Here is another article in our continuing series about things going on in Rochester. Enjoy.
Heavy metal’s favorite clergymen have officially begun redeeming rock fans’ souls. On October 1, Judas Priest busted out of retirement and started the North American run of their “Redeemer of Souls” tour at Rochester, New York’s Main Street Armory.
The band’s last Rochester show, in 2011, had been billed as part of their Epitaph farewell tour, and K.K. Downing, the guitarist, did indeed retire. However, Judas Priest got Richie Faulkner to fill Downing’s shoes, and are back on the scene.
“If you’re making a change, it should be significant,” says lead singer Rob Halford. “Where at one time the sun was setting, now the sun is rising again. It’s a new metal dawn.”
The sun rose on the new chapter in the band’s history to the tune of “Dragonaut,” the first track off of their latest album Redeemer of Souls. The set also included other new songs, such as “Halls of Valhalla,” “March of the Damned,” and the title track, “Redeemer of Souls.”
Although music is constantly evolving, some things never change. Just as the first guitar effects were built right into the instruments in the 1930s, amplifiers and pedals eventually supplanted these hard-wired effects. The effects are still there, just in a new form, as is the case with Judas Priest’s classics. Though the band devoted its main set primarily to the new songs, the encores featured such hits as “Hell Bent for Leather,” “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’,” “Livin’ After Midnight” and “Defenders of the Faith.”
Not only was Judas Priest’s return to touring a comfortable one, but so was their return to Rochester. According to Halford. “We know the main street, the bars, where to eat — and that’s another nice factor. You’re not in a strange town, you’re in a place you feel welcome.”
The band’s “Redeemer of Souls” tour will continue on through late November.