Concert Review Judas Priest/Steel Panther @ the Ford Center

2014-10-22_22.08.49First off, in the famous words of the band SAXON…”DOES THIS TOWN KNOW HOW TO ROCK?” It might be better said “Does this town still know how to rock”? Did you see the lines waiting to get into the Ford Center Wednesday night? I did. They were stretched out all the way around the building and across the street! It was wonderful! When my wife and I parked in behind the “The Center’s” parking lot I noticed several tailgate parties going on! Judas Priest was cranking on one truck’s stereo system and the guys and girls were hanging out around the truck and pre drinking and getting psyched about the show!. Not hurting no one and not driving. Just waiting for the doors to the Ford Center to open. T-shirt bootleggers were crisscrossing the parking lots selling concert t-shirts at half price. It was just like the good ole days of concerts gone by. Does anyone remember those?

This was a real Damn Loud Rock show. One that was needed in an area that is over ran with bro-country bands and too many country radio stations… Not that I am hating on country, some of it is actually well written but for the most part it’s over saturated with the same lines in every song…Lines that mention: trucks, rivers/lakes, a country road, KC Lights, some kind of alcoholic drink, a hot girl, long legs and short shorts, and either a moonlight or sunrise and don’t forget to mention a country music legends’ name like Hank or Haggard….and WALLA! And repeat…But I will leave all this for another day! Back to the ROCK SHOW!

First off though… The KickActs PROPS and ROCK SALUTES to the following!

Many props needs to go out to our ROCK radio stations! Evansville Stations 103WGBF and 107.5WABX carried the rock torch and promoted this show relentlessly. Hell, even Pat Ballard and the WKTG93.9 gang also heavily promoted the show and had a contest using Judas Priest song titles in a story  and gave away tickets too and they are located in Madisonville! So the radio stations ROCKED it!

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(Rated PG from here down people)

Back to the concert. The Ford Center along with Outback Concerts presented the God Fathers of Metal, “Judas “Fucking’ Priest” along with glam rockers “Steel Panther”! Judas Priest has over 40 years of experience and 50 million albums sold under their belt. They are legends. Their material is as fresh today as it was when it was released. Back in the day, you had to have “British Steel” in your record collection. “Screaming for Vengeance” was another one. “Painkiller”. The list goes on and on. Judas Priest, the ever adapting progressive metal band, when syth guitars came into play they cranked out “Turbo Lover” and many more syth guitar rock songs on their release “Turbo”. Here in 2014,  they are still releasing ground breaking albums like the newest one “Redeemer of Souls”. A world class act here in Evansville Indiana!

 

[hmtad name=”Adsense Unit 1″ align=”floatleft”]The opening act was LA “Calipornica” based “Steel Panther”. Boosting that they have had over 20,000 YouTube views! LOL… A band that has taken the over indulgences of the 80’s glam/rock metal bands and repackaged it and made a comedic Rated PG-13? gig out of it. The band comes complete with guy liner and over the top wigs! These guys are highly talented musicians and pretty freakin’ humorous too!  The songs are spoofs like “Death to all but metal”. With the play on “butt” of course. Then there’s P****whipped, “Asian Hookers”, “Glory Hole” and one of their more popular ballads’ “Community Property” with the famous chorus line that goes ” My heart belongs to you, but my **** is Community Property”. lol…Probably not too cool and a bit much for the young kids in the audience though! I would say, think more like in the lines of the movies “American Pie”, “Porkies”, and “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” type tone…You know, “dick” humor…They hit on all the clichés and poked fun at themselves along with the 80’s era. The bass player Lexxi Roxx even did a standard 80’s bass solo “called “hair solo” and just played an open E on his bass while playing with his hair! We all know bass players played more than just one string but its fun to poke fun at! Great set and I could have watched a full show from them. I get it and it’s awesome!

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STEEL PANTHER

 

Steel Panther was a great warm up band but we all know who we came for! Judas Priest! Thanks to the internet I knew that when Black Sabbath’s “WAR PIGS” came over the front house system it was show time! I have to admit, to the 15 year old inter kid in me, hearing the crowd singing to War Pigs was touching to my metal heart! The curtain dropped and they kicked into “Dragonaut” off the new album “Redeemer of Souls”! From the word go it was a well oiled classic Priest show! They know how to rock! Are they older? Hell yes but so are we but no denying music makes us young again. I saw plenty of young and young at heart metal fans there! The Priest ripped out many of their classic hits and well as some deeper cuts. One of my favorites is “Beyond the Realms of Death” off the Stained Class album! They played “Metal Gods”, Another Thing Coming”, “Turbo Lover”,” Victim of Changes”, “Love Bites”, “Jaw Breaker” (not in that order just recalling off the top of my head)…And then…The Stage went dark…thick fog was rolling in…and then you heard it…

 

The Harley motorcycle started up!!! As Rob was warming up the engine on that suicide machine you could feel the tension rise! It’s loud pipes racking off the sound system and bouncing around the arena walls! As he rode it out on stage the band broke into “Hell Bent for Leather“!. Fucking A for AWESOME!

