|Priest Feast at Madrid|
The venue, a bullring. The blood of the bulls unfairly slayed perhaps added even more rage and savagery to the metalfest announced and expected many months ago. Long was the queue to enter as well, circling the whole ring and then covering almost half a mile in a promenade. Half an hour to go in after it started moving. Around 8000 souls -in black-. I was not so surprised in seeing so many aged metalheads. I was a bit more surprised to see many children at the gig accompanied by their metallic parents. But what surprised me and liked it more was the fact that many adolescents from 13 to 16 years old crowded the event. A sign that good old metal music has yet something to say with the youngest ones in these years of alternative, nu and black-death domain.
Despite the great performance and their fantastic skills, Testament's sound was horrible during the whole set. It was hard to distinguish the ever sung-along songs from the seats above. The best place to listen to this band is always from "the pit." Much too loud and with echoes and distortions that provoked the bass sounds to smother the treble ones. A pity, since Chuck and company did their very best with continuous interactions with us to deliver an astonishing and memorable set.
The first two songs quickly put us into the action and very greatly welcomed by the Spanish metallers or "heavis [gebis]," as we are named in this country.
"Souls of black" and "Electric Crown" had maybe a better sound, as these songs are middle tempos, not so fast and not so loud, so they were more clear. They were also greatly welcomed. Above all, "Electric Crown," as it was the first time that the band played it during the whole tour, as far as I know. They have played a different song at that position in every one of the 4 spanish concerts. The next two songs were fantastic as well. Everybody there sang along the with choruses with Chuck and IMO, it was the best part of the set. "More than" and "3 days" are great in studio but specially significant for live performances.
Greg and Eric were great encouraging the public as well. Greg was quite active indeed moving to and fro as in a trance or possessed. Then sound problems attacked again with the 3 remaining songs. A pity indeed. I was quite happy in seeing that Mr Billy is fat and recovered again. (As you know, he developed and later overcame cancer some time ago.) And he is big in every sense of the word. With more indians like him, John Wayne and the 7th of Caballery would have never conquered the West. Playing air guitar during the whole show and quite charismatic towards the audience, Chuck did not stopped spitting on the stage. I thought that Mustaine was going to slide in that pool of thrash metal salivas, but old converse trainers attach well to the ground. He demanded the pit to dance in circles during the last song.
The stage was cleared quickly. Megadeth drum kit came in just one piece like a cage (that reminded me of the old NWOBHM band Samson). The nuclear onslaught had come. Mustaine and co. assault the stage with fury. A pile of amps in the back added even more fierceness to their show. The sound was not so loud as with Testament, perhaps even quite low during the three or four first songs. Then it became perfect and both guitars could be heard sweet, smooth and fine. In the beginning bass and drums were lightly smother. Vocals were nevertheless perfect, Mustaine seems like there was a great friendship and connection between all band members. For instance, Chris and James took five everytime they came together crossing the stage and when Shawn came out to salute us, Dave and him joined the affection show. Megadeth...megaunited.
There were many magic points in the show: I was delighted in the way that Dave sang "A tout le monde" and "In my darkest hour". He was feeling the sound and the lyrics, hugely thrilled for their own creations... for everything. The guitar riff doubling scale variations at the beginning of Sweating Bullets was highly acclaimed by the public.
There were also magic in some complete songs. The most cheered after songs were Hangar 18, Holy Wars, Peace sells, and Wake up dead. All songs from "Peace Sells" are indeed great to be played and listened live if you think about it. Public was very interactive: We sang the choruses of "A tout le monde" so loud that Mustaine couldn't be heard, so he decided to point the microphone to us in the last chorus. The pit created a wave as in some football games swaying everybody from right to left and left to right during "Hangar 18". The audience sang with the guitar riff of "Symphony of Destruction" and we sounded even louder than the guitars. "Perepram Perepram Perepram Pepepeprerepram." We were Mega-enjoying.
Mustaine was quite communicative with the audience and we celebrated and thanked for that. For instance after introducing the band at the end he said: "Well, about me...you know who I am and...I know who you are" and, when the rest of the band left the stage, Dave stayed alone "in the dark" against we, the 8000 beasts, to say: "Be sure to get old and we will see you again." Quite kind words and affectionate indeed.
