Judas Priest/Testament Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre, Victoria BC July 23

Judas Priest/Testament Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre, Victoria BC July 23
You would never guess it from all the kids in the arena, but this show featured heavy metal’s old guard showing us how it’s done. Maybe it makes sense: those of us who grew up sucking Testament’s teat are now reproducing and bringing our spawn to these evenings of ill repute, bridging the generation gap through loud music, questionable sound quality (I thought Judas Priest’s Scott Travis’ bass drums were literally going to stop my heart) and a ton of freaking Iron Maiden shirts. Like, hundreds.

Testament — recently reformed to near-original line-up status, with ex-Slayer drummer Paul Bostaph behind the kit — absolutely shredded for their too-brief 45-minute set. Starting off with "Over the Wall,” then racing into "The New Order” and "Practice What You Preach,” the band only had time to step away from the classics to play two tunes off the great new The Formation of Damnation disc. "3 Days In Darkness” and "D.N.R.” from The Gathering showed the band’s ultra-heavy side sounds great live; then there’s the power of tracks like "Disciples of the Watch,” which ended their set all too soon.

With a stage set that was borderline ludicrous (but you have to get that Harley out there somehow), Judas Priest kicked off with "Prophecy,” from their new album, Nostradamus. This song sounded great, a fate which the other new material they played throughout the evening did not share, as it was too much of a buzz-kill; "Breaking the Law,” "Metal Gods,” "You’ve Got Another Thing Coming,” "Sinner,” "Hell Bent for Leather,” "Dissident Aggressor” and "Painkiller,” however, were things of beauty. Singer Rob Halford’s stage presence resembled that blind homeless guy who sleeps outside the church on the corner, but he can still hit those absurdly high notes.

All things considered, it was an amazing show that will help us keep the metal faith until next time we drag ourselves out to see another night of classic bands that can rip it up way harder than they should be able to.