Judas Priest, Megadeth and more at Ericsson Globe (2009)

Ericsson Globe (Stockholm, Sweden)

Judas Priest, Megadeth, Testament
I must say I was pleasantly surprised when this line-up was announced; three bands in […]
By Erika Wallberg
February 28, 2009

I must say I was pleasantly surprised when this line-up was announced; three bands in my taste and damn good ones too. How could this fail? Fail is wrong word to use but it wasn't as good as I expected it to be either.
First, TESTAMENT is not an opening band. To put them on a tour like this and give then 40-45 minutes is ridiculous. To start with the sound was painfully whiney and sharp; that took at least two first songs away from the concert so it's just to count out Over The Wall and The Hunting from the set. When the sound was straightened out everything was really good though, but TESTAMENT usually is better than this. Everything felt quite laid back and performed more on routine rather than the extreme force they were at 'Sweden Rock Festival'. And one more thing, Alex Skolnick is a damn good guitar player, his tone is perfect, he has a great sense of melody and his style is really easy to recognize but he's NOT Metal anymore, not one bit. It bugs me a little even if the visuals shouldn't matter. One more thing that I didn't like with this limited set was that once again The Formation Of Damnation was neglected to make room for a greatest hits set. Sure, those songs are absolutely top of the world too but they've done this for a while now and I long to hear a lot of new stuff. I know I'm not alone here so TESTAMENT desperately need to get out on their own headlining tour, period. All this might sound like TESTAMENT wasn't good, but that's not at all my point. TESTAMENT always hold world-class. But the sound and set-up didn't do it for me, a little more than half an hour just wasn't enough. Absolutely not enough!

And no, MEGADETH isn't an opening band either. They had one advantage over TESTAMENT though; well two really, since they had an hour to play. But mostly that the sound was sorted out from the start. And MEGADETH really sounded amazing. It's so nice to see that they've sorted out their live performances over the last year because before that, it was disastrous. I don't understand how the opening act can have a really decent sound and when the main attraction is on it's hard to even sort out what song they're playing, and that has happened more than once. But fortunately, that's all in the past now. Chris Broderick was doing a great job with his guitar. He's way of playing suites MEGADETH a lot better than both JAG PANZER and NEVERMORE. With MEGADETH he gets the space to shine and show off what he's capable of but still not overdoing the songs. Also, Mr Mustaine himself seemed to be in extraordinary good shape and enjoying playing. He has never been the craziest stage character but now he does seem to have a good time at least. Of course, there's a lot of songs missing this night but overall the setlist suited most people around me, some new and some old and it's good to see that so many has taken the time to dig into MEGADETH's back catalogue as well as the new one. To me MEGADETH really take huge steps forward with their latest two releases The System Has Failed from 2004 and newest United Abominations but I don't see a reason to dust off A Tout Le Monde. That song was absolutely not my favorite from Youthanasia and I know a lot of people agree with me here. Frankly, it wasn't good then and it is just as boring now. I still say these two bands should have their own headlining tours to have real justice. Everything sounds great but I get the feeling they don't put as much effort in it as they've would if it had been their own tours, and that goes for both TESTAMENT and MEGADETH.

This was the mighty PRIEST's night, no doubt. Nostradamus sure struck me a lot stronger than I dared to hope for, the album is absolutely great and shows that JUDAS PRIEST still have the ability to create masterpieces. Live though they haven't been all that mighty lately. But just by looking at the stage this time, with the backdrop and the glowing lights that spread a really mystic atmosphere in the venue raised my expectation until I felt like a kid at Christmas. Then again, Rob Halford hasn't been that Metal God he used to. The else so explosive frontman has mostly been looking at his shoes while barfing out the Metal Classics JUDAS PRIEST is so famous for. All my doubts are washed away the same second the lights were out and I got goosebumps all over my body when the first notes of Dawn Of Creation blasted from the speakers. Prophecy didn't really take my emotions down either and when Rob finally was visible at the top of the scenery the crowd went nuts, screaming their lungs out. Apparently, I wasn't the only one feeling like this, all this excitement was all over the venue. Metal Gods is a must and it worked as it should. The response from the crowd was massive once more. Eat Me Alive and the old memories started to remind themselves. Rob's voice isn't what it used to be and this bugs me a bit with JUDAS PRIEST. Sure, they would probably be lynched if they skipped songs like Painkiller, Eat Me Alive, Dissident Aggressor and instead choose the more epic ones where Rob still sounds amazing like Angel and Between The Hammer And The Anvil. Or why not even dust off a few of the really old songs like Rocka Rolla, Better By You, Better Than Me. Just stir up everything a little, I'm sure a lot of people would appreciate that. It certainly would be better that how Painkiller sounded this evening at least. But now I shouldn't complain at all, JUDAS PRIEST gave an amazing concert. The magic between Glen Tipton and KK Downing can't be denied and when they put their hearts and mind to it they do wonders for Metal. The arrangements between the guitars are and have always been so tasteful and dynamic. Rob also seemed very pleased with the arrangement, sure he still interacts with his shoes too much but this time his presence could be felt at least, he absolutely was a part of the concert and really came to life during the songs from the last two albums Angel Of Retribution and already mentioned Nostradamus. And with this, I really hope JUDAS PRIEST get their act together and arrange to play the entire album, from start to finish some day. I'm sure that will be an amazing show.

(photos by 'one for the road' Erika)


crossmenucross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram