Judas Priest Bring Firepower to Hammond, IN. – Gallery and Review


4/6/18 – Horseshoe Casino – Hammond, IN.

By Bradley Todd 

            For fuck’s sake, how is it that Judas Priest is not in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame already? This is the thought that is running through my mind as the band launches into the fourth song of their set, Sinner, from 1976’s Sin After Sin album, at this Friday night show at Hammond, Indiana’s Horseshoe Casino, which is a Chicago venue for all intents and purposes.

All the ingredients for admission are there: the band has had incredible longevity – just about 50 years; they have a big, amazing catalog of music that includes iconic hit songs (Breaking The Law, You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’, Living After Midnight) that have stood the test of time and are known by even non-fans, and have sold millions of albums; they have influenced countless other hard rock and metal musicians with their musical and artistic style, which, by the way, has helped define an entire genre of music – Heavy Metal; oh, and they have one of the greatest hard rock/heavy metal singers of all time…and that’s not hyperbole, just fact! So seriously, WTF?

Well, none of the above affects the proceedings in the heartland on a Friday night one bit, as Priest and their large crowd of followers have come to rock. And rock they do. The tour is in support of Judas Priest’s 18thstudio album, Firepower, and they show that they aren’t just resting on their laurels by playing three tracks from the new release. But the rest of the setlist (see full setlist below) serves as a career retrospective of sorts, including catalog deep cuts like the aforementioned Sinner, and Grinder, The Ripper, and Saints In Hell…in addition the to hits, of course. The only thing that bothered me about this set is that it completely ignores Priest’s last two albums, Angel of Retribution, and Redeemer of Souls. And this is a shame, for those albums are freakin’ great all the way through and, along with Firepower, are clear proof that Judas Priest is not an oldies act out on a money grab tour. But they didn’t consult me on the setlist!

The current touring version of the band has two original members in it: singer Rob Halford, and bass player Ian Hill. Original guitarist, Glenn Tipton, announced shortly before the tour started that he was bowing out of touring, due to the progression of symptoms of his Parkinson’s Disease. He has been replaced on the tour by the band’s album producer, Andy Sneap. The touring lineup is rounded out by drummer, Scott Travis, who, while not the original drummer, has been behind the kit for longer than any other Priest drummer (29 years), and guitarist, Richie “Falcon” Faulkner. Faulkner has been with the band several years now, coming on to replace the other original guitar player, K.K. Downing, who retired from service in 2011.

While it’s disappointing not to see Glenn Tipton up there performing (though he has made a couple appearances at a few previous shows on this tour playing a few songs, like he said he might), the proceedings don’t feel melancholy at all, but more like the Priest machine marching on in honor of the music. And the band does honor Tipton by featuring him on the giant video screen behind them. Andy Sneap does an admirable job of filling in for Tipton, playing solid rhythm but also getting some solo spots…about four or five, I think. It also seemed that the band has given Sneap a child’s size leather jacket to wear… but it doesn’t stop him from hitting all the right notes. The rest of the band runs like the well-oiled machine you would expect if you’ve seen them on any of their last couple tours.

While not the darling of the music industry the way it was in the 80’s, this heavy metal music of Judas Priest does not get old for me, nor for the rest of this crowd, who sing along, headbang, and play air guitar throughout the band’s set, which lasts about 1 hr. and 45 min. Travis is solid and steady on the drums, displaying flair, whipping hair, and a frequent smile. Ian Hill takes his familiar position back from the front of the stage, where he rocks from side to side, thundering his bass notes which occasionally shake the venue’s foundation like an earthquake. While I initially rolled my eyes at the announcement of a replacement for K.K. Downing, a few albums and tours later Richie Faulkner has really come into his own, winning the Priest faithful over. He’s energetic, photogenic, engaging, and most importantly, a blazing six-string gunslinger. If it wasn’t going to be K.K., Priest couldn’t have found a better replacement, and this is proven true as Faulkner is almost the most exciting thing going down on the stage this night.

But this night belongs to the Metal God, singer Rob Halford. It’s all been said about Rob before, but respect compels me to say it here again: the dude is unreal. Born with a gift of a truly searing metal voice, he’s been blessed with another gift of it lasting so long, as he’s now in his mid 60’s. He roams the stage, working the crowd up, blasting out notes and screams like the heavy metal ambassador he is. He is a treasure to this band, and I consider it a blessing to see/hear him. Do I sound like I’m gushing? Good, because I am. Metal God, indeed.


