- The moaning and whining you read on Amazon reviews about Halford’s voice.
- The amount of live material that Priest have released since 1998 (too much).
The song selection is interesting and varied if nothing else. All the staples are here: “Metal Gods”, “A Touch Of Evil”, “Painkiller”, “Hellbent”, “Another Thing Coming”, “Living After Midnight”, “Breaking The Law”. There are also lots of older Priest classics that, for some parts of the 80’s, were seldom played (if ever): “The Ripper”, “Victim Of Changes”, “Exciter”, “Diamonds & Rust” (the acoustic version too). There is a generous helping of new songs from Angel Of Retribution, and a couple odd ducks as well: “Turbo Lover”, “Hot Rockin'”, and “I’m A Rocker”. “I’m A Rocker” is definitely the biggest surprise, as Ram It Down-era material hasn’t been played live since that tour! It’s not the track I would have chosen (give me “Blood Red Skies”!) but I give them credit for being adventurous. The only missing link really is, I would have loved something from Defenders, or maybe “Sinner”.
My only real beef is with Halford’s stage presence. I haven’t seen Halford perform live at all recently, but his stage presence here really baffled and stunned me. For 90% of the show, he is standing in one place on stage, hunched over, staring at the floor, looking like some strange leather-and-studs hunchback. He rocks back and forth holding onto his half-sized mic stand, eyes closed, wailing away. Every once in a while, he stands straight up and walks around, proving he’s not suffering from ankylosing spondylitis.
He barely speaks to the crowd at all. A sample song intro? “Angel of Retribution? Revolution!” That’s it! He speaks a little more before “Turbo Lover”, reciting the same song intro that he used back in 1986, but quickly and robotically.
Considering that Glenn Tipton, KK Downing, and (yes) even Ian Hill give their all on stage while Scott Travis plays seemingly impossible drum parts, Halford’s stage presence was shockingly dull. He’s always had a flair for the theatrical, and his choice of leather and metal costumes show he’s still that guy. I just don’t get what he’s trying to do with the hunching over. I am sure there is a method to his madness, and he’s not waiting on a double hip replacement, but it’s lost on me. Anybody who can add insight, please leave a comment. Maybe you saw him on this tour — I have never seen Priest live.
Song-wise, production-wise, and performance-wise, this is a must-purchase for any Priest fan (I only wish it was released on CD too, although some songs are available on 2009’s A Touch Of Evil Live). Visually, Halford’s performance is puzzling — but even so, it’s actually grown on me since I first watched this.