ok, this will be long and painful: Please note: since the setlist has been noted by others, I will not repeat it. I got to NEC by following the metalheads that travelled in the same train as I did. Good thing, since the NEC organizers are a bunch of asses who could not possibly put a fucking sign.as to where newbies like me could head. Then again, NEC is in England. Finally I get myself to the first security shits, and lo and behold, I cannot get in. Since I changed my Birmingham backstage pass to a Newcastle one, I cannot take my Fuji pro camera inside, nor my laptop. And, of course, I cannot have in my spiked jacket. These people are pussies and some blind ass might stab himself. So I hand everything in, get a green ticket, and unknowingly say goodbye to my camera. Get in, it's about 6ish and the show is supposed to start at some 7:30. Found Brummie Rocker (old board member), had a talk, then i go around to check the atmosphere. At 6 PM the venue was not sold out, just 3/4 of the tix went. At 7:30, IT was sold out, that is a 12,000 people worth of a place. Interesting fact: This is the first time for Priest at the NEC. OK, so show starts with SCORPIONS. Like all German metal bands, they look fit, sound good and have fun on stage. A plethora of old songs- back to bad boys, the zoo and the ilk. Some 2 songs from the new album. The metal is so good that you cannot Not headbang to it. Us older metalheads do have a certain background with a band of the calibre of THE SCORPIONS, and to my surprise I realized I knew the words to most of the old songs. With the blessings of the hell gods, no Wind of Change. NO Still loving you either. The stage at The Scorpions was kinda small, and I was wondering where will Priest fit. Well, after the sexy Germans came out of the stage ( interesting fact- Alien Nation has been banned from this tour because some assholes complained), the 10,000 JP roadies came out and one two three beer, there is the Priest stage set. Which of course is fucking magnificent. ON the back there is the eye thing in which Rob makes his appearance, plus two elevating platforms, plus two ramps at some 6 feet above the stage on the left and right, set up on JP cross shaped pillars. And the set starts and my jaw is on the fucking floor. I am on the second line from front, and there are a lot of older metalheads with happy faces and this one mouth agaped- because this IS Priest, because 12 years of fucking pain are finally over, and fuck me, Rob sounds like he did on the Painkiller tour- and do not give me any shit about it, little shits, I have SEEN the Painkiller tour. I could not fucking believe it, in front of my very fucking eyes. KK Downing is right in front of me, and he looks like the aging process has taken severe steps on him. While he has lost the gut and old madame face from the Demolition tour- and is now back to his slender self. He moves well, but his face tells a long alcohol and debauchery story. He played more than decent, and egged the crowd on in a great way- missing the entry to one song ( I don’t remember which, I was headbanging) because of it. Glen Tipton has aged and has a nice gut to show for it- but still looks good. He is not as big as on the reunited DVD, and there is a happy motherfucker smile on his face at all times. He moved almost as much as Rob on stage, with a huge dumb happy grin on his face at all times. Most of the stage interaction happened between Rob and Glen- the old buggers obviously have missed eachother. Glen is just gleaming with happiness, while KK looks a bit on the tired side, at during Ripper’s intro part he looked bored. Ian Hill is fat, but he has been headbanging all night long and seems happy as me when I get more than 5 hours of sleep. Scott Travis has not aged a day since Painkiller. Lucky bastard. Rob has changed 6 coats on stage. Me being of the same leather maniac illness, I can testify as follows: 1.long studded coat 2. vampire smoking jacket used on touch of evil 3. Long simple coat with buckles 4. long silver/black coat 5. Crucible biker jacket # 6. priest studded biker jacket Interesting fact: after getting an eyeful of Ro’s genitals on the Reunited documentary, Rob is no longer tucking his shirt in. The shirt hangs over the pants and is fitted with a a belt with huge silver buckle. Rob looks fucking great. He has a demonic smile on his face and looked like one crazy devil running around. Put on his thick brummie accent and gave us a speech- this is fucking home turf for him. A lot of “fucking”, the guy does not care about prudes. Rob can carry whatever the hell he wants. HE screamed on TOE, and Painkiller sounded like it did in 1991. May all the naysayers die now. The guy still has it, and the fun of it is just amazing. I’m a rocker was a nice surprise. So was green manalishi, and I cannot explain what impact has the acustic diamonds and rust. The theatricals, god damn… Glen and KK have claimed up and down the steel ramps more than once., while Rob sung on center stage. Someone must love symmetry. The public was amazing. Some younguns, but a lot of oldies singing and basically not believing it has finally happened. I was talking to a chap before the show, well in his 60’s. Khakis and Priest shirt, shaved head , white moustache and glasses. I talked to him some 30 minutes, because, get this- he claimed to have seen KK’s musical debut at the working men’s club in West Bromich, in 67 or 58. Fuck me. Glen does do the masturbatory “tease the audience with the guitar” thing on Victim of Changes. Oh well, he is having fun and sounds great. KK is ripping it, but there is a slightly tired look on his mug. you know, you have to go to Birmingham. The place is chaos and madness. It's an overgrown metropolis that makes no sense, and then you get to the poor parts of the town, where people who workked in the steel mills were living back then.All the small ugly houses in rows, nothing green, garbage bins all over the place, the silence, the pain encrusted in the walls, the desperation so thick you can cut it with a saw... That is Judas Priest. That is where they come from. well, except from Glen, KK and Rob and Ian come from working class families to my knowledge. Well, I know KK is, of the rest I am not that sure. See, it is all there- it's in monster of Rock. But you have to go to Birmingham to see it. I talked on the phone earlier with a friend who had come all the way from Bristol to see Priest in Birmingham. You know? It feels like the world is changed. Like things taste differently. It's... I don't know, it's like it will never be as good as those magic moments. You live for a thing, you know? You have a dream that you think has little to no chance of happening, but you keep that flame in your heart, and you keep going and there is always that hopethat one day... and then the fucking day comes, and it's the best fucking thing that ever happened to you- ever. Better than sex, better than love, better than getting awards for your work, and fucking meeting your idols, but when that day comes, when you finally sit there and in front of you there is your dream of a lifetime, you just I cried after I left NEC. I cried because, although I have now something to treasure for the rest of my days, I know I have lost something. Something deep. What is it that I will be waiting for? I feel poor. I posted this at the Quorum as well, in two parts. I am adding it here because some people asked for it.