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)!

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

  1. Yep, Pop Evil originates from Grand Rapids, not too far away from me. I had never heard of them though until I was browsing the website to one of the local rock stations and they were listed as openers. Like you said, they’re pretty standard radio rock. One of their songs, “Hero”, is/was getting some play on the radio, but I didn’t like it or anything else they had on their MySpace page.

    No surprises with the WS set list. I’ve been doing my research and it’s a different than what they had been playing in Europe. I would love for even more GOOD TO BE BAD songs to be present, maybe “Call on Me” or “All for Love”. They had opened some Europe shows with “Best Years”. That sucks that “Slide It In” isn’t there, they had done some encores with it. I’m happy to see “Slow An’ Easy” is there though. “Don’t Break My Heart Again”, “Ready to Rock” and “Walking in the Shadows of the Blues” should be in that list as well!

    As for Priest, since it’s my first show and all, I really just wants the hits and concert standards and not a full album being played through, but I’ll take what I can get. And YES, they definitely need to do a Painkiller anniversary tour. That’s one of the greatest metal albums EVER.

    No matter my gripes, I know this is going to be an awesome show.

  2. In your reply to crowd of Judas Priest/Whitesnake. This is serious rock; Posion is pop music; personally can’t stand them. The mentality of most people would of course tend to pop music or candy rock.. This is just the way it is.

  3. I saw the show last night in Cincinnati and it had to be the most powerful and ludest shows I have ever been too.

    Pop Evil I was unfamiliar with, only downloading one song from YouTube and I didn’t care for it, but live, they are an exciting up and coming band. Even they had a loud, and energetic set. Plus they came out and hung out in the crowd with us who paid for Whitesnake and Judas Priest.

    Whitesnake I saw in 1990 with Great White and I believe 19 years later, and a smaller set, they were every bit as good. David Coverdale still hits the notes, great set with all of the hits people would know. I never got into their latest stuff, so hearing the classics, or what Coverdale joked, the 25th anniversary of Slide It In, I was happy with what I got from them.

    The real show, PRIEST!!! I for one liked the who British Steel album concept. Starting with Rapid Fire was AWESOME!!! Then they picked off the rest of that album one by one. Like another has said, then some other classics start getting ripped out. The Ripper, Prophecy, Hell Patrol and Victim of Changes, before moving on to their encore, Freewheel Burning, Diamonds and Rust and You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’.

    With such a catalog over the years of great songs, I guess no one will be 100% satisfied that they got to hear everything they wanted, but the 16 played tonight by the PRIEST were just awesome.

    I third the whole Painkiller idea!!! I have been going to concerts since 87 when Dio toured with Accept and have seen 100+ over the years, this show was definitely the best I have ever been to!!!

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