  Judas Priest came back out for two encore songs! “Living After Midnight” and “Defenders of the Faith”. It was a great night for Heavy Metal!

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Before the show and really afterwards, I looked around and saw many “metal heads” that I had seen at rock concerts back in the day when Evansville seemed to have a great rock show once a month. I don’t know these people as coworkers or friends per se but we have something in common. The music. We all acknowledged each other with the typical “what’s up” gesture but we’re all brothers and sisters in rock. We support the cause…The numbers were small but we were there…

eric211  The show was undersold. It’s a known fact that for some reason rock/metal shows no longer do well in Evansville. It was also on a Wednesday night but are we really too old to get out and enjoy it? I think not. Was it advertised well? In some ways yes. The radio stations I mentioned did their part if not more…

103WGBF even had a special ticket price with Ticketmaster for one day where you could get a ticket for 30 bucks! You couldn’t beat that folks! My ticket was on the floor, B section middle of the stage and I only paid 70.00 for it. So I paid 150.00 for two seats on the floor. Someone on my Facebook page said the tickets were too high… I just went to Ticketmaster and looked up Eric Church’s show. Same Ford Center, same seating area my wife and I were in. Keep in mind I paid full price at Ticketmaster for the Priest tickets…Here is Eric Church’s ticket prices for the same area. If you can’t make it out, it’s $908.00 for 2 tickets! Talk about scalping someone! Sad thing is, someone will pay those prices.

I know ad space is pricey. So let’s get that out of the way. But you have Facebook and posting daily is free. The Ford Center has a Facebook page. As of today (10/24/2014) it has 20,073 “Likes” and been visited 87,563 times. Those are great stats! Congrats! But you hosted Judas Priest and what did you do? You announced the show on July 17th and a few times after that. Then when the show neared you stopped the free advertising via posting on Facebook on your own page. From September 30th until October 16th, no mention of the Judas Priest show on your Facebook page. You posted up and coming shows like Miranda Lambert and Eric Church. Both of those shows are scheduled after the Judas Priest concert. It’s as if you guys just abandoned the show. I sent you a message asking about it on September 15th. No reply but the next day you posted about the show. I can’t tell you what to do but you know Facebook is a great free advertising tool. It wasn’t used for the Judas Priest show. I am not hating, just the facts…

Enclosing…

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Denise, LaDonna, David and me…

I had a great time at the show. I attended it with my wife Denise and my brother David and his girlfriend LaDonna. It had been a long time since my brother and I attended a concert together so the night was very special to me…The thing is, yea, the guys in Priest are older. K.K. Downing has retired and has been replaced with Richie Faulkner, a younger guitar slinger that is badass. But in reality, it’s about us an individuals’ more importantly. Are we really that old in our 40’s or 50’s? Most of the guys in Judas Priest are in their mid 60’s. The Rolling Stones are in their 70’s and they are still playing. Touring isn’t easy…So what’s our excuse for not going?

If you have been blessed with good health why head for the rocking chair early? Why not play “Kick the can“. Why not live while you are alive? So what if you are up a little later one night in a year at a rock show? I saw the guys and the  girls there. Young and older. We are the  Defenders of the faith along with Judas Priest. Who gives a crap if your not 21 anymore? Had a couple of kids and your not 36/24/36 anymore? I saw younger ladies and MILFS/GILFS dressed up in leather or dressed nice. I saw the newer young generation metal guys taking the torch. I saw the older metal guys with a lot less hair than they used to have and maybe the standard 40ish belly instead of the “six packs showing” it’s “six packs hiding”. The leather jacket they have had for years doesn’t quite fit like it used to but… They are “Defenders of the Faith”. All of them. Every damn one of them…

Never let anyone tell you that you are too old. If they do, tell them, well just show them. Wear what you wanna wear. Grow your hair how you wanna grow it. Be you. Who the hell wrote the book on growing up anyway? Be responsible but live dammit…Just live! If its metal….Get your ass off the couch and support the shows. If it’s country you like….do the same. But do something. What did ole Red say in Shawshank Redemption??? Get busy living or get busy dying…

Anyway, I’m off the soapbox now… I posted this question on my Facebook page after the show. Please feel free to respond or comment…

I am currently writing about the Judas Priest concert last night for Kick Acts. if you attended the show “what are your thoughts”. I will use some of them in the article. Comment below or PM me.

