Joel from Airbourne reviews Judas Priest's Sydney show
Venue: Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Airbourne frontman and Priest superfan Joel O'Keeffe gives the lowdown on the Metal Gods' Sydney show
(Editor's note: So there were, having some cold beers after a sweltering day at the Cherry Bar in downtown Melbourne. That it’s at the end of AC/DC lane should tell you everything you need to know, or maybe that the first song we hear as we arrive is Whitesnake’s Still Of The Night at roughly 1,000 decibels.
If you’re alone you can pass the time guessing at what the graffiti-covered walls have been silent witness to over its many years as one of Australia’s greatest rock bars, or if you’re feeling conversational manager and spiritual advisor Slug will tell you a story or two. One of the repeatable ones is that Cherry Bar is actually Hammer-favourites Airbourne’s local, and they’re coming out to hang. Apparently this was their first home away from home when they made their journey from their humble hometown of Warrnambool. And it’s on these walls where, over ten years ago, they first scrawled what would eventually become their logo. Over a few beers they update us on their plans, and the lowdown on local action. Conversation inevitably turns to Soundwave festival which is is sweeping across the country, and as it happens the brothers Joel and Ryan will be flying down to Sydney in a couple of days to watch Judas Priest. “Hey man, fancy a review?” he asks. Joel, we thought you’d never ask.)
With a can of Jack and Coke in hand I walk into the hallowed rock grounds of the Enmore Theatre in Sydney and am greeted by the smell of stale booze and fresh sweat to the strains of Flick Of The Switch and For Those About To Rock pumping out of the PA – I'm in my natural habitat. As Priest's stage crew check and load the weapons for the oncoming heavy metal assault, I meet some old friends out in the sea of black and denim battle jackets. Then, out of nowhere the room is drenched in darkness and War Pigs blasts out – a very fitting walk-on track from Priest's Birmingham brothers in heavy metal. The crowd, now gathered "like witches at black masses" sing like a rabid army going into battle. It's like a bolt of lightning as Priest hits the stage, Dragonaut the monster opener from their latest opus, unleashes the beast to the room and sends every fist of horns through the roof, the Priest are back!