

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Sneaking on from stage right, however, Schenker got a hero's welcome from those who had made it in as he started the intro to 'Doctor Doctor' before the rest of the band joined him onstage.

It was as the track really picked up that front man Doogie White bounced on stage to a rousing reception. Even this early, there were issues with the sound as White's "Good evening Glasgow Barrowlands" was drowned out by the rest of the band's somewhat muddy sound.

Having said that, those down the front were just happy to be so close to the band as they bounced around during the song.

doogie white

"I'm Doogie, and I'm fae Motherwell" said White to a huge roar from the audience before explaining that the band's normal ninety minute plus show had to be cut down to only forty five minutes, so they were going to try and play everything the audience expected to hear.

It's unfortunate that their set couldn't have been stretched to an hour but White was as good as his word as the band rattled through their set.

'Rock You Like A Hurricane' had Schenker pressing the flesh with those down the front while grinning from ear to ear showing that the limited stage size (due to the amount of equipment for Priest and Temple of Rock) and short set time didn't seem to bother him at all.

White meanwhile was the consummate showman getting the crowd involved and loving having a hometown crowd to play for. Half way through, White disappeared from sight with only his hand protruding from behind the speakers in the direction of drummer Herman Rarebell who proceeded to take the proffered microphone from White and organise the community sing along - and he seemed delighted with his new role!

It was during 'Rock Bottom' that Schenker made full use of the stage, often bumping into bass player Francis Buchholz who seemed to be having the time of his life as he bounced around the stage grinning from ear to ear, while White maintained a commanding presence getting the crowd clapping along before Schenker's extended solo kept the energy levels of the rest of the band on a high.

This wasn't just a celebration of what had been, however, as Temple of Rock are still a recording entity so the addition of 'Vigilante Man' from their latest release, 'Spirit On A Mission' was greeted warmly by the audience.

The band were on top form but you couldn't help but think that the sound could have been better for such a band. It started off really quiet and did get slightly louder half way through but you got the feeling that it could have been louder - much louder.

Still the band's performance didn't disappoint one iota. As they took their final bows, the venue was nearly full and those who missed the opening tracks will get their chance to see the band again during a short headlining tour in January, so let's hope the sound man remembers to turn the volume up.

michael schenker

Michael Schenker's Temple of Rock Set List:
Doctor Doctor
Rock You Like a Hurricane
Rock Bottom
Vigilante Man
Victim of Illusion
Lord of the Lost and Lonely

Michael Schenker's Temple of Rock are:
Doogie White – Vocals
Michael Schenker – Lead/Rhythm Guitars
Francis Buchholz – Bass Guitar
Wayne Findlay – 7 String Guitar/Keyboards
Herman Rarebell – Drums

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As Black Sabbath's 'War Pigs' blasted out over the PA, a huge cheer went up as the techs left the stage with only Scott Travis's drum kit and the video screen visible.

As the house lights went out, the cheer was almost deafening as the track faded out and 'Battle Cry' from the 'Redeemer of Souls' album whipped the crowd into a frenzy as the band finally took to the stage.

Kicking off with another new track, 'Dragonaut', the sound was far superior to that of Michael Schenker's Temple of Rock as guitarists Richie Faulkner and Glenn Tipton took centre stage for the opening riff.

judas priest

Front man Rob Halford proved to be the showman as he eventually walked on stage complete with cane just as the vocals began. From here on in, Judas Priest will pay homage to the past, celebrate the present and pave the way for the future in a truly spellbinding performance.

The 'Redeemer of Souls' was well represented here, with five tracks (including both the 'Battle Cry' intro and 'Beginning of the End' which served as the band's backing tape as the audience filed out) taken from the album played.

The material is some of the strongest Priest have released in the last decade and all of the tracks received warm applause with 'Halls of Valhalla' receiving the lion's share of the plaudits.

Of course, the fans wanted to hear the classics and they cherry picked the very best. The evergreen 'Metal Gods' was placed early in the set before the unusual inclusion of 'Desert Plains' from 1981's 'Point Of Entry' going down less well than some of the others.

Of course there was a healthy dose of tracks taken from the 1980 classic 'British Steel' with the ubiquitous 'Breaking The Law' and set closer 'Living After Midnight' but 'The Rage' was also included giving bass player Ian Hill a rare moment in the spotlight during its intro.

Hill is the quiet man of the band and he pretty much got on with the job at hand whist head banging his way through the set without venturing far from his spot at the back of the stage.

Faulkner and Tipton grappled with solos all evening as though they were battling for supremacy and it's great to see two characters embrace the audience at different times during the set.

judas priest

Halford was on top form too as he put on a fantastic performance - incredible when you remember that he's sixty four years old. He disappeared occasionally to change costumes, but he gave every song one hundred percent and it was a performance that the audience appreciated.

As the venue curfew grew ever closer, a community sing-along for the inevitable 'You've Got Another Thing Comin'' may have been a bit over long for my liking but then again I could have been in the minority as the audience were more than happy to contribute.

The band, it seems, could have happily played all night and I'm sure the audience wouldn't have minded, so any chance of doing the same venue next year boys?

judas priest

Judas Priest Set List:
Battle Cry
Metal Gods
Desert Plains
Victim of Changes
Halls of Valhalla
The Rage
Turbo Lover
Redeemer of Souls
Beyond the Realms of Death
Screaming for Vengeance
Breaking the Law
Hell Bent for Leather
The Hellion
Electric Eye
You've Got Another Thing Comin'
Living After Midnight

Judas Priest are:
Rob Halford – Vocals
Glenn Tipton – Lead/Rhythm Guitars
Richie Faulkner – Lead/Rhythm Guitars
Ian Hill – Bass Guitar/Backing Vocals
Scott Travis – Drums

Judas Priest photos - ©Scott Nathanson
Michael Schenker photos - ©Iain Scott

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