Judas Priest maintains their status as metal gods.

Nothing beats a perfect summer night than a concert at a great outdoor music venue. This was the scene fans reveled in at Freedom Hill when Judas Priest and Pop Evil played a near capacity crowd. One of the few remaining titans of heavy metal, Judas Priest delivered a stellar set of classic hits that touched on every corner of their history. Their 2014 release of Redeemer Of Souls proved that the band is far from the retirement home or the recycle bin.

Michigan natives Pop Evil opened the night as a replacement for the previously billed Saxon. They originate from the west side of the state in Grand Rapids and have enjoyed a tremendous amount of success over the years.

This band always presents a riveting performance which they had dialed into overdrive, fueled by their opening slot for Judas Priest. Vocalist Leigh Kakaty is a commanding presence on the stage, strutting up and down the breadth of the stage fully engaging the crowd. Guitarists Davey Grahs and Nick Fuelling present a dual ax attack that compliments each other’s style and flair.

The real steal of their live show, however, lies with bassist Matt DiRito and drummer Chachi Riot. Both guys bring a whole new layer of theatrics to the show that shatter the myth that these roles are rather dull lifeless additions to a band on stage.

The band has a new album due out on August 15th which they will celebrate with a hometown show at The Intersection a week after playing Dirt Fest.

Judas Priest hardly needs an introduction to any generation of music fans. Hot rocking for over four decades has not slowed their pace for a moment.

The addition of guitarist Richie Faulkner as a replacement for the retired K.K. Downing has given this beast of metal a new shiny coat of wax. Faulkner fits in the lineup on stage as if he has been there since the Rocka Rolla days. Original guitarist Glen Tipton appeared graceful and ever at ease ripping through his parts, teaming up with Faulker and bassist Ian Hill at times for the classic synchronized guitar attack.

Through it all, however, is Rob Halford who continued to be the keystone behind the band’s longevity. Eternal and ageless, he still nailed his notes with perfection through every song on the list. Ending their main set with the classic “Hell Bent For Leather,” the crowd jumped to its feet as he roared out on stage on his motorcycle. It’s a piece of their act that has been around forever but never fails to get tiresome.

Judas Priest
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Pop Evil
Website | Facebook | Twitter