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Metal icons Judas Priest bring the heavy to sold-out Youngstown crowd






APRIL 27, 2024

By Neil Shumate, OOTB Publications

Rob Halford & Co. left no page unturned last night as the foundational heavy metal music giants performed a crushing, flawless set of songs ranging from 1976’s Sad Wings Of Destiny (“Victim Of Changes”), 1980’s British Steel (“Breaking The Law,” “Rapid Fire,” “Living After Midnight”), 1982’s Screaming For Vengeance (“You’ve Got Another Thing Comin,’” “Devil’s Child,” “Electric Eye”) to the band’s phenomenal latest album released this year, Invincible Shield (“Panic Attack,” “Invincible Shield,” “Crown Of Horns”). The setlist didn’t leave out anything in between either, including “Pain Killer,” “Lightning Strike,” “Sinner” and Halford’s traditional onstage motorcycle performance of “Hell Bent For Leather.” 


The nearly 20-song setlist is one thing to rave about, but also noteworthy is the remarkable musicianship of the powerhouse band with stage-front ax slayers Richie Faulkner and Andy Sneap alongside long time member Scott Travis on drums and original member Ian Hill on bass. On occasion original guitarist Glenn Tipton, who battles Parkinson's disease, will make an appearance; however, he did not take the stage at this show. Seventy-two-year-old Halford maintained a strong stage presence throughout with his consistent trademark high screams and wails and his frequent interaction with adoring fans. 


Aside from the band’s massive ceiling drop down pitchfork logo, the stage setup was rather simple and spread out; no major bells and whistles were needed as the large back screens and active light production were enough for the straight forward rock-and-roll show. The overall sound production was phenomenal.


Judas Priest was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2022 and Halford gave a rousing, inspiring speech, including mention of him being openly gay: "I'm the gay guy in the band," he stated. "You see, that is what heavy metal is all about. We call ourselves the heavy metal community which is all-inclusive, no matter what your sexual identity is, what you look like, the colour of your skin, the faith that you believe or don't believe in. Everybody's welcome." 


After more than 50 years, the draped-in-black-leather Metal Gods have done it all by now, but they show no sign of slowing down as is proved with the release of Invincible Shield and the band's extensive touring with live shows that turn it up to 11 for steadfast fanbases that continue to grow.


Earlier in the evening, smiling Swedish power metal band Sabaton released a friendly engaging aura with an outstanding upbeat performance, warming up and entertaining the packed venue with fist pumping aggressive beats and lyrics primarily focused on historical warfare. 

See Tour Dates Here 


JUDAS PRIEST (click photos to enlarge)

SABATON (click photos to enlarge)