Words & Photos by Kyle Bergfors
Leather, motorcycles, and heavy metal…what better combination is there? NONE! Upon arriving at Hollywood Casino Amphitheater this past Wednesday, one could easily spot the sea of leather and denim vests, pants, hats, and everything else. If you couldn’t spot the sea of leather and denim for some reason then you HAD to have heard the rumblings and reeving of countless motorcycles riding up to rock out and have a good time giving the feeling that you’re at a motorcycle rally rather than a concert; Yet a good time couldn’t be had without some pre-concert tailgating and crushing some (or, for some, lots of) beers almost transporting you back to the 60’s, 70s, and 80s where tailgating at concerts was a common occurrence, but in today’s modern world this practice just simply doesn’t happen anymore resulting in the ritual of tailgating before a concert being a unique site to see. Overall, it was seeming that the night was going to be a great one.
Judas Priest did not let anyone down with their set featuring the best stage and lighting production I’ve ever seen in addition to sounding phenomenal. You wouldn’t even know Judas Priest has been writing music and performing live for almost 50 years…yes 50 YEARS. As the years go by, musicians usually hit a peak in their performance resulting in an eventual downward movement (we are only human after all), yet Judas Priest goes against this norm managing to still continue to perform and perform beyond expectations. Due to their hard-hitting instrumentals and soaring vocal parts, it is not surprise Judas Priest is still pushing on during a time where older musical acts are hanging up the capes for good. An overall amazing and fulfilling show Judas Priest kept it real and stuck to what they do best, playing heavy metal, pulling off the iconic leather outfits even in their age, and making it a night to remember for fans. Judas Priest also recently released a new album, titled “Firepower”, this past year which is definitely an album you want to check out as soon as possible since “Firepower” truly showcases the group’s extensive musical history while still keeping it fresh, yet mirroring their original sound. Their live performance felt just like this. A mirroring of old-school Priest while still being fresh and new.
You would think Judas Priest would have been the headliner of the night with their new album, but no one could forget the equally as iconic Deep Purple. Even though much of the crowd were there for Judas Priest, this did not stop Deep Purple from hitting the stage with everything they got and performing an amazing live set. Deep Purple blew up during the same era of iconic British hard rock and heavy metal as Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and many others, yet still managed to separate themselves from the rest due to a unique blend of progressive rock and heavy metal. You could without a doubt see the life-long dedication in the fans for the band that night. It’s no surprise that at one-time Deep Purple held the Guiness World Record for the world’s loudest band, but loud doesn’t always mean good. This, of course, does not apply to Deep Purple who are true veterans of the music world. Performing songs from every era of the band, Deep Purple put on an un-forgettable set. It makes sense why the band continues to have an impact on every generation of music fans.