Judas Priest are currently kicking ass and taking names as they plow through their “50 Heavy Metal Years” North American tour with opening act Queensryche. The Metal Gods were forced to postpone all touring in September 2021 when guitarist Richie Faulkner suffered an acute cardiac aortic dissection during a performance and was forced to have emergency surgery. The band is now making up for lost time by performing a career spanning set that includes all the hits plus some rarely played Priest gems dating all the way back to their first album in 1974.

While Judas Priest as a whole remains a Metal Machine there are some subtle differences with the band referring to their two guitarists – KK Downing has been out of Priest for over a decade replaced by the incredible Richie Faulkner and Glenn Tipton has been dealing with Parkinson’s Disease which has forced him to step aside and in his place is famed producer and guitarist extraordinaire Andy Sneap.

Rob Halford remains the focal point of the group with his iconic voice which sounds stronger than ever at age 70. The band opened the night at The Nashville Municipal Auditorium with a curveball – “One Shot at Glory” from 1990’s epic Painkiller album – this was a sure sign all were in for some Priest rarities in a live setting during this celebration of Heavy Metal. In his typical leather ensemble and now sporting a large white beard, Halford stalked the stage like a caged animal and piercing the ears of all present with his screams. Of course the band played the hits such as “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin”, Freewheel Burning” and “Victim of Changes” which were all performed perfectly but the songs such as “Rocka Rolla”, “Desert Plains” and “Blood Red Skies” are the songs that the die-hard Priest fans were losing their minds over.

Richie Faulkner is back in top notch form and is a pleasure to watch tear up each song and Andy Sneap blended in effortlessly resulting in those beloved guitar harmonies the band is so well known for. The rhythm section has the hard-hitting Scott Travis on drums with Ian Hill thumping that bass and remains the ONLY original member from back in 1969.

The main set ended with the pounding Judas Priest classic “Painkiller” before the band returned to the stage with “Electric Eye”. Then one of the highlights of every Priest show is Halford riding his Harley Davidson onstage and the band going into “Hell Bent for Leather” with Halford singing the song while seated on his two-wheeled monster. At this point Glenn Tipton was introduced and the crowd provided him an insanely loud and warm welcome onto the stage as he played three songs with his Metal brothers to end the night – “Metal Gods”, Breaking the Law” and “Living After Midnight”.

An Epic night of Judas Priest Heavy Metal ruled Nashville on Wednesday night March 23 – Cheers to MANY more years of Judas Priest ROCKIN the World!

Queensryche opened the show to get the blood flowing at The Nashville Municipal Auditorium and they did so in fine fashion. Now 10 years into his tenure with the band, vocalist Todd La Torre led the band – guitarists Michael Wilton and Mike Stone along with bass player Eddie Jackson and drummer Casey Grillo through twelve rocking songs that included the classics “Queen of the Reich”, “Screaming in Digital” and “Operation: Mindcrime”. Queensryche is a must see on this tour so be sure to get to your seat early and put on your seatbelt.

Queensryche

Judas Priest

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