KK’s Priest at the MegaCorp Pavilion in Newport, KY 19-MAR-24

KK’s Priest delivers a fiery night of classic metal to enthusiastic fans with L.A. Guns and Burning Witches.

Back in 2011 when KK Downing unceremoniously left Judas Priest, a band he co-founded all the way back in 1969, there was a definite amount of unfinished business to complete but the future was uncertain, at best.  Nearly ten years passed before Downing emerged, signing with Explorer1 Music Group, (January 2020), and pairing with veteran manager Andy Gould announced that he would be working on brand-new music. The following month (February 2020), KK’s Priest was officially formed bringing together a powerhouse lineup featuring former Judas Priest frontman Tim “Ripper” Owens, along with former Hostile guitarist AJ Mills (who is an absolute shredder). Holding down the rhythm side of the group is former Dirty Deeds and Voodoo Six bassist Tony Mills and former Cage drummer Sean Elg.

Covid-19 pandemic was a thing so into the studio the guys went and in October of 2021, KK’s Priests’ debut album Sermons of the Sinner was released along with a scorcher of a single “Hellfire Thunderbolt” that set a bar as the “new definition of heavy metal” with 80’s like soaring guitars, white hot riffs, and roaring vocals. Their sophomore album, Return of The Sinner, released in September of 2023 through Napalm Records featured singles “One More Shot at Glory” and “Strike of The Viper”.  The band’s first U.S. Tour run was also announced with the guys coming straight off the Monsters of Rock Cruise, with 14 shows scheduled over 17 days and was met with very positive results and support.  

Roll forward to tonight: The MegaCorp Pavilion crackled with anticipation as the faithful gathered for a night of metal resurrection. KK’s Priest, a congregation led by the venerable KK Downing, descended upon Newport, KY, bringing with them the echoes of Judas Priest’s legacy.  As the house lights fell, a huge roar greeted the guys on stage as KK’s Priest vaulted directly into “Hellfire Thunderbolt” and the evening was off to a fiery start. Without much hesitation and barely giving the crowd a chance to catch their breath the guys rolled into “One More Shot at Glory” and the first of several Judas Priest covers “The Ripper” and the night was ON!

The evening was all about classic heavy metal with KK Downing’s fingers dancing across the frets of his custom KXK flying V like flames licking the night accompanied by AJ Mill’s scorching and relentless guitar work was a sight and sound to behold. Tim “Ripper” Owens was a force of nature all evening, his voice soaring all evening while in complete control of the night.  While the menu tonight served a solid dose of Judas Priest songs including “Night Crawler,” ”Hell Patrol,” and “Breaking The Law”  the rendition of “Burn in Hell” from 1997’s Jugulator album was something special and “Ripper’s” vocals were incredible.  

KK’s Priest closed out their time in Newport with one of their newest singles “Strike of the Viper” before ending an epic evening of metal with “Raise Your Fists”. What a night it was! The guitars blazed, leaving trails of stardust in their wake. Ripper Owens, possessed by the spirit of metal, belted out anthems that shook the very foundations of the Pavilion. The crowd, fists aloft, sang along, a chorus of devotion to the gods of old.

But KK’s Priest weren’t alone in this sonic pilgrimage. L.A.Guns, the LA-based rockers, stormed the stage with frontman Phil Lewis and guitarist Tracii Guns leading the charge. With a set of hit songs including “Electric Gypsy,” “Over The Edge” and “Sex Action”  and a solid dose of shredding guitar work by Tracii Guns,  L.A. Guns were a highlight of the evening.

Opening the evening were Swiss heavy/power metal band Burning Witches. Conjuring spells of thunder and lightning, dueling guitarists Romana Kalkuhl and Courtney “CC Shred” Cox and fronted by the demonic lead singer Laura Guldemond were electrifying as the Witches blasted through a set that included “Hexenhammer” and “The Dark Tower”.  Burning Witches closed their all too short set with a rousing rendition of Dio’s “Holy Diver” that left the venue buzzing as the lights came up.

KK’s Priest
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L.A. Guns
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Burning Witches
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MegaCorp Pavilion
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