You’ve got to hand it to Jimmy Fallon, he sure has a way of getting some of the best musical guests around, especially when it comes to hard rock and heavy metal. This past Friday night, it was Judas Priest’s turn as they played through “Breakin’ the Law” and today’s video feature, “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’” from Screaming for Vengeance. Rob Halford turned in a solid vocal performance on a TV-friendly abbreviated version despite the obvious down-tuning, which I can only assume is to accommodate his voice (hey cut the guy some slack—he’s 60 years old, and he is the Metal God, after all). I wish I could say the same for Glen Tipton and Richie Faulkner, whose replacement of founding member and guitarist K. K. Downing upon his retirement has caused quite a ruckus among fans. Their guitar tones were absolutely atrocious, Glen sleepwalked his way through an uninspired—and uninspiring—guitar solo, and although I’m sure Richie has something to prove as the hot-shot whippersnapper, his solo at the end of the song added absolutely nothing of value. I wish Ian Hill’s bass had been a little higher in the mix as his playing was steady and dependable as always, and it sounded like his tone was great.
Don’t get me wrong. Judas Priest was one of my favorite bands as a teenager, and I spun Defenders of the Faith and Turbo more times than I would like to admit. I wish I could say this was an awesome performance, but honestly, it was only passable and not up to the standard that I would expect from the mighty Priest. Nonetheless, it’s great to see them getting TV airtime and the respect that they deserve.