Judas Priest played MGM Music Hall – 4/25

Heavy metal legends Judas Priest returned to MGM for a spirited show supported by Sabaton.


You might recall it wasn’t all that long ago that we covered a Priest show here at Noise Floor, and while it’s true that I don’t often double up coverage on back-to-back tours so close together, there are exceptions to every rule. By all accounts, Rob Halford and co. aren’t hanging up their leather anytime soon (the show ended – as it did last time – with a “Priest Will Return” message in the James Bond tradition), but there’s no guarantee as to how many more times you’ll get to catch a band chugging past the fifty-year mark. Even less of a given is a band of said vintage sounding as good as Priest still do.

So last Thursday night, I again found myself trekking to Fenway’s oddly cramped MGM Music Hall for a dose of heavy metal classics, and some new songs that fit right in with them. March’s 52-minute riff-barrage Invincible Shield, the band’s nineteenth LP, would care to remind you that Priest still have their chops in the studio as well as on stage, and they slotted a handful of those tunes comfortably into a refreshed setlist of career-spanning fan-favorites. “This is why we come back!” I overheard once blissfully beer-drunk fan emote to another as the band intro’d Sad Wings of Destiny‘s “Victim of Changes,” and indeed, Priest offered plenty of reasons for repeat business. Outside of staples like “Electric Eye” and “Living After Midnight,” a majority of the setlist turned over completely from the 2022 MGM show, making room for crowdpleasers like “Turbo Lover” and the set-closing “Painkiller” – the band’s straight-up heaviest and best song for my money.

Singer and bandleader Halford, his piercing yowl still sounding incredible, held court over the course of the 90-minute show in the manner of a man who was simply born to do this. The rest of the band, still comprising guitarists Richie Faulkner and Andy Sneap alongside longtime rhythm section Ian Hill and Scott Travis, were once again tight as can be. They might not be the Priest of yore (veteran guitarist Glenn Tipton was making some onstage appearances during the band’s European dates this year, but not this tour), but to have a band as storied as this one still regularly playing shows this strong remains a gift to heavy metal devotees of all stripes.

Opening duties for this run fell to Sweden’s Sabaton, whose slick, singalong power metal is admittedly not really my thing. They got the crowd going in admirable fashion though, and exhibited a naturally photogenic nature aided by a life-size tank prop/drum riser.

Scroll for a gallery of both bands below.