Judas Priest’s Invincible Shield Tour ignites Boston

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Credit: Maria Alejandra Mata

Heavy metal titans Judas Priest took over Boston’s MGM Music Hall on Thursday night as the Invincible Shield Tour makes it way across the US. Joined on tour is Swedish rockers Sabaton. Door opened early at the Fenway venue, as a diverse audience quickly filled the room: from young teens to seasoned metalheads, families and solo concertgoers, all excited to see Judas Priest come back in town after their successful 50th anniversary tour in 2022.

The large tank that serves as a drum riser signaled Sabaton’s presence, with their signature wartime themes . Many hardcore fans were chanting on the barricade as the band took their spots, and the entire room soon followed. Kicking off with “Ghost Division” and “The Last Stand”, Sabaton’s epic sound was echoing from wall to wall. The band was all smiles as they took in the sights, addressing the crowd with their usual lighthearted energy and humor. From “Stormtroopers” to “Primo Victoria”, the high octane set kept the crowd fully engaged as they chanted, fists in the air.

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The setup had to change quite a bit in preparation for Judas Priest to take over. The tank was replaced by a simpler riser covered by a curtain, and banners decorated the stage. The sound of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” was the catalyst: fans already knew the show was about to start. The music faded quickly, the lights went down, and the band’s logo lit up brightly up above, driving fans wild; the thunderous new track “Panic Attack” kicked off the set, as the curtain dropped to reveal the entire band stacked together up on the drum riser. Legendary frontman Rob Halford started roaming around the stage, as guitarists Richie Faulkner and Andy Sneap menacingly approached their spots. Classics “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” and “Rapid Fire” kept ramping up the energy in the room. Halford’s voice sharp as ever.

The band’s new album was heavily featured, bringing the powerful new material to a whole new level when performed live. Invincible Shield blended in nicely with Priest’s classic material, as well as the many deep cuts that are making a return on this tour, like 1984’s “Love Bites” and 1978’s “Saints in Hell”. Halford’s gratitude was always palpable, especially for the way fans received their latest album. The energy in the room was on fire, and some of the younger fans could be found crowdsurfing, a rare but refreshing sight. Favorites like “Turbo Lover” and “Painkiller” ignited the crowd just as much as the new record’s title track, leaving many in the room floored with the raw power Judas Priest continues to hold.

With a rumbling roar, Halford’s iconic motorcycle entrance for “Hell Bent For Leather” was one of the highlights of the night, after the legendary “Electric Eye” had just left everyone out of breath. As usual, the upbeat “Living After Midnight” brought the show to a close, and the sentiment was clear: Judas Priest never ceases to impress. With a career spanning over 50 decades, the band sounds as powerful as ever, never relying on nostalgia; the Priest is still stands strong.

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Photos and words by Maria Alejandra Mata

Keep up with Judas Priest: Website / Instagram / Facebook

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