Live at Rock in Rio III


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Live at Rock in Rio III Review

by Greg Prato

For several years after exiting Judas Priest in 1991, it appeared as though Rob Halford had a bit of a musical identity crisis. The first project he was involved in, Fight, contained elements of his former band but attempted to get in line with the "power metal" sound of Pantera, while his next project, the electro metal-based Two, was obviously inspired by Nine Inch Nails. But with the launch of the group that shared his last name in 2000, the singer was back where he truly belonged -- fronting an honest to goodness straightforward metal band. And the move immediately paid off, as Halford was once again playing in front of large crowds, and it would ultimately pave the way back to his rejoining the mighty Priest a short while later. Although the Halford band may currently be in mothballs, 2008 saw the release of a double-disc archival set, Live at Rock in Rio III. As the title suggests, the set includes the group's performance at the Rock in Rio III Festival from 2001 on a DVD, as well as a documentary that takes you behind the scenes of the recording and tour in support of Halford's debut album, Resurrection. And the second disc of the set is a CD, which features a remastered version of Resurrection with a pair of new songs tacked on. As proven by such lean and mean tunes as the title track and "Made in Hell," Resurrection still stands up as unquestionably the finest non-Priest release Halford has ever been involved in -- and probably the best metal release of 2000. But the DVD portion is what longtime Halford fanatics will be most interested in, and it doesn't disappoint, as the documentary features a multitude of live footage, interviews, and peeks into the album's recording process (including when Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson dropped by to lend some vocals to "The One You Love to Hate"). And the Rock in Rio III performance -- which featured one of the largest audiences Halford has ever played in front of throughout his entire career -- perfectly captures the group on-stage (and in addition to Halford songs, you get solid readings of such Priest classics as "Hellion" and "Electric Eye," "Metal Gods," and "Breaking the Law" -- the latter of which is sung entirely by the mammoth crowd!). Even when he was not fronting Judas Priest, Rob Halford was always a true Metal God -- as evidenced by Live at Rock in Rio III.

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