JUDAS PRIEST with Steel Panther | 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29 | Hard Rock Live, 6050 Universal Blvd. | 407-351-5483 | hardrock.com/orlando | $49.50-$124.50
Back in the mid-’80s, Judas Priest tried very hard to be modern, and the results were ... mixed. The band incorporated the worst current trends in metal – poofy hair, unnecessary synthesizers, neon-colored leather – and was justifiably ostracized by their fanbase. In this decade, after lineup changes and the no-fucks-given wisdom of age, Rob Halford & Co. are no longer trying to be a “modern metal band” and are instead focused on being the best iteration of Judas Priest possible. Ironically, this approach has made the band more modern and relevant than they’ve been since British Steel – they’re now a sludgy, grinding metal behemoth that, were they releasing their albums on limited-run, quadruple-45-rpm colored vinyl, would fit right in with the M.O. of 70 percent of today’s most blog-worthy underground metal bands. Live, the effect is even more pronounced, as Halford stalks the stage like a pagan wizard shuffling through a fire ritual, making for a unique combination of dirgey doom and classic-metal anthemry.