Judas Priest / Uriah Heep @ Stifel Theatre, St. Louis, MO

Words and photos by Duane Clawson
A Monday night and the Priest is back!  And don’t forget Uriah Heep too!

A night of Judas Priest paired perfectly with the forefathers of heavy metal, Uriah Heep. Uriah Heep are still going strong, fifty years on. With only one remaining original member, guitarist Mick Box, keyboardist Phil Lanzon, lead vocalist Bernie Shaw, drummer Russell Gilbrook and bassist Davey Rimmer carry on the Heep tradition. Starting as a progressive rock band in 1969, they have evolved into standard setting, hard rock band. Shaw puts a great spin on Uriah Heep classics, “Stealin” and “Easy Living”. Unfortunately right next door, the St. Louis Blues are playing for the Stanley Cup, causing many to arrive late, missing a lively performance. I’m glad I got there early, I wouldn’t wanna miss one of my old man’s favorite bands and the memories relived!

A brief intermission which allowed audience members more time to get in the building, it was time for the kings of heavy metal, Judas Priest! The quick building buzz of, “Necromancer” from the 2018 album, Firepower brings metal impresario Rob Halford to center stage! With all the flash and flair Priest fans have come to expect, Halford brings it from the get go! Production wise, Judas Priest played on a metal stage complete with bloody, violent footage including beheadings, Vikings, swords, wizards, and more. In another band's show, it would be kitschy. In the Priest's, it's essential.

Throughout the night, Priest played odd cuts from classics like "British Steel," "Screaming For Vengeance," and "Sad Wings." Unlike previous stops in St. Louis, this show blew the dust off some of the bands more recent albums, 2014’s Redeemer and 2008’s Nostradamus.  The main objective of this setlist seemed to focus on the mid 80’s moving forward. When you have a 40-year career it has to be hard to please everyone!

By now, Priest fanatics have accepted guitarist Richie Faulkner as KK Downing's permanent replacement. He faithfully reproduces Downing's trademark whammy bar dives. Andy Sneap also filled in nicely on guitar for an ailing Glenn Tipton. Videos displayed Tipton several times during the show. Although the replacement guitarists are suitable, the videos may have had fans longing for more vintage Priest. A redeeming encore comprised of “Hell Bent for Leather”,  “Living After Midnight”, and “Breaking the Law” was the solid finish die hard Priest supporters were hoping for! Thanks to Doug Tull for his review notes, as I had to leave early. Thanks to Judas Priest management for putting MTC MAG front and center. And last but not least thanks to the Stifel Theatre staff for being so accommodating!

Photos of the show are below:

Uriah Heep
Judas Priest
Contributed by Duane Clawson
Judas Priest / Uriah Heep @ Stifel Theatre, St. Louis, MO Judas Priest / Uriah Heep @ Stifel Theatre, St. Louis, MO Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on June 10, 2019 Rating: 5
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