Judas Priest in Boston – October 16, 2022
Celebrating over 50 years of heavy metal, the mighty Judas Priest returned to Massachusetts. It’s been an unlucky few years for New England Priest fans, with shows first delayed by Covid, then delayed after guitarist Ritchie Faulkner had a cardiac incident on stage. Following all that, this Spring the band had to cancel the afternoon of their performance in Lowell, due to vocalist Rob Halford being ill. Finally, it is Monday night in Boston, and the Priest is back!
Starting the night off was fellow classic metal band Queensrÿche. Original singer Geoff Tate has not been with the band for about a decade now, but if you didn’t know, you wouldn’t be able to tell. Front man, Todd La Torre has a set of pipes just as impressive as Tate’s.
They played a nine-song set, which featured the songs, “Behind the Walls” and “In Extremis,” both off of their newly released album Digital Noise Alliance. We also got hits like “Empire” and “Eyes of a Stranger.” I was kind of surprised that as an opening band, they did not play one of their biggest radio hits, “Jet City Woman.” I could see at a headlining show, when you’re likely to have more diehard fans, skipping a hit like that, but I’d imagine there’s more casual fans in the audience who may have only known that song tonight.
This is not the first time the Rÿche has opened up for Priest, as they toured together back in 2005. Now, as it was, then, the pairing of these two bands makes for a great night of music!
Last month, we spoke with Judas Priest guitarist Ritchie Faulkner. He mentioned that on this tour they would be paying tribute to the 40th anniversary of the Screaming for Vengeance album. With that, my gut told me they would open with “Electric Eye,” and I was pleased to see I was correct! The lights went down, and the intro tape of “The Hellion” started to play, and the audience went wild, singing along to the music. The band comes roaring out on stage, as a literal eyeball filled with electricity looks around the house on the video screen behind them. In keeping with the theme of the album, the band went right into “Riding on the Wind” next.
With over 50 years of music, there’s a lot of albums for Priest to choose from, and they did a nice job of representing everything evenly. If you are a fan of the Halford reunion-era material, it was great to hear “Judas Rising” off of Angel of Retribution, “Halls Of Valhalla” off Redeemer of Souls, and “Never the Heroes” and “Firepower” Off of Firepower.
If you prefer the classic era, songs like “Breaking the Law” and “Hell Bent for Leather” were certainly highlights. On this tour, the band pulled out the song “Genocide,” off of Sad Wings Of Destiny, for the first time since 1982! They’re also playing the heavy anthem off of Painkiller, “Between the Hammer and the Anvil,” for the first time since Richie joined the band over a decade ago!
After Halford had finished the spring tour, sick and struggling, it was great to hear him tonight, all guns blazing. He sounded as strong as ever, crushing the high notes on songs like “Screaming for Vengeance.”
Rob, Ian, Richie and Scott, with some help from Andy, put on a show tonight that delighted Priest fans of all ages. The nearly-sold out MGM Music Hall was rockin’ all night to Judas Fucking Priest!