Hell Bent For Breaking The Law: Judas Priest visits The Toyota Oakdale Theater

Mike Singer, Music Manager

Downpour and monsoon rain would not keep heavy metal fans away from The Toyota Oakdale Theater on Thursday, Oct. 13. Judas Priest kicked off their “50 Heavy Metal Years” tour in Wallingford, CT.

I was extremely excited to see Judas Priest as they have been on my bucket list for quite some time now. As I slowly trekked through the rain and arrived at the show with cameras in hand, the excitement and anticipation set in. Walking into the front doors and into the giant dome inside The Oakdale, the smell of heavy metal and lawbreakers was in the air.

The anticipation finally settled down once I was escorted to the photographer’s room and got my gear in order. Going through the processes of checking lenses’, ISO, shutter speeds, and apertures (sorry non-camera nerds) calmed my nerves before the heavy metal gods hit the stage.

Before we were able to see England’s finest, in New England no doubt, the openers, Queensryche warmed up the crowd with a blend of hard rock and Iron Maiden-style metal as the band chugged through their discography that has spanned across 39 years.

Once Queensryche jumped off the stage, the road crew was quickly getting to work at switching the sets and preparing for the main act… Judas Priest.

As we were back in the photography room, the nerves set in again. I was determined to get some of the best photos I have ever gotten and make sure that I was also able to enjoy myself and listen to some classic Priest songs like “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’,” “Breaking The Law,” and “Living After Midnight.”

Then, the moment finally arrived. We were escorted out of the back room, through the screaming crowd, and into the photo pit for the moment that a sold-out Toyota Oakdale Theater had paid to see, Judas Priest.

“War Pigs” by Black Sabbath blasted as the house lights went down. the band’s signature logo lit up all spectacular colors like bright red and bright blue. As the logo rose, a voiceover played over the sound systems as Halford came on stage and the rest of the band followed.

Quickly and loudly the band jumped into “Electric Eye,” “Riding on the Wind” (played live for the first time since Dec. 3, 2005), and finally “Judas Rising,” which so happened to be the photographer next to me’s favorite song.

It would be extremely difficult to pick a favorite song… but nothing will beat “Some Heads Are Gonna Roll,” off of 1984’s “Defenders of the Faith.”

What I appreciate the most about the show is the energy from the band who had to cancel a show due to sickness and Richie Faulkner and his heart surgery.

It truly is a testament to Faulkner’s character to be shredding his Flying V guitar and running around on stage while just having heart surgery months before.

Another thing, from a fan perspective that I appreciated the most, was some of the rare songs that the band played which included “Between the Hammer and the Anvil” which was played for the first time live since ‘09, “Screaming for Vengeance” which was played for the first time since ‘15 and “Genocide” which was played for the first time since 1982, how awesome is that?

For the entire time, the band was on the stage, they brought the firepower which is why they’re selling out venues all across the world and are one of the most influential metal bands of all time.

Anytime someone asks me about one of the most hard-working groups I’ve ever seen, that most importantly gives the fans their money’s worth… Judas Priest, without a doubt.