Judas Priest, Whitesnake & Pop Evil live in concert at Comcast Center (Mansfield, MA) – 7/7/09

Second concert of the season and it was a good one…..Judas Priest & Whitesnake! Same venue that I saw the Def Leppard/Poison show last week but what a difference in the crowd! Def Leppard and Poison packed the seats under the roof and the seats on the lawn for about a 10,000+ audience…..Judas Priest and Whitesnake didn’t even sell out the seats under the roof, I’d say anywhere from 5000 – 7000 in attendance last night. I was sitting center stage 20 rows back so I had a perfect seat for a night of BRITISH STEEL and an ’80s greatest hits set from Whitesnake.

Pop Evil setlist:

I have no idea who Pop Evil are and what songs they played. All I know is that they are from Michigan and they sound like Nickelback, Creed, Puddle Of Mudd and Godsmack all rolled into one. I’m not a big fan of those bands but Pop Evil weren’t that bad, I’ve seen worse openers, and they only played for 30 minutes.

Whitesnake setlist:

Bad Boys
Fool For Your Loving
Love Ain’t No Stranger
Slow An’ Easy
Lay Down Your Love (includes double guitar solo from Reb Beach & Doug Aldrich)
Cryin’ In The Rain (includes a quick drum solo mid-song)
Is This Love
Give Me All Your Love
Is This Love
Here I Go Again
Still Of The Night

No big surprises here and it’s pretty much what I expected from David Coverdale and company. The band sounded tight and Coverdale had good voice but I could do without some of the over the top screaming he does. He still has a good voice but he likes to scream a lot live I guess. I could have done without the solos and gotten an extra song especially with ‘Slide It In’ missing from the set. Good to hear ‘Lay Down Your Love’ from GOOD TO BE BAD (2008), it came off well live and David’s intro mentioned that their label (SPV) went bankrupt. I’m not surprised the band kept it to their three most popular albums from the ’80s, unless of course you’re a diehard and recognize that ‘Fool For Your Loving’ (from 1980′s READY AN’ WILLING) and ‘Here I Go Again’ (from 1982′s SAINTS & SINNERS) were earlier tracks the band re-recorded. It was a good set and a solid performance that the crowd really got into.

Judas Priest setlist:

Rapid Fire
Metal Gods
Breaking The Law
Grinder
United
You Don’t Have To Be Old To Be Wise
Living After Midnight
The Rage
Steeler
The Ripper
Prophecy
Hell Patrol
Victim Of Changes
Freewheel Burning
Diamonds & Rust
You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’

This was the 30th anniversary of BRITISH STEEL (1980) and the band is playing the entire album (a trend I am enjoying from a lot of bands lately) from start to finish. Good to hear the band play the album with the original tracklisting, most of the crowd thought that they would open with ‘Breaking The Law’ but I educated more than a few people that the record company had changed the running order so ‘Breaking The Law’ & ‘Living After Midnight’ would be the first songs to start each side of the album and that ‘Rapid Fire’ was the true first song. Then I had a kid in his late teens ask me what I meant by a “side”. I gave up!

Priest rammed right through the entire album almost without pause: Halford did his usual ‘Breaking The Law’ intro (“Breaking the what?”) and he spoke about the band’s biggest “hit” before ‘Living After Midnight’ but it was pretty much non-stop. Highlights from the BRITISH STEEL set were everything but the hits I’ve heard before at a Priest show except for ‘Metal Gods’, one of my favorites. I got to hear ‘Grinder’ and ‘The Rage’ and they went over HUGE with the crowd but the best was yet to come…..

‘The Ripper’ and ‘Victim Of Changes’ are classics from SAD WINGS OF DESTINY (1976) and I got to hear ‘Freewheel Burning’ from my favorite Priest record DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH (1984) that has to be one of the fastest they’ve done. Even the new NOSTRADAMUS song ‘Prophecy’ came out good live and there were a lot of people singing it word for word so I guess I’m not the only one out there who liked that album! The band sounded great as usual and Rob’s voice sounded stronger, he was also a little more animated on stage rather than his “stand in one place and look at my boots” phase he’s been in since 2006. Overall a great show and a diehard’s dream of a setlist…..maybe next year they can do a 20th anniversary of PAINKILLER (1990)!

R.I.P. – Midnight (ex-Crimson Glory) (1962-2009)

midnight

From Blabbermouth:

BLABBERMOUTH.NET has learned that former CRIMSON GLORY frontman Midnight (real name: John Patrick Jr. McDonald) passed away earlier today (Wednesday, July 8) from “total kidney and liver failure.” He was 47 years old.

According to JON OLIVA’S PAIN guitarist Matt LaPorte, who played on some of Midnight’s recent solo recordings, the singer spent his final hours surrounded by his mother, brother, daughter as well as members of CRIMSON GLORY, SAVATAGE, and JON OLIVA’S PAIN. His death occurred at 3:45 a.m EST at St. Anthony’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida.

“I will miss my partner Midnight — the greatest voice and friend I’ve ever known,” LaPorte told BLABBERMOUTH.NET. He added, “In spite of his demons, [Midnight] was a beautiful soul who constantly changed the lives of those he met and came into contact with.”

Midnight sang on CRIMSON GLORY’s first three albums — “Crimson Glory” (1986), “Transcendence” (1988) and “Strange and Beautiful” (1991) — before going into self-imposed exile for almost a decade. He eventually rejoined CRIMSON GLORY in 2005 but was dismissed in January 2007 following the revelation that he was arrested in Sarasota, Florida and charged with “DUI [driving under the influence] with .20 [blood-alcohol level] or higher or having a passenger under 18″ years of age. Midnight, who gave his occupation as “painter” to the authorities at the time of the arrest, was also cited for driving with a suspended/ cancelled/ revoked license.

Last fall, Midnight announced plans to release a new solo CD called “All Souls Midnight” which was to feature the “Acoustic Crimson” EP (four songs) along with the lost “Midnight Mass” recordings from the late ’80s/early ’90s plus some other “cool rarities.”

Metal Church call it quits!

(scroll down for the update…..)

From Metal Church:

July 7 , 2009

To all of our fans and friends…

We regretfully announce that Metal Church is calling it quits.

The performance at Rocklahoma will be our last show. We have had to cancel the shows scheduled for August and that, among other things, has led us to have to make this decision.

There has been far too much frustration and disappointment in trying to keep moving forward. The collapse of our record company, SPV, has made it next to impossible for us continue in any kind of professional manner due to lack of tour support. This decision was not made lightly.

We do have unfinished business in the studio, and with any luck we will have something that will be of interest to Metal Church fans in the near future.

We would like to thank all the fans that have stuck with Metal Church through all these years, the line-up changes and the ups and downs.

We can’t tell you how much your support has meant to us, we appreciate each and every one of you.

It’s been a great ride… thanks for being a part of it.

Metal Church

UPDATE 7/8/09:
The band have clarified their statement: “The situation with SPV is NOT the reason that we have decided to stop, it is just one small part of the trouble this band has had in trying to keep going. SPV has always been great to us, and it’s very sad that they are not going to be around in the same capacity anymore. Our original statement didn’t make that point clearly, and we apologize to SPV for any confusion.”

——————————————————————————————

I didn’t see that one coming! Metal Church was scheduled to play the Showcase Live ay Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA in August and I was going to head up there to see the show…..I guess I won’t be going! Maybe the SPV bankruptcy has a lot to do with this? I thought the last few albums were strong so I’m surprised they are calling it a day and not looking for a new label. Too bad…..a solid Metal band.

— Steve