Three shows in a week

Seems like the good old days!

Wednesday:

Photographed a band called Mona. They were opening for some flavor of the week band. They look like they want to be today’s Clash. Nice guys, 2 from Ohio, 2 from Kentucky. They are getting big in Europe (they just spent 6 months there) and are close to getting a US following. Some really good songs, and great stage presence.. They only played for about 40 minutes, but I got the impression that they would be moving on to bigger and better things.

Friday:

A day with Mastadon. The loudest day I have spent in quite a while. The four guys from Atlanta rocked Chicago. Offstage, they have a quite southern charm. When they hit the stage, it sounds like you are in front of a jet plane ready for takeoff! The band is very smart- their lyrics are way above the level of the normal hard rock band. Not a lot of movement on stage, as all four of them sing and have to stay close to their microphones, but man do they rock!

Saturday:

I first photographed Judas Priest in 1978 at the Rockford Speedway (I think they were opening for Ted Nugent at the time) and have been a fan ever since. I have photographed them about 30 times since, including a 1980 portrait of Rob Halford on a Harley that graced the cover of Creem Magazine in 1980. They have always been extremely nice to me and very easy to work with, both band and crew.

So, down to Indiana to hang with Judas Priest. In the history of hard rock, they get a full chapter! One of the greatest shows on earth. They have smoke, lasers, a mirror ball, AND……..some of the greatest hard rock music ever played. The lineup has changed over the years, but the constants remain- Glen Tipton’s great guitar playing, Ian Hill holding down the bottom on bass, and Rob Halford, the most amazing voice in the history of heavy metal. The band was on their Epitaph tour, and rumors were flying around that this was their final tour. I asked Rob about that and he laughed. He said it only meant that they weren’t going to do any more 2 year world tours- Just 2 or 3 months at a time when they felt the need to rock. Then they proceeded to rock the house for two and a half hours, going back through their entire career, ending with about 40 minutes of their biggest hits.

One final note: before the show, I met the Global president of the company that makes and sells One Million Sharpies a day worldwide, and am now the proud owner of two limited edition Judas Priest Sharpies! A great time was had by all.

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