Judas Priest 4/27/24 Covelli Centre – Youngstown, OH – Show Review

Judas Priest and Sabaton

April 27, 2024

Covelli Centre

Youngstown, Ohio

by: Michael Strong

 

There are some things in this world you can count on. One of them is knowing if you go to see Judas Priest, you’re in for a great night of rock and metal. As one of the forefathers of early metal, Priest knows exactly how to rile up the metal maniacs only to push the crowd into over time. Pacing their set with greatest hits, fan favorites and new blistering cuts, Rob Halford had the sold out crowd in the palm of his leather gloved hands. The Metal God has taken incredible care of his golden voice and can still hit every ear piercing high note at nearly 73!!! Rob’s voice is stunningly crystal clear after all these years. The band was absolutely on fire as well. Scott Travis is just a machine of precision on the drums, Ian Hill holds the bottom end, Andy Sneap has found his place and footing on stage, finally looking like part of the band and not just a fill in. Yet again, the shining star next to Halford’s siren screams is Ritchie Faulkner. He just commands the spotlight, not just because he’s playing these legendary songs, but also because of his undeniable charisma. He truly brought a new lease on life when he joined and he only continues to make sure it courses through the metal machine’s veins.

There seemed to be a formula: one new song, three or four classics, rinse and repeat, absolute perfection. The crowd ate up the new songs, including the opener “Panic Attack”, “Invisible Shield” and “Lightening Strikes” which showed Priest still can write fantastic metal songs. Then after each new cut, they’d whip the crowd into a frenzy with all the classics, including immediately going for the kill with “You Got Another Thing Coming”, “Breaking the Law” in the first trio of oldies. They ripped through “Saints in Hell”, “Sinner”, “Turbo Lover”, “The Green Manilshi”, “Devil’s Child” and for me the show stopper “Victim of Changes”.  Ending the regular set with “Painkiller”, leaving the place ready to erupt. Giving the crowd a minute to catch our breath, they came back out to the track “Hellion” and launched into “Electric Eye”, “Hellbent for Leather”, I immediately turned into a freckle and pimple faced 13 year old when I heard that motorcycle rev, losing my ever lovin mind when our hero rolls out on stage. Then mercifully ending with “Livin After Midnight” we were all in a frenzy. I say mercifully because at 51, I’m not sure I could take any more, it was that amazing that one more classic and my soul might have exploded. THAT is the magic and what live music is all about.

Having the unsavory task of opening for the legends was Sweden’s Sabaton, dressed for the battle at hand. Complete with matching  camo pants and military insignias on their shirts, plus a tank drum riser, they were ready for war. They were all very proficient musicians and knew how to work a crowd.  They came off as a European festival style Viking metal and that’s ok. They were fun, entertaining. A little too many tracks for my liking for a metal band, but that’s ok, too.

They really did get a great crowd reaction. I would not go out of my way to see just them.  Would I go see them again with a band I love? Absolutely. And I would enjoy their whole set, again.

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