4 Hours of Heavy Metal
By Cheryl Chew, photos by Aloysius Lim and Jeremy Foo/LAMC Productions
“THE PRIEST IS BACK!” Vocalist Rob Halford of Judas Priest growls into the microphone, bringing the atmosphere to an all-time high.
The response from the crowd was a massive roar that not only reflected their supreme pride as supporters but also a deep, unwavering respect for the legendary Judas Priest, which is going out with a bang on it’s EPITAPH Farewell World Tour.
Lamb of God, the opening band of the night, hyped the crowd with an impressive performance that lasted for a good hour, involving technically demanding riffs, licks, and death growls. Amongst the crowd’s favourites were Walk With Me In Hell, Now You’ve Got Something To Die For and Black Label.
In Singapore for their second time, lead singer Randy Blythe told the audience in the midst of their set, “We were here two years ago and everyone else in the hawker center got some chili crab and stingray. I’ve been dreaming about it for two years and I got some of it last night… [it is freaking] awesome!”
Sounds like the perfect motivation for a next visit.
Immediately after their last song, a black drape with a fiery logo “EPITAPH” fell all of a sudden from above, shrouding the stage behind it.
Half an hour later, the curtains wound up and the stage was adorned with gigantic chained treasure chests. The impressive laser ignition and strobe lighting beat in tandem with the accompanying music.
It was a deafening moment when Judas Priest marched out from backstage. Vocalist Halford appeared with a pair of black shades, and was completely covered in glittering black, with a cape and a devil pitchfork his height in his left arm. The other band members were dressed in their signature 80s leather-studded jackets, boots and accessories.
First up was the brilliant classic, Rapid Fire from the album British Steel (1980) which resonated with many in the audience. The same went for Metal Gods, Judas Rising, Breaking The Law and most definitely, Painkiller.
In four consecutive hours the bands took the crowd through heavy metal from the 80s to present. Both are leaders in their own right: Judas Priest introduced S&M leather and studs into heavy metal culture, while Lamb of God is one of the main drivers of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal movement.
And the 4000 fans in attendance fans loved every minute of the gig.
21-year-old ardent thrash metal supporter Brandon Lye said: “Nowadays the metal scene is not as vibrant as in the past, there is just so many bands playing the same thing but there is definitely good stuff out there. What’s most important is that there are more concert promoters bringing classic metal bands here to perform.”