Here are some of the replies…

It was GREAT to hear the old Preist songs but sadly…Steel Panther pushed the entertainment factor out of their reach. Singing along with iconic metal legend Judas Preist wasn’t nearly as fun for me as laughing along with Steel Panther and their refreshing approach to cock rock.
Keith Alvey Maybe they should’ve used the center instead. Just a thought not sure the light rig would’ve fit.
Allen Tate Overall, I thought it was a great show. Both bands delivered. It was disappointing to see so many empty seats but not surprising. The only two places I noticed any advertising for this show was on WGBF and WABX. Maybe if they’d have advertised on the local TV stations there would have been a few more seats filled.
Kim Veazey-Wood I had tickets and sold them I won them. If it had been on a weekend I would have went but im to old to go partying at a rock concert and who did they think was gonna go see judas priest..the old rockers Just a thought
Kevin Book Steel Panther is good for what they do, but they’re basically a comic act and it gets old real quick. I just don’t have any interest in watching old rockers get up there and try to act like it’s 1976 anymore…I saw Priest several times back when they were the baddest in the world…that’s good enough for me. No wonder it was such a lame crowd.
Rodney Beasley Uh Kevin Book…If you had been there last night you would see they are still the baddest in the world. 🙂 Amazing show!!!
Charles Dicus Lame crowd as far as numbers, but those there were far from lame. And as for Priest being old rockers…they proved last night that old or not, they still kick ass. There’s so many factors to look at. First, this town pays to see entertainers, not legends or artists. They should of played the Center, but from what I heard, they have a contract with VenuWorks to play their establishments in various cities. So the way it was explained to me…whatever money was lost here will be made up someplace else.

I remember just years ago (2002+), Motley, Def Lep, KISS…playing Roberts to huge crowds. So what happened?

I’m always baffled by “fans” around here. I know people that travel across Europe to see their bands. Hell, I know some people here who would rather make the trek to Nashville or Louisville to see the same artist that is playing in Evansville. What does that say?
If there was a Led Zeppelin reunion at the Ford Center…the place would probably sell out, with Evansville residents buying MAYBE a 1/4 of the seats (if they knew about the show). All others would be from out of town, state or country.

 

Doug Sauls I hate to say this Chuck but I didn’t even know Judas Priest was coming to Evansville! Like you said there are many free ways of getting the word out so I will say that a lot of people just didn’t know about it.

Benny Sauls Evansville demographics no longer support rock shows. It does not matter how long the artist has been around, it is about what demographic our area now represents and unfortunately it is no longer rock music. Country acts and more main stream artists will always do better here for that reason alone. How does that change? The people that refuse to go see the few rock shows that do come to town have to get out and support a show when feasible. Even the minor major tours that hit The Centre and The Victory.

Dave Lutz They actually advertised on TV. I saw several times and hardly watch TV. Probably would have done a bit better had they teamed JP with another Classic Metal act and not Steel Panther. SP great musicians but pretty vulgar and most people have no clue who they are. Heard JP killed it and I went back and forth on whether or not to go. Would have gone if they would have put say Lynch Mob or Dokken or Saxon or somebody like that on the bill with JP. JMO which really means……Nothing!

Karen Clayton Beasley Well, I enjoyed the show very much but I was quite disappointed in the small crowd that showed up. I’m sure there are many reasons for the lack of fans there, including it being held on a weeknight, we are ALL getting older, the lack of a more popular opening act, and tickets were not cheap! Even though I did have a great time and I love JP, I was a bit disappointed in some of the songs they chose to perform. Of course, they had to do the songs from the new album and they did do a few of the classic Priest tunes…Screaming for Vengeance, Breakin’ the Law, Turbo Lover, You’ve Got Another Thing Coming, Metal Gods, Living After Midnight, and Hell Bent for Leather. IF they had added Diamonds and Rust, and Green Manalishi, this chick would have been even happier! I say KUDOS to Judas Priest for STILL rockin’ the stage even after 40 years of being Metal Gods. Seeing JP last night was also kind of a “flashback” to a time gone by. I enjoyed every minute of the show with my rock star husband (Rodney Beasley) and I am glad we had the chance to see yet another JP show. Horns up!!

Brad Linzy I saw Priest and Steel Panther at Louder Than Life here in Louisville. Both kicked ass. Only bands that were as good as those two were Mastadon and Limp Bizkit.

 

 

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