Sunday, August 31, 2008
Metal Masters Tour Review!
Metal Masters Tour
Bands: Judas Priest, Heaven And Hell, Motorhead, Testament
Venue: San Manuel Amphitheatre, Devore, California
Date: August 30, 2008
The amount of legends all on the same bill makes this tour an absolutely must see. With that in mind, I was willing to shell out a few bucks for a seat about 100 feet or so from the stage, and drive 75 miles out to the desert’s edge in Devore, California, a suburb on the far eastern edge of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The list seems to be endless: Rob Halford, Tony Iommi, Lemmy, Chuck Billy, and so on. Needless to say, anticipation was in the air as the amphitheatre was filled to capacity.
Starting right on the dot at 5:30pm just as I arrived in the broiling heat, first up were Bay Area giants Testament, who have made a strong statement with “The Formation of Damnation”, the band’s recent, highly regarded full-length (the band that Metallica should’ve become, but that’s a whole other Oprah). Playing a short set that drew heavily from that album, Testament were obviously giddy to be included on this bill, and were energetic and focused for their half hour slot. The theater was already filling as they began, and the crowd formed a pit all the way up on the lawn, hundreds of feet from the stage. I now make it a point to see Testament in a more intimate setting.
Next up were Motorhead, whom I haven’t seen since about 1984 or so (I know, I’ve been remiss). Fellow scribe Chris Davison was on my mind as a hugely invigorated Motorhead blew through a great set that drew from all over the band’s career. Lemmy’s son Paul joined the fun on stage as a second guitarist for a rousing rendition of “Killed By Death”. Set closers were “Ace of Spades” and “Overkill”.
Graciously playing below Judas Priest were the Dio-fronted version of Black Sabbath, Heaven And Hell. Drawing from the three full-lengths with a mammoth stage set, highlights included “Heaven And Hell”, “The Sign of the Southern Cross”, and the encore “Neon Knights” (“Voodoo” was absent, however). An excellent set as Dio’s pipes were on full display and he shows no sign of diminishing.
Opening with “Dawn of Creation” and “Prophecy” from the double album “Nostradamus”, Rob Halford and Judas Priest take the stage amid smoke and huge lighting effects. Keeping the banter short, Judas Priest were focused as they mostly hit a string of classics and generally stayed away from “Nostradamus”. A huge highlight for me was the inclusion of “Dissident Aggressor”, which I absolutely did not expect. A large amount of older material was included, with “Metal Gods”, “Electric Eye”, “Painkiller”, and “The Green Manalishi (with the Two Prong Crown)” being highlights. The expected “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin” closed out the evening.
How often do you get a chance to see so many legends, essentially artists that started the art form that we all worship, all in the same place? Enough said.
Heaven And Hell
The t-shirt haul...
Even worse video...
Heaven And Hell
Next up (probably)...
Speaking of Motorhead, the trio's latest full-length, "Motorizer", has been getting critical acclaim. An invigorated Lemmy and company continue to release high quality album after album, and that continues with "Motorizer". Hell, even the album cover artwork kicks ass, as usual. I urge you to read Chris Davison's review here.
Sorry, song removed.