An enthusiastic crowd enjoyed every minute of a classic metal evening, Saxon kicking off apace with Heavy Metal Thunder, then the more recent Hammer Of The Gods. They provided a note-perfect set, albeit only 50 minutes. Still, the guitar work was blistering, Nibbs Carter’s bass powerful in support, while singer Biff Byford was energetic and talkative. The set took in 747 and Denim And Leather, and Princess Of The Night was the ideal closer.
Priest opened with the rousing Rapid Fire, the band on blistering form. Ritchie Faulkner and Glenn Tipton traded riffs and solos with aplomb, and tracks new and old blended seamlessly, from the vintage Heading Out On The Highway to the more recent Prophecy and Judas Rising. These darker-edged tracks showcased Rob Halford’s range from throaty to glass-shattering, while the polished Turbo Lover was a standout. Bassist Ian Hill played for his life, and covers that the band have made their own included the part-acoustic Diamonds And Rust and fan favourite, Green Manalishi. The set closed with a singalong Breaking The Law and the uptempo Painkiller. The encore opened with Hellion/Electric Eye, while Hell Bent For Leather saw the motorcycle roar on. A Halford solo, then Living After Midnight, finished the Metal Gods’ extravaganza.