At the Moda Center, Portland, OR, USA, June 22, 2019

JUDAS PRIEST (Live at the Moda Center, Portland, OR, USA, June 22, 2019)
Photo: Bryce Van Patten

When it comes to heavy metal, there are so many great bands over the years that having a favorite is almost impossible. For me, when it comes to legends there is one band at the top of the heap: Judas Priest. Having seen them 5 times from as far back as 1980, I wondered how they would hold up onstage to their status as founding fathers of Heavy Metal. Consequently, on a warm June evening in Portland, Oregon I found out. On the 2019 leg of the Firepower tour, the band lived up to the legend once again!

The Concert

From the opening notes of “Necromancer” from the new Firepower album, the band was as tight as ever, delivering blistering riffs with all of the precision you’d expect. The Metal God; Rob Halford appeared out of a smoky doorway on stage in a rich, purple Voodoo cape and hat, almost taking a page from King Diamond. As always, Rob’s vocals are the heart and soul of the band as he takes us from melodic lows to piercing highs with the finesse and grace that only he can deliver.

Photo: Bryce Van Patten

The lineup for the tour (as Glen Tipton only plays very limited dates due to health issues) includes Rob Halford, Ian Hill, Scott Travis, Richie Faulkner and Andy Sneap. Faulkner and Sneap on guitars do justice to all of the music, new and old with their excellent musicianship and tone. Ian Hill is as solid as ever as the backbone of the band, and Scott Travis completes the thunderous lineup with his always precise double bass drumming and razor tight beats.

Scott Travis of Judas Priest
Photo: Bryce Van Patten

Doing 4 cuts from the new album, the show also contains a lot of the songs you’d expect at a Priest concert, and a few you wouldn’t. Classics like “Tyrant” and “Starbreaker” were an amazing addition to the show, with a high point for me being “Victim of Changes.” All in all, the set was 18 songs of brilliant, tight metal, that left me wanting more.

Richie Vaulkner and Andy Sneap of Judas Priest
Photo: Bryce Van Patten

If you get a chance to catch Judas Priest on this tour, do it. After 40+ years, it’s clear that Rob and the band still have the passion to continue for a long time to come.

JUDAS PRIEST (Live at the Moda Center, Portland, OR, USA, June 22, 2019)
Photo: Bryce Van Patten


  • Bryce Van Patten

    Bryce is an audio engineer and a graphic designer here at Metal Express Radio. From the day he purchased his first album (Machine Head by Deep Purple), he has had a passion for heavy music, which has influenced his whole life. Bryce is from the great Pacific Northwest in USA, and has played in metal bands like Babylon, Holy Terror, The Wild Dogs, Warhead and Egypt through the 80s. He had his first interview for the Portland, Oregon publication The Rock Rag with guitarist Paul Gilbert in his Racer X days. Then he was honored to get to have drinks, and talk for an hour with the legendary Dan McCafferty of Nazareth for his second interview. In 2013, he spent an amazing hour talking to Andi Deris of Helloween, which was the high point of his heavy metal journalism.   In the year 2001, he formed Man in Black Music Publishing. They released recordings by several local bands, and in the spirit of the old Metal Massacre compilations, he created a 2-album series called The Defenders of Metal. The albums featured classic styled Metal bands from all around the world, with bands from Australia to England, and from Argentina to Russia. Currently, he is the producer/creator/vocalist of the Metal band The Black Tuesdays.

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  1. Well done Bryce! Saw them in Vegas and it was an amazing show. They are still killing it.

    • I couldn’t agree more. The show was intense, and they played some great songs from the past that were totally unexpected. m/ m/

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