Metal Pioneers Judas Priest/Deep Purple Return to the Bay Area

in SF Concert Reviews by

If there was any doubt in your mind that metal legends Judas Priest and Deep Purple can still rock their asses off, last night’s performance at the Shoreline in Mountain View surely put that skepticism to rest.

Both bands – well into their 60s now – showed no signs of slowing down and played their classic style of metal flawlessly and with the same passion and energy as they did when they first made a name for themselves back in the 70s.

I mean sure, they don’t look like young men anymore, but that’s what makes watching them rock out the way they do that much more impressive. The musicianship developed throughout the years coupled with the battle scars of intense touring have made this tour one of the best for 2018.

Judas Priest started things off first with a new song off their self-titled debut “Firepower,” then without pause kicked into “Delivering the Goods,” a classic single off of Killing Machine. Their setlist was comprised of a good mix of old vs. new, with crowd favorites being “Turbo Lover,” “Hell Bent for Leather,” and “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming.” After a short intro by drummer Scott Travis and a thunderous drum intro, they closed things off with the impressive display of heavy-metal musicianship, “Painkiller,” which topped off their portion of the program with a bang.

Deep Purple was up next, and gracefully walked onto a stage decorated with a digital display of Mt. Rushmore substituted with each member of the band. Things started furiously with a blistering hot version of “Highway Star.” I stood in awe at singer Ian Gillan’s ability to hit each and every note of the challenging vocal range for that song – not an easy feat considering the legendary vocalist is now in his 70s.

But age didn’t get in the way of these pioneers of metal. They were solid from beginning to end and showed excellent prowess on their respected instruments. There wasn’t a loop or playback tape in sight the entire night, just four very talented players challenging kids today that music is meant to be played on instruments, not on machines.

Check out some photos from the event below and try to catch these guys before the tour comes to an end.

Photos by Louis Raphael

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An avid drummer whose discography includes albums on Digital Nations (a Steve Vai imprint), music critic Louis Raphael has always kept a pulse on the San Francisco music scene. After many years as the San Francisco Music Examiner for and, he decided to start Music in SF® as a way to showcase what the San Francisco music scene really has to offer.

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