Words and Photos by Marco Denzer

Heavy Metal icons Judas Priest together with legendary rockers Deep Purple brought their double barrel Firepower summer tour to Northwell Jones Beach Amphitheater in Long Island and delivered a barrage of heavy rock hits that fans will soon not forget.

British blues-rock quintet The Temperance Movement started things off with a solid set of songs that included titles like “Caught In The Middle”, “Love And Devotion”, and “Take It Back” to name a few. The band, fronted by the energetic Scottish singer Phil Campbell with a raspy rock n roll voice, put on an impressive performance that easily got the crowd going before the headliners.

Judas Priest opened their set with the title track from their most recent release Firepower, and they hit the stage with all guns blasting. Driven by the heart pounding rhythm section of Scott Travis on drums and Ian Hill on bass, axe shredding masters Richie Faulkner and Andy Sneap on lead and rhythm guitars, and the iconic Rob Halford on vocals. It was metal power at its finest and the audience loved it. 

Clad in full leather with studs and spikes and pacing the stage from side to side like a head priest at the altar, in total command of the scene, Rob led the band through an amazing list of hits that included “Sinner”, “Metal Gods”, “Painkiller”, “Hell Bent For Leather” and many others.

Halford was in excellent vocal shape and delivered an absolutely solid performance, even during the most challenging parts of the songs, and to see Faulkner by his side bending and pushing the guitar to unimaginable limits was a dream come true for any hard rocking headbanger. He is beyond prolific on the instrument.

Sadly, as Glenn Tipton was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease earlier this year, it was very disconcerting to see Andy Sneap standing in his place initially. However, Sneap fits exceedingly well within the dynamics of the band and performed an outstanding job on his parts, and much to the delight of the audience Tipton eventually walked on stage and took his customary post to play the last few songs of the set with his mates.

To round up the evening, pioneering heavy metal rockers Deep Purple took charge of the stage in grand musical manner and began their set with “Highway Star”, the classic tune that needs no introduction, and they followed it with “Pictures of Home”, “Bloodsucker”, and “Strange Kind of Woman”. A solid 1970s era punch that immediately got the crowd pumped. The band’s illustrious fifty-year spanning career and repertoire provided plenty of material for the show, so they also included more contemporary songs like “Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming”, “Uncommon Man”, and “Knocking At Your Backdoor” as part of the setlist.

While some longtime followers of the band may find a Deep Purple without Richie Blackmore and Jon Lord difficult to accept at times, the core DNA of the band including drummer Ian Paice, bassist Roger Glover, and lead vocalist Ian Gillan remains the same, so adding to this distinguished set of talented musicians the virtuosity of keyboardist Don Airey and mastery of guitarist Steve Morse is a move that has taken the band to a very positive level. It has modernized the sound a bit without altering the magic formula that makes them who they are.

The bands will continue with their tour through the end of September, making stops in Charlotte, Atlanta, Denver, and Irvine before continuing to South America and Japan after that.

Judas Priest – Setlist
Lighting Strike
Desert Plains
Turbo Lover
Rising From Ruins
Freewheel Burning
You’ve Got Another Thing Coming
Hell Bent For Leather

No Surrender
Breaking The Law
Living After Midnight

Deep Purple – Setlist:
Highway Star
Pictures of Home
Strange Kind of Woman
Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming
Uncommon Man
Knocking At Your Backdoor
Keyboard Solo
Perfect Strangers
Space Truckin’
Smoke On The Water


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