Judas Priest

The Joint, Oct. 23

The heavy-metal icons are calling their Epitaph tour the band’s last full-blown world excursion. But at their Vegas stop, Judas Priest didn’t come across as a band on the downside of its career. Instead, the veteran rockers set a machine-gun tempo with “Rapid Fire” from the 1980 album British Steel as vocalist Rob Halford belted out the opening line “Pounding the world like a battering ram,” which pretty much sums up Judas Priest’s 40-year career. The band powered through 21 songs from their 16 studio albums, ranging from “Never Satisfied” off their rarely played 1974 debut, Rocka Rolla, to “Prophecy” from 2008 concept album Nostradamus, in a career retrospective that lasted more than two hours. The 60-year-old Halford still possesses an operatic range, with the Metal God’s high-pitched screams testing eardrums during the band’s classic “Victim of Changes.” Judas Priest’s distinctive twin-guitar attack of Glenn Tipton and newcomer Richie Faulkner (who replaced the retired K.K. Downing earlier this year) fueled crowd favorites such as “Electric Eye” and “Beyond the Realm of Death,” with the axmen rocking back and forth with their instruments as if engaged in a tug of war with a great white shark. The band saved its biggest hits for the end, with Halford sitting atop his trademark Harley-Davidson during “Hell Bent for Leather,” and finished things up with “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” and “Living After Midnight,” a fitting close to a show that ended just after midnight, making for a lethargic Monday morning for local metalheads.

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