The Beast is Priest….!

Borrowed the Screaming for Vengeance 30th anniversary CD from the library, and there was a surprise in there – a second disc, a DVD with JP’s set from the 1983 US Festival in California.

For those of you not older than dirt, the US Festival was put on by Steve Wozinak as a ‘feel good’ massive music festival for two years in a row. It lost tons of money both years, the second year had a ‘metal day’ – added because may have been the only moneymaker, IMHO (and from reading articles about it back then) – and JP was one of the main acts, so watching this DVD was definitely a trip down memory lane (I was a sophmore in high school at the time).

So they start their set and the two guitarists come out – JP’s constantly changing drummer and bassist had to have been the source of the Spinal Tap joke about the exploding drummer – Glenn Tipton is shown chugging a Heineken just before he comes out, and KK Downing is wearing what look like female biker go-go boots – of course.

Then, as the strains of ‘The Hellion’ finish and they launch into Electric Eye, Rob Halford is heard, but not seen, quite yet. Then he marches onstage to massive cheers, and he’s wearing his ‘Goth King of the Village People’ outfit – mirrored aviators, leather and spikes ‘everything’, bullwhip, massive skull belt buckle and boots of his own. Next to these two, Glenn Tipton looks pretty tame, with only red stretch pants, open shirt and classic 80s “feathered rocker hair”.

And away they rock. Pretty good set, if what seems to be largely a set of hits only, but still pretty good, they play tight, and try to rile up the crowd, although it’s obvious that crowd is WAY too big to communicate with very much, and the stage is set back considerably from the crowd with massive security and camerapeople anyway.

Then of course near the end of the set, Rob Halford bursts through the center Marshall stack and ‘rides’ their Harley slowly onstage, revving the crap out of it. I never saw JP back in the day, only just a few years ago at White River locally, and I don’t remember them bothering with the Harley – at our show Rob Halford was too busy with costume changes anyway. :) So then RH lays out on the front chopper wheel, and away they go with Hell Bent for Leather :)

It’s probably the perspective of time (or just getting old) but despite obvious musical talent, this is still pretty cheesy. Although the actual music video (embedded below) for ‘Breaking the Law’ is the epitome of cheese, especially when Beavis and Butthead were making fun of it (couldn’t find that sadly). But in fairness to the band, something i just read seemed to indicate they made the video somewhat tongue in cheek anyway :)

…to the Metal Gods!

candybowl

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