All photos by Jim Louvau Judas Priest singer and Phoenix resident Rob Halford. Check out a full slideshow of the concert here.
The crowd at Gila River Arena in Glendale began to cheer before Judas Priest even took the stage. Black Sabbath's "War Pigs" played overhead and the audience, tuned into a frequency only they could hear, knew that one of the most prominent and distinguished metal band of the last 40 years was about to take the stage. The sound of thunder crashing down was heard as streaks of lightning showered down behind the curtain bearing the band's logo. The drapery dropped like a stone to reveal Rob Halford and company. Blood, fire, and destruction rained down on the screen behind them as they launched into "Dragonaut," the opening track of their latest release Redeemer of Souls.
Halford's operatic voice was as powerful and sturdy as the warrior Hercules, metaphorically shattering glass and bringing down down the "Metal Gods" he was singing about. Dressed in his trademark leather, chains, and sunglasses, the Phoenix resident declared in an English accent that "the Priest is back!" He then launched into the song "Devil's Child," accentuating the end of every line with a sharp wail that pierced the eardrums of everyone in the house.