We metallers are crazy. The organizers triggered Judas' start with Black Sabbath "War Pigs" at loud volume. We all started singing and humming as from the second verse in a low voice and, when in time, a global huge shout of "Oh Yeah!!!!" from the song's bridge shook the city. Then the curtain fell. If there were some magic moments and perfectly performed songs during the first two bands, every f***ing song in the whole Judas Priest setlist was magnificient. It is impossible to state that a song stood out from the others in performance. Though, as foreseeable, songs from "British Steel" to "Painkiller" were more applauded and welcomed. The sound now: fantastic: Clear, the accurate loudness and with no predominance of trebles or basses. It resounded in the seats of the bullring that I could feel the rhythm in my balls...Excellent.
Theatrical effects were astonishing. The show started with what seemed to be a covered harp or a statue in one of the platforms. When the statue started moving I realized it was Halford. When "Prophecy" ended he disappeared abruptly, as this platform contains an elevator. He used this elevator and the spaceshuttle-like door in the middle of the stage quite frequently to go in and out during the whole set. Scott began to throw the sticks so high from this song taking a long time to fall back again that they seemed to have been lost or "abducted." This man is really an animal... a machine playing drums. It seems that he is fulfilling a personal revenge every time during every song. Fierce, mighty, ogreish....a metal god.
Now I will speak of Robert. He is a wizard-like frontman. His gestures and interaction joined to all theatrical sights -wardrobe, settings- and motions really enraptured us. This fact coming together with their movements during "Eat Me Alive," for instance, made us feel violently happy. Sir Robert Halford's voice was helped by some prerecorded screams that produce a pretty echo to be merged with his ever-awesome powerful skill. Halford's voice is obviously not the same as 20 years ago, but it did not lack the strength than a God has to have. I just noticed a point of weakness during "Hell Patrol" and another song I can't remember, though they were overcome soon. Rob feels the music and lyrics sometimes as if in pain, some times as if in happiness and every gesture was proper to the feeling transmitted in every moment. That makes an interpreter from a singer, as Mustaine and Billy also showed. He sang the whole "Death" seated in a throne carried out and later in by a cape-clad individual.
And what to say about Glenn, Ian and K.K. that you don't know already from 30 years ago. They three got close to each other many times during the show to provoke the perfect photograph, to build up the perfect environment dancing along at the chords and scales that only their mastery and imagination has been able to create. Ian's positions with the bass and movements were encouraging, accurate, metallic. K.K. and Glenn came once and once again to the front doubling their riffs in fifths or thirds, then to the opposite corner, moving the stage continuously to cheer and be cheered up by the devoted audience. Always encouraging the pit and beyond, always saluting us and gesturing towards us....Metal gods.
Every song after "Electric Eye" was cheered up to the extreme. The audience clapping hands hard and howling wildly. Everybody sang along with "Rock Hard Ride Free" so loud as Judas themselves and our hands danced from left to right in the air swaying to the symphony of Infatuation I can't remember if it was at the end of "Sinner" or "Painkiller" there was a long moment in which absolutely the whole place except wardens and sellers, pit and terraces alike, every mighty metal soul (in black or not( with fulfilled dreams there raised the hands up to the air and I noticed bewilderment and surprise in Judas Priest. They were enjoying greatly with our feedback.
Then they left full with emotion to appear again from the space passage with Ms Harley-Davidson. We almost died of joy with the elegance of "Green Manalishi" interpretation. Then Rob's voice cleared up all doubts at the beginning of the "last" song as he was screaming, shrieking as only he and few more can do to introduce "You got another thing comin." I left then to take the last metro and I learned later from all Spanish metal forums and blogs that the metal gods returned back our emotion with the most beautiful present. It happened as follows: There was a moment of absolute interaction at the end of "You got another thing..." The audience and the band were moved alike driven by "a touch of..." feeling. Rob then addressed the rest of the band: "Want to play another?" And so they did. They played an extra song altering the setlist for the first time ever during the tour, as a gift for our worship.
Sometimes losing our throats, hurting our hands and damaging our necks is worthwhile.
1.Over the wall
2. The new order
3. Souls of Black
4. Electric Crown
5. More than meets the eye
6. 3 Days in Darkness
7. DNR (Do not resucitate)
8. Practice what you preach
9. The formation of damnation
2.Wake up dead
3.Take no prisoners
4.A tout le monde
5.Skin o'my teeth
7.In My Darkest hour
8.Symphony of destruction
10. Hangar 18
01.Dawn of creation
04. Eat Me Alive
05.Between the hammer and the anvil
07.Breaking the law
12.The Hellion/Electric eye
13.Rock hard, ride free
16. Hell bent for leather
17. The green Manalishi
18.You've got another thing coming
19. Livin after midnight
Guest article disclaimer:
This is a guest article, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
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