Judas Priest DVD review [SPV/Steamhammer]

Film / Video Reviews
Judas Priest DVD review [SPV/Steamhammer]
Jul 23, 2002, 18:56


A DVD commemorating a typically hair-raising performance by the Metal Gods themselves at the Brixton Academy in London in December 2001, Live in London redeems vocalist Jesse “Ripper” Owens as heir to the throne of Rob Halford as much as it does the Priest themselves, still rocking harder than most bands half their age.

Though it features some obligatory “behind the scenes” footage that proves barely intelligible, most of the DVD is thankfully made up of the performance itself. Focusing as much on old tunes as those from their most recent Demolition album, the set list boasts classics such as “Victim of Changes,” Diamonds and Rust,” “Breaking the Law,” and “Hell Bent For Leather.” Owens' position as substitute-vocalist-for-life is hardly enviable, but even less deserved. Fuck the purists—dude can wail. And the hordes of devil-horn raising fans don't seem to miss ol' Halford too much either.

The widescreen format and digital sound certainly enhance the raw energy of the performance, which gets you as close to being there without actually having to shell out money for a ride in a time machine.

For the fanatical, the half hour soundcheck is also a must. Shot in black and white, it features several songs not included in the set list, and offers a glimpse at the Priest playing to an empty auditorium. It's jarring, and quite exciting in a voyeuristic kinda way, to hear such a prodigious racket end to complete silence.

My only complaint is that they didn't include “The Green Manalishi” in the set list, but that's just nit-picking. Live in London proves that the Priest still possess the most important thing a band with such an extensive history can—vitality. Right on. [Steamhammer / SPV]

-James Jackson Toth

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