By Chris M. Junior
With a portion of the arena bowl curtained off, the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J., wasn’t set up to reach maximum capacity for Judas Priest’s show on Nov. 18.
But the fans who did occupy the available seats in the creaky venue did see a maximum-level production from the veteran heavy metal band on what may be its last lengthy world tour.
Fire, fog, strobe lights and video enhancements were constant, as were clothing and accessory changes by singer Rob Halford. The set list was typical of other shows on the tour, touching on different phases of the band’s career but especially heavy on its early-mid 1980s output, including “Breaking the Law” (during which Halford let the rowdy crowd sing the entire song) and “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’ ” (which started with Halford draped in a combination American/British flag).
For its final song, Priest played “Living After Midnight.” It’s worth noting that the song ended not long after 11 p.m., which is about when the forever-tardy Guns N’ Roses started their show the previous night at the Izod Center. Sure, danger and unpredictability are a big part of hard rock and heavy metal, but so are professionalism and proficiency, and that’s why Judas Priest is still around after 40 years.