Photos + Review: Judas Priest at The Armory (Minneapolis, MN)

Judas Priest (Birmingham, EN), Saxon (EN), Black Star Riders (Los Angeles, CA)
April 2nd, 2018
The Armory in Minneapolis, MN

This is officially the winter that will never quit here in Minneapolis, but the snow didn’t keep thousands of Judas Priest fans from coming out and packing the new fandangled Armory venue.

Personally I, like a lot of other people, owe a lot to Judas Priest. If I’m perfectly honest I’ve never been a huge fan of them. In my teenage years I went from rock stuff like Linkin Park to heavier stuff like Metallica and Megadeth, and then progressively into heavier and heavier stuff. I was a huge musical sponge around the time I was listening to Metallica’s stuff for the first time. If something sounded interesting or if some article listed some album as a must listen heavy metal album, I downloaded it right away, put it on my iPod and listened it to. A lot of those articles listed Judas Priest albums as essential listening, so I gave listens to Screaming For Vengeance, British Steel, and of course Painkiller.

Because I went straight to Metallica then to heavier things, Judas Priest never really had much staying power with me. They always sounded kinda, I don’t know, rudimentary to me, but Painkiller, that album was a game changer. A thrashier, heavier Judas Priest was right up my alley at that time and it definitely help further my path to discovering where my musical tastes lay as a teenager. So for that, Painkiller will forever be a top album of all time for me.

Judas Priest have been around now for more than 40 years and I was just in awe of how good of a show they can still put on today. There’s been many line up changes, but even Rob Halford who’s 66 was entertaining to watch and more amazingly, his voice was incredibly impressive especially as the night went on. His vocals seemed kinda shaky throughout the three songs I was up close for, but after that they were as solid as ever. As a photographer, guitarist Richie Faulkner was a joy to watch and shoot as well, exuding energy and playing to the crowd well, all while shredding on guitar.

I’ve talked about it before, but for me a sign of a good concert is when the night flies by and you’re not left wanting a handful of songs to be done to get to the good ones. Painkiller was song 15 of the night and I was expecting to have to slog through to it because there was no way I was going to leave before my favorite song. But before i knew it it was playing, all the other songs leading up to it sounding great, new ones “Firepower,” “Evil Never Dies,” and “Lightning Strike” especially so.

I am now convinced of the why and how for Judas Priest’s staying power over the decades. This being my first show at The Armory, the newest venue in Minneapolis, made the night even more special as it was incredibly gorgeous inside. I can’t wait to go to more shows there, hopefully later this year.

Now if only we could use some of this Firepower on this snow we’ve been having way too much of recently.


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