Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Dream Sets: Judas Priest

Let's say you've won a massive lottery. You'd use that money responsibly, right? Like building your own music venues and paying your favorite bands to play your favorite songs there?
So here's the deal. You're booking your favorite bands, and you're paying them so much that they let you pick the set list. You've got 10 songs (it's got to be a challenge, right?) plus a three-song encore. What's your Dream Set? 
I’m hoping to do a couple of these a month. Since I’ve seen Judas Priest recently, and it’s fresh in my mind, that’s where I’m going to start.
Feel free to disagree with me or share your own.


  1. “The Hellion/Electric Eye” (Screaming for Vengeance, 1982). This should always be Priest’s opener. It’s just perfect for that purpose. The intro to crank the place up and the energy to make it explode.
  2. “The Sentinel” (Defenders of the Faith, 1984). We’ve got the energy up, let’s keep it there with one of Priest’s heavier pre-Painkiller tracks.
  3. “Sword of Damocles” (Redeemer of Souls, 2014). This is likely the only way that I’d ever get to hear this live, but it’s one of my favorite recent Priest songs. How can you not like a Priest song that sounds like Iron Maiden?
  5. “Hell is Home” (Demolition, 2001). Probably a controversial pick among Priest fans, but I’ve always loved this song. We need one slower tune, and maybe I could pay them enough to let Tim Owens sit in for this one. If not, I’d be happy with Halford singing it.
  6. “Spectre” (Firepower, 2018). Let’s conclude the middle section of newer songs with my favorite from their latest album. I really love this whole record, but I can only spare one slot.
  7. “Turbo Lover” (Turbo, 1986). Yes, this album gets a lot of hate. Yes, the synth guitars were a bad idea. Yes, this song still kicks ass.
  8. “The Ripper” (Sad Wings of Destiny, 1976). The Sad Wings track was a tough call between this one and “Victim of Changes,” but as much as I love singing along with the opening line of “Victim,” “The Ripper” is just a little cooler in my mind.
  9. “Leather Rebel” (Painkiller, 1990). Since Painkiller is my favorite Priest record all-around, I have to get more than the title track in. I’m going with this one just because it’s a crusher.
  10. “Some Heads are Gonna Roll” (Defenders of the Faith, 1984). I’ve always loved this song, and I think it’s very underrated. I’d love to hear it in the live set.
  11. “Hell Bent for Leather” (Killing Machine/Hell Bent for Leather, 1978). It’s not a Priest show without Halford riding the Harley out for this tune. It’s one of the iconic parts of their show, and I think it’s a perfect way to finish the main set.
  1. “Painkiller” (Painkiller, 1990). As I mentioned earlier, this is my favorite Priest record all-around, and one of my favorite Priest tracks. A great way to blast into the encore.
  2. “Breaking the Law” (British Steel, 1980). You can’t have a Priest concert without “Breaking the Law,” and it has to come at the end.
  3. “Living After Midnight” (British Steel, 1980). See above. So, yeah, I think their normal closing two songs are perfect and wouldn’t have it any other way.
Notable Absences:
“You’ve Got Another Thing Coming.” It’s not that I don’t like the song, it’s that I’ve heard it so many times that I don’t need to hear it again. For some reason it doesn’t hold up for me like “Breaking the Law” or “Living After Midnight,” which the same could be said for.
“The Sinner.” I know this is a staple, but it’s just never been a favorite of mine, and I’d rather use that seven minutes on something else.
“Metal God.” Good song, but I’ve always felt it was a little overrated.
Tough Cuts
  • “Victim of Changes”
  • “Delivering the Goods”
  • “Rapid Fire”
  • “Blood Red Skies”
  • “Judas Rising”
  • “Dragonaut”
  • “Never the Heroes”

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