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So I am shuffling through the DVDs and I discover this little gem. Wow! I didn't realize Priest had released a new live DVD. Unfortunately, due to the fact that it was nearing Christmas I didn't really have any extra cash to spend, I let it rest. Fortunately I have family that knows what I like and to my delight, this DVD showed up in my Christmas stocking.
"Live in London" was recorded live on 19th December 2001 at the Brixton Academy, London. Of course this disc showcases current lead singer, Ripper Owens who does an outstanding job on both the classics and the newer material. Ripper isn't as captivating a stage presence as Rob was, but he certainly can sing which kept my ears and eyes glued through the entire disc. The man can shatter glass. The rest of the band remains faithfully intact; the twin guitar attack of Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing as well as the powerful rhythm section of bassist Ian Hill and drummer Scott Travis. As usual, the guitar work is incredible from these two legendary guitarists. Overall the sound quality is excellent, but since I don't have the greatest TV in the world, it seemed the K.K.'s guitar leads were a bit lower in the mix than Glenn's. Of course this could be attributed to the fact that I don't have stereo output on my television. The 90-minute live performance features many songs that were not released on "'98 Live Meltdown," which is cool. I was surprised to see the inclusion of "Turbo Lover" and the obscure British Steel track, "United". Being that this show was recorded as part of the "Demolition" tour, there are a few songs from that album performed. There were only two songs from the excellent "Jugulator" CD included. If I had my choice, I would have rather have heard "Bullet Train" or "Cathedral Spires" off that CD rather than the lackluster "Burn in Hell." The lyrics on that song are just so juvenile and, well, Spinal Tapish, in my opinion. Despite these minor complaints, "Live in London" is a recommended disc for Priest fans. Also included are a 20-minute feature titled "Demolition Time," that includes band-member interviews and 25 minutes of sound-check footage, including versions of songs not part of the actual concert, "The Sentinel" and "Lost & Found."
Judas Priest - Electric Eye (Sony) 2004
01. Living After Midnight
BBC Television Performances:
Outstanding DVD release featuring most of the band's videos from the past, including the entire "Priest...Live!" video that was previously only available in VHS format, as well as 13 promo videos, BBC TV performances and a complete discography. Digitally remastered in 5.1 Surround Sound, except for the BBC performances, which are Dolby 2.0 Stereo. Seeing those old "Rocka Rolla" performances was a trip. Not use to seeing old Halford with long hair. The real highlight here, however, is having the "Priest...Live" video on DVD. 19 classic songs performed live in Dallas, Texas, during the 1986 Fuel for Life tour. ("Metal Gods" plays underneath the credits and isn't part of the concert.) Excellent sound quality and a great performance from the band when they were at their commercial peak. I was sort of hoping that the Ripper-era video(s) might be included as well, but alas they were not. Will have to wait for a separate DVD release for those I suppose. Otherwise, an outstanding DVD collection. Essential to any Priest collection.
If it weren't enough that the Priest reunited, emabared on a world tour and gave us a new studio album, they also have recorded an entire live show filmed in May 2005 at Tokyo's famous Budokan. Priest were the main attraction at the '04 Ozzfest and then even embarked on a headline tour to support "Angel of Retribution" the following year. With so much touring, the band is tight and sound as good as they ever did. Rob sounds spot on, KK and Glenn are vicious and the rhythm section of Ian Hill and Scott Travis are tight. Most of the classics are here, although as with any fan some of my personal favorites were left off. It was very cool to hear resurrected classics such as "Exciter" revisited for this DVD. As the band has been doing for the last few years, the acoustic version of "Diamonds & Rust" is fantastic. I also found the inclusion of new tracks like "Judas Rising" and "Revolution" to be quit good. The sound quality is great as well. The DVD is recorded in surround sound. This DVD is an excellent testimony to Priest's timeless catalog and a great reminder of a killer tour from the reunited Priest. Here's looking forward to more in the future.