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Judas Priest Deliver Master Class In Metal During Cleveland Concert

Judas Priest
Eric Haggard

Judas Priest led their faithful fans through a two hour and twenty minute tour of heavy metal’s history last night (Nov. 15) at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, performing songs from every era of their long and storied career in what we most certainly hope was not any kind of a farewell performance.

The band has been calling this current tour their last major world-wide trek, and accordingly they played a song from nearly, if not every, album from their catalog during this marathon show. Soon after opening with blistering takes on ‘Rapid Fire’ and ‘Metal Gods,’ Rob Halford and company slowed things down just a bit for an absolutely epic ‘Victim of Changes’ — you can hear a similar recent performance below — that showed just how much range their music covers, and how intent they were on delivering a proper good-bye.

Things continued to soar at that same high altitude for the rest of the night, with even some of the more obscure choices, such as ‘Blood Red Skies’ from 1988′s ‘Ram It Down,’ revealing themselves to be worthy of a place in the setlist. Even the questionable ‘Turbo Lover’ was turned into a brutal churning pile of riffs, now that the band has stripped some of the snyth guitars away.

So, you ask, how was the new guy, guitarist Richie Faulkner, who replaced longtime guitarist K.K. Downing? Uh, yeah, pretty gosh-darn excellent! (We’re not allowed to swear.) Clearly not intimidated by his new position, the new guy prowled the front lip of the stage all night long, laughing and joking with the veterans and seemingly providing some new spark and energy for the group.

Judas Priest Cleveland Concert Photo Gallery

Which got us thinking, maybe Queen‘s got it right with this official tribute act plan of theirs. Why can’t it be that decades from now, Faulkner is the oldest member of Judas Priest? Do you really want your kids growing up in a future where they can’t see Judas Priest concerts? More than one guy played Batman, right? We’ll all know who the originals were.

If this was the last time they played Cleveland, than Judas Priest went out on top. In fact, we would have photoshopped in five and a half stars if they had played ‘Freewheel Burning.’

Watch Judas Priest Perform ‘Victim of Changes’ on the ‘Epitaph’ Tour:

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