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Review & Photos: KK's Priest, L.A. Guns, Burning Witches







MARCH 20, 2024

By Neil Shumate, OOTB Publications

A trifecta of heavy metal and hard rock pierced Cleveland last night with headliner KK’s Priest alongside L.A. Guns and Burning Witches. This, KK’s Priest’s first US headline tour. 


Around 2011 original Judas Priest guitarist and founding member K.K. Downing split from the band and formed KK’s Priest in 2019 with former Judas Priest singer (1997 Jugulator and 2001 Demolition) and Akron native Tim “Ripper” Owens (ex-Iced Earth)—similar to how Queensryche and other bands are now, as two entities. 


Since forming KK’s Priest, they have released two albums, including this touring cycle’s The Sinners Ride Again; a few original songs from both albums were performed, including: “Hellfire Thunderbolt,” “Raise Your Fists,” “Strike Of The Viper.” The majority of the set included Judas Priest classics: “Breaking The Law,” “Burn In Hell,” “Night Crawler,” “The Ripper,” “Hell Patrol” and more. 


The band sounded tight and Ripper successfully hit those sustained high screams and wails. Downing stood out the entire night, sporting black leather and standing at the stage’s edge to rock out with his metal genre-defining style, but he didn’t steal the spotlight as each band member garnered attention that showcased their talent. A spectacular heavy metal show leaving the crowded venue satisfied and ready to keep returning to see KK’s Priest again. 


Early on L.A. Guns presented hard rock and the crowd really got into “Sex Action” and “Rip And Tear.” The band mixed in a little AC/DC and The Stones during their set. An audience sing along broke out during the toned down “The Ballad Of Jayne.” Only one new song from their latest album Black Diamonds was performed: “Like A Drug.” Founding guitarist Tracii Guns shredded and the overall energy of the west coast band was contagious, especially bubble gum Ace Von Johnson. Vocalist Phil Lewis recalled the band performed at The Agora in 1988. 


Switzerland’s female quintet Burning Witches opened the night and blew the roof off The Agora with vocals that match Doro and fist pumping, “oi” chanting power metal. Each song was stellar, especially the performance of their ferocious new song “The Dark Tower” from their latest album of the same title, the band’s fifth album. 


See Tour Dates Here

KK'S PRIEST (click photos to enlarge)


L.A. GUNS (click photos to enlarge)

BURNING WITCHES (click photos to enlarge)