In a night of first-class old school metal and rock, Mr. Glenn Tipton showed all fans in the city of Hamilton that we should never surrender.
OPENING ACT: The Temperance Movement
Anyone who knows me also knows how much I hate concerts on Mondays. It’s certainly not a good day to extend your hours until late with a full week of work ahead, but all is good when the bands in question are the almighty Judas Priest and the unstoppable Deep Purple, who together gave a lecture in classic metal and rock for the fans at the First Ontario Centre in Hamilton, Ontario last night. This was only my second time at that venue, as I was there only once to see nothing more, nothing less than the fantastic Gigantour with Megadeth, Motörhead, Volbeat and Lacuna Coil in 2012. Well, I guess I can say the money I’ve left so far at the First Ontario Centre has been truly well invested, don’t you agree?
Before Judas Priest and Deep Purple kicked some serious ass on stage, British Blues Rock band THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT had the mission (and pleasure) of warming up the crowd for the main attractions on an already hot summer night in the city. Promoting their recently released album A Deeper Cut, the band comprised of lead singer Phil Campbell, guitarists Paul Sayer and Matt White, bassist Nick Fyffe and drummer Simon Lea delivered a solid performance, having a nice interaction with the crowd while playing a well-balanced mix of Blues, classic Rock N’ Roll and even some Hard Rock. If classic rock music is your cup of tea, go after their music and check their agenda, as this very competent and honest band is not only opening for Judas Priest and Deep Purple but also adding a few extra dates to their tour.
Caught In The Middle
Ain’t No Telling
Phil Campbell – vocals
Paul Sayer – guitars
Matt White – guitars
Nick Fyffe – bass
Simon Lea – drums
Almost exactly five months after their brilliant performance in Oshawa, Ontario earlier this year, the one and only Metal Gods JUDAS PRIEST landed once again on Canadian soil to show us all what true and pure old school Heavy Metal is all about, and as expected they mesmerized us with their unparalleled music one more time. Still promoting their flammable and metallic new album Firepower, one of the most important institutions in the history of Heavy Metal executed another flawless performance playing a very similar setlist to the Oshawa one, with a few nice changes applied to it such as the inclusion of the demolishing all-time classic Freewheel Burning and the inspiring new hymn Rising From Ruins (with its stunning lyrics).
As usual, Rob Halford, Richie Faulkner, Ian Hill and Scott Travis, with the support of Andy Sneap on the guitar still replacing Glenn Tipton due to Glenn’s battle against Parkinson’s disease, put on one hell of a concert, playing songs from almost all of their albums even with their reduced time compared to their previous concert in Oshawa. As aforementioned, Monday is far from being a decent day for a concert, but when you see Judas Priest firing classics such as Sinner, Turbo Lover and Painkiller, who cares about working on the next morning? Just forget about that, as it’s time to bang our heads, have a cold beer and praise our beloved Metal Gods! Furthermore, the Priest still had time to pay a humble tribute to Glenn Tipton by showing on the big screen behind the stage some footage of him kicking ass live with the band, during the execution of Painkiller, and for a diehard fan like myself that was already enough to make me quite emotive. However, that was nothing compared to the encore, which was simply magic.
It was during the first moments of the famous mechanized intro to the classic Metal Gods that what everyone wanted to happen during the concert actually happened, which was seeing Mr. Glenn Tipton, by far one of my favorite guitarists of all time, hitting the stage together with the rest of the band. And this time it wasn’t just a footage but Glenn himself, the man responsible for some of the most electrifying riffs in the history of metal music. Needless to say, the whole encore, which apart from Metal Gods and the undisputed metal hymns Breaking the Law and Living After Midnight also had the unexpected but extremely good new song No Surrender, was a thing of beauty, with Glenn fighting against Parkinson’s disease doing what he does best, which is playing first-class Heavy Metal from the bottom of his heart. By the way, Firepower’s No Surrender became some sort of anthem in Glenn’s battle, being even used as the inspiration for a special edition charity shirt, with all proceeds from the sales of the shirt being donated to the Glenn Tipton Parkinson’s Foundation. And after their incendiary concert was over the screen showed a message saying the Priest will be back for our total delight, which means as the band itself said, we shall always keep the faith and… NO SURRENDER!
Rising From Ruins
You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’
Hell Bent for Leather
Encore (with Glenn Tipton):
Breaking the Law
Living After Midnight
Rob Halford – vocals
Richie Faulkner – guitar
Andy Sneap – guitar
Glenn Tipton – guitar
Ian Hill – bass guitar
Scott Travis – drums
After a short break it was time for British Progressive Rock legends DEEP PURPLE to give another lesson in Rock N’ Roll to the audience, and there’s no better way of doing that than kicking off the show with the high-octane classic Highway Star! It’s like in a soccer game when a team scores an early goal and the fans start “playing” together with the team, but in this case we can say Deep Purple scored at least three or four goals with Highway Star, making the rest of the night even more memorable and fun.
Still promoting their 2017 album infinite, the iconic Ian Gillan on vocals, Steve Morse on the guitar, Roger Glover on bass, Don Airey on keyboards and Ian Paice on drums wasted no time and kept firing classic after classic, with songs like Strange Kind of Woman, the beyond touching Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming, Perfect Strangers and Space Truckin’ taking all of us back in time on a journey to the golden years of classic rock and metal. There was even time for a keyboard solo by Don Airey, which at first I thought was going to be absolutely boring, but of course Mr. Airey used all his amazing skills to turn it into a beyond entertaining moment of the show.
And what do Deep Purple need to do to conclude their performance on such a high note that fans would leave the venue on cloud nine? The answer to that is quite simple, as they only needed to play Smoke on the Water and Hush. Do I need to say more? Deep Purple might be getting (really) old, with Ian Gillan for instance being already 73 years old, but as people like to say it looks like they’re just like good wine, getting better and better as time goes by. I honestly have no idea about how long the band will still be able to play, but based on the quality and energy of their concert last night in Hamilton I believe they have at least another five to ten years showing everyone what they got, even if they keep saying this is their farewell tour naming it as “The Long Goodbye Tour”. Who knows, maybe this “long goodbye” they’re talking about can last for another decade if we, fans of good music, are lucky enough, right?
Intro (Mars, the Bringer of War)
Pictures of Home
Strange Kind of Woman
Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming
Knocking at Your Back Door
Smoke on the Water
Hush (Joe South cover)
Ian Gillan – vocals, harmonica, percussion
Steve Morse – guitar
Roger Glover – bass guitar
Don Airey – keyboards
Ian Paice – drums, percussion