Hello to all!
In 1984 Priest “Defenders Of The Faith”- tour sold out Madison Square Garden! Now that was what you call a memorable gig, exuberant fans decided to fill the stage with foam cushions from their seats.
It was crazy but full-on metal, in the picture above you can see a cushion still airborne heading for the stage which in the end of the night was completely two to three cushions deep making it impossible for us to walk on as it became like one big trampoline. However, it was great fun. I remember how we laughed so much it was difficult to continue to play, but of course we did!
The result of this amazingly unusual gig was a ban for life from the venue but we did not care, as it was truly a night to remember.
If anyone remembers this gig or has some photos please can you share them with us at the Mill?
I think that you may all agree that the “Defenders” stage set was possibly the most metal of all Priest sets and also the most synonymous with both Priest and with metal!
It was a tough task to follow the success of “Screaming For Vengeance” but I think it is testimony to Priest that there was no conscious effort to write single orientated songs for “Defenders.” In fact we never did that. If a song became popular for radio it was just what happened. As the title and song says “we are defenders of the (metal) faith” and very proud of it.
The opening two tracks on this album for me are seriously the way to open a metal album; “Freewheel Burning” and “Jawbreaker” are a combination that for me is hard to get tired of. It was also great to play most of this album on the tour which I guess also pays tribute to the album as it is always difficult to present new material live. It is usual to allow a record to be well digested and to see what tracks become favourites before risking putting too many songs in the set list. For example in 1990 I think we put five songs in the set list from “Painkiller” but after a week or so on tour we dropped tree songs. Such was the demand for our established songs. Now I guess Priest would be well received if the whole “Painkiller” album was played. Now there’s a thought?
I must say a big thank you to Tom Allom and Mark Dodson for their part in “Defenders” as they too are real Defenders of the faith.
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