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Zénith - Paris, France
June 20, 2011

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The curtain covering the stage for Judas Priest Epitaph Tour Bookmark and Share

After a good momennt spent with Duff McKagan' Loaded, it was time for Judas Priest last concert in Paris.

Yes, sadly Judas Priest announced that the current Epitaph Tour will be their last.

The Metal God making Metal Horns

But it wasn't the only bad news.. K.K. Downing announced he was leaving the band a few months before Judas Priest Fareweel Tour.

So... I think Judas Priest had something to prove tonight...
... And to be honest, I didn't have many expectations about this show.

the new Judas Priest par of axemen: Richie Faulkner and Glenn Tipton

Of course I was excited to see Judas Priest again after more than two years, but my hopes were not very high.

How wrong I was!
This concert completely blew my mind. I'll even tell you something: This was the best Judas Priest concert I've ever seen!

It feels strange to say that because founding member KK Downing wasn't playing. I've never saw them in the 80s, but to me this was their best show in the last 10 years.

Rob Halford live in Paris

Let's start with the stage.
Before the show begins it was covered by a huge curtain which read "Epitaph".

This curtain fell during the first song, Rapid Fire, and we could appreciate all the toys Judas was travelling with...
There were huge chains everywhere, and two giant barrels throwing smoke like powerplants.

Tree tridents were hanging from the roof, one in the middle, one on each side.

Glenn Tipton from Judas Priest live in Paris

During Profecy, Rob Halford came on stage with a metal cape and his own trident.

A giant screen in the back showed different kind of images during the songs, from album covers, to far away suns and galaxies.

Judas Priest also brought flames and fireworks... and of course the Harley during Hell bent For Leather!

All this was completed by a spectacular light show.

Ian Hill on bass - Judas Priest live in Paris

About the setlist, well it was pure madness! 23 songs in 2 hours 20 minutes, with an almost complete restrospective of the 40 years Judas Priest carrer.
No songs from the Ripper Owens era were performed, which is a shame because Jugulator and Demolition are very good records.

Fire for Richie Faulkner - Judas Priest live in Paris

Otherwise we had at least one song from every Priest album, including some tunes seldomly played live, like Starbreaker, Night Crawler or Never Satisfied.

Nevertheless, I would have prefered another song from Ram It Down insstead of Blood Red Skies. For example, the song Ram It Down!

Flames on the Judas Priest stage

When the show begins, he looks like K.K. Downing's 1987 clone: blond, leather jacket, same haircut... No matter what the other Judas Priest members say, it just can't be pure coincidence!

Nostradamus - Rob Halford and his trident

But, Richie is a very good guitar player, he plays the game and fits perfectly on his role.
Moreover he's very communicative with the fans, always giving a smile, pulling faces or just looking at the audience, and that's appreciable.

Of course I miss K.K., but this guy Richie is great. I don't know if he will record Judas Priest next album so we can talk about his skills on studio, but stage, he's approved!

Richie Faulkner playing an Acoustic Guitar during Diamonds And Rust

Finally, all musicians did an amazing interpretation job.
Rob Halford performances have sometimes been criticized in recent years, but it's normal that doen't sing like he did 25 years ago.

Scott Travis, Richie Faulkner and Glenn Tipton - Judas Priest live in Paris

Well, let me tell you that tonight he was absolutely amazing! I've never seen him in better shape. Except for a couple of times where had some troubles finding hos voice, he sang like a god during this show.

Also, he moved a lot and walked all over the stage during the whole gig, instead of staying in the centre as he usually does.

Richie Faulkner, Scott Travis and Rob Halford

It's almost infurating that the best Judas Priest shows come with the band's Farewell Tour, and without founding member K.K. Downing.

But the band's not over, a new record is coming, and some exceptional festival concerts will certainly happen.

I hope this one wasn't my last Judas Priest concert.
But even if I don't ever see Judas Priest again, this incredible show will remain in my mind forever!

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Setlist Judas Priest – Zénith – Paris, France – June 20, 2011

01. Rapid Fire
02. Metal Gods
03. Heading Out to the Highway
04. Judas Rising
05. Starbreaker
06. Victim of Changes
07. Never Satisfied
08. Diamonds & Rust (Joan Baez)
09. Dawn of Creation
10. Prophecy
11. Night Crawler
12. Turbo Lover
13. Beyond the Realms of Death
14. The Sentinel
15. Blood Red Skies
16. The Green Manalishi With the Two-Pronged Crown (Fleetwood Mac)
17. Breaking the Law
18. Painkiller
19. The Hellion
20. Electric Eye
21. Hell Bent for Leather
22. You've Got Another Thing Comin'
23. Living After Midnight

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Judas Priest iTunes downloads

Judas Priest Line-up:

Rob Halford – Vocals
Glenn Tipton – Guitars
Richie Faulkner – Guitars
Ian Hill – Bass
Scott Travis – Drums
Glenn Tipton live on stage
Rob Halford and Richie Faulkner
Rob Halford and the sun - Judas Priest live in Paris
Fire and flames! - Judas Priest live in Paris
New Judas Priest Guitar Duet: Richie Faulkner and Glenn Tipton
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