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Priest gig was feast for senses; REVIEW JUDAS PRIEST LG Arena.

Byline: ANDY COLEMAN

MIDLAND Heavy Metal legends Judas Priest celebrated Valentine's night by staging something special for their hometown fans.

Saturday night's show - dubbed the Priest Feast - featured tasty starters provided by support bands Testament and Megadeth and a sumptuous main course courtesy of Priest themselves.

The instrumental Dawn Of Creation from latest album Nostradamus heralded the band's entrance on stage which had as its backdrop a giant image of the famous alchemist, complete with blazing red eyes.

Prophecy, also from the new album, followed but, along with Messenger Of Death, later in the 95-minute set, these were the only Nostradamus tracks.

Instead, much to the delight of the fans who, at times seemed rather muted, there was a mix of hits and rarities. Metal Gods and Breaking The Law from Priest's mega-selling British Steel album were among the hits, while the gargantuan Between The Hammer And The Anvil from Painkiller and a gritty Dissident Aggressor from Sin After Sin were dug out and dusted down as welcome additions to the set.

The British shows marked the beginning of the second half of Priest's world tour which began in Finland's capital Helsinki in June. The last few months of touring have turned the band into a well oiled machine, with frontman Rob Halford in excellent voice, reaching notes you never knew existed and never failing to indulge in some outrageous theatrics when the chance arose. A feast indeed!

VERDICT: ******

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Judas Priest's Kenny Downing (left) and Glenn Tipton on stage at the NEC. Picture: Dale Martin
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Feb 16, 2009
Words:257
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