  1. Firepower
  2. Running Wild
  3. Grinder
  4. Sinner
  5. The Ripper
  6. Bloodstone
  7. Lightning Strike
  8. Saints in Hell
  9. Turbo Lover
  10. The Green Manalishi
  11. Evil Never Dies
  12. Some Heads Are Gonna Roll
  13. Breaking The Law
  14. Hell Bent For Leather
  15. Painkiller
  16. Hellion/Electric Eye
  17. Metal Gods
  18. You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’
  19. Living After Midnight

Dreamcar Gallery & Review – 5/27/17 The Vic Theatre – Chicago, IL.


5/27/17 – The Vic Theatre – Chicago, IL.

By Bradley Todd 

            I am giddy. The kind of giddy you feel when you meet somebody new and feel an immediate attraction. The way you feel when you talk to a new love interest for the first time and sense sparks of chemistry in your conversation. The kind of giddy you feel with long winded conversations with no lulls, but also lengthy eye contact without any words spoken. Holding hands…a first kiss…and beyond. All of it.

The object of my affections? Dreamcar.

It was only a few weeks ago when I had fallen asleep with the TV on, only to be awoken by a musical performance on the Late Late Show (w/ James Corden) by a band I didn’t know, but was immediately moved by… while wiping the sleep from my eyes. The song had an emotional urgency to it. The vibrant band bounced and rocked, breathing the vibe of the song. I only heard half the song (Kill for Candy)…but that was enough.

I bought Dreamcar’s new, self-titled album, their first, upon waking the next morning. And I have enjoyed the hell out of it since. 12 tracks – all killer, no filler. It brings me to the emotional space that has been filled in the past by great bands such as Duran Duran, The Smiths, The Cure, Psychedelic Furs…and more recently, The Killers.

Despite being a debut album from a new band, Dreamcar are anything but rookies in the music game. The band is comprised the members of No Doubt, minus Gwen, with singer Davey Havok from band AFI. And in Davey, Tom Dumont (guitar), Adrian Young (drums), and Tony Kanal (bass) have found the perfect person for this new musical venture, as was obvious at Chicago’s The Vic Theatre on May 27th, the final stop of the band’s recent tour.

While the group is new, the presentation and performance is well honed and tight, the chemistry undeniable. Despite playing the intimate Vic Theatre, the band brought a full production of sound and stage, including a keys player and two background singers to round out the sound…and it paid off in the performance. The band played every song from their debut album perfectly, albeit in a different running order, as well as David Bowie and INXS covers, ultimately closing with their single that hooked me in, Kill For Candy (full setlist below).

While Tom, Adrian and Tony laid down grooves that propelled this show with energy and enthusiasm, Davey Havok was the emotional face of this performance. I don’t know much about Davey Havok, other than the fact that he just might be my new favorite singer. A strong baritone, Havok presented with style reminiscent of the 40’s, wearing a gray suit and monochrome rust red shirt and skinny tie, along with a retro, mop top hairstyle and pencil thin moustache. But style aside, this dude can sing. His vocal performance was strong and flawless. And Havok doesn’t just sing songs, he delivers them dramatically, acting out the emotions of each line skillfully and with sincerity…to the point that I was unsure if I was watching a singer in an actor’s body, or vice versa. When he looked a crowd member in the face during the song Do Nothing and sang “You do nothing for me…” he paused for dramatic effect before repeating “Nothing!” And I believed him. 

            One other thing I must mention that contributed to my enjoyment of this fantastic show: the sound mix. It was straight up stellar. I can’t recall ever hearing better sound at any concert, at any other venue. Each instrument was crisp and clear, and each vocal – lead, as well as background – front and center with out any distortion…so kudos to you, Mr. Soundman!


  1. After I Confessed
  2. The Assailant
  3. Born to Lie
  4. Slip On the Moon
  5. The Preferred
  6. Moonage Daydream
  7. On the Charts
  8. Do Nothing
  9. Ever Lonely
  10. Don’t Let Me Love
  11. All the Dead Girls
  12. Don’t Change
  13. Show Me Mercy
  14. Kill for Candy

Cheap Trick – Concert Review & Gallery – 7/19/16 Northerly Island, Chicago, IL.

Cheap Trick is out on the road this summer as part of the “Rock Hall Three For All” tour featuring their fellow Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductees, Joan Jett and Heart, and made a stop in in their hometown (well… their 2nd hometown, after Rockford, IL.) Chicago on 7/19/16 at Northerly Island. This was the 4th stop on a tour which is currently scheduled to the beginning of October.

Cheap Trick - 7/19/16 Northerly Island - Chicago, IL.

The band is out in support of their wonderful new album (w/ the odd title), “Bang, Zoom Crazy…Hello,” which rocks from the opening to the closing note, and is also notable as the group’s first album with Daxx Nielsen, guitarist Rick Nielsen’s son, on drums.

Cheap Trick - 7/19/16 Northerly Island - Chicago, IL.

While Cheap Trick is opening the shows on this tour, don’t be fooled because they are headliners who just happen to be playing first (my guess is that they were added to the tour after the Heart/Joan Jett lineup was already set). They pack their hour long set with hits and new songs, and switch up the setlist from night to night, showing the depth of their catalog.

Cheap Trick - 7/19/16 Northerly Island - Chicago, IL.

Daxx Nielsen brings a great energy to the group, and Tom Petersson always lays down a solid base to the rhythm section with his 12 string bass. Rick Nielsen is the master of ceremonies with his distinctive guitar work, quirky presence and personality. And Robin Zander is simply a freak of nature the way his voice has retained its range and tone decades after he began his long run fronting one of America’s rock ‘n’ roll treasures.

Cheap Trick - 7/19/16 Northerly Island - Chicago, IL.

Cheap Trick still wants you to want them, and with their new album they are showing they are still worthy of our desire.

Set List Below:

Heart – Concert Photo gallery – 7/19/16 Northerly Island, Chicago, IL.

Heart have set out a summer tour with two of their fellow Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame inductees, Joan Jett and Cheap Trick, called “Rock Hall Three For All,” with the 4th stop on the tour in Chicago at the Northerly Island venue on 7/19/16. Dates for the tour are currently scheduled to early October.

Heart - July 19, 2016 Northerly Island - Chicago, IL.Heart - July 19, 2016 Northerly Island - Chicago, IL.

The tour is in support of the group’s new album, Beautiful Broken, mixing old classics with new music. Bestrocklist.com was on hand for the proceedings and brings this photo gallery to show readers what the party looked like.

Set List:

  1. Encore:

  2. Love Hurts (w/ Cheap Trick)

Heart news and info can be found at their website at: http://www.heart-music.com/welcome , as well as their social media accounts.

The Winery Dogs – Concert Review & Photo Gallery – 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre – St. Charles, IL.

The Winery Dogs recently wrapped up a world tour, but not before stopping for a show at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, Illinois, on June 30th, 2016.

Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL.

The band, a trio consisting of bassist, Billy Sheehan (David Lee Roth, Mr. Big), Drummer, Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater), and guitarist, Richie Kotzen (Poison), was out supporting their fantastic sophomore album, Hot Streak, which is an appropriate title to describe the songwriting roll these musicians have been on since joining forces not too long ago.

Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL.Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL.

Each player in this group is exceptionally talented at their respective instruments, but together have created musical magic in songs that allow each to show off their skills within the confines of their incredibly catchy, groove-y, melodic, sing-a-long rock tunes.

Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL.

I was on hand to catch The Winery Dogs on a second swing through the Arcada Theatre (after a well received show earlier in the tour which I unfortunately missed), where they impressed the crowd with their instrumental chops and infectious songs, while letting their respective personalities (Billy – the ultimate professional/showman, Mike – the gregarious comedian/character, Richie – the serious, almost brooding, multi-instrumental virtuoso) shine through. This night was confirmation of a hot streak, indeed.

Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL.Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL.Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL.

You can follow The Winery Dogs on their website: www.thewinerydogs.com , and on their social media accounts, which can be linked to from their homepage.Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL. Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL. Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL. Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL. Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL. Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL. Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL. Winery Dogs - 6/30/16 Arcada Theatre - St. Charles